Frequently Asked QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions

Here you can find answers to common questions concerning the 13th Assembly. If you do not find what you need in this section please contact the Assembly Office.


The F.A.Q. have been divided into three different sections:

General Questions

For Nominated Participants

During the Assembly

General QuestionsGeneral Questions

1. What is the CEC Assembly?

The CEC Assembly is a meeting which happens every six years, and is the highest decision-making body of the Conference of European Churches.

2. Who attends a CEC Assembly?

Member Churches of the Conference of European Churches are invited to nominate delegates to attend the CEC Assembly. In addition, CEC Associated Organisations and other partner organisations are invited to send representatives to the Assembly.

There will also be a number of guests who are specifically invited to attend by the General Secretary.

Furthermore, there will be many staff members and stewards to help with the practicalities of the Assembly itself.  

In total, we expect 700 participants at the Lyon Assembly.

3. Who pays for it all?

The CEC Assembly is a large event and CEC tries to minimise costs as much as possible. Due to its size, the CEC budget alone can not cover all expenses. All delegates and representatives are responsible for their own transport costs, conference fees and accommodation costs.

CEC is able to offer a limited number of subsidies to CEC Member Churches who are not able to meet the costs of the conference. Therefore, in order to give everybody an equal chance of attending the Assembly, CEC welcomes contributions to its Solidarity Fund which will allow more subsidies to be granted to those could not otherwise attend. If you wish to make a donation to this fund, please contact the Finance Secretary, jdb[at]

4. Who decides what will happen during the Assembly?

The entire staff and all the governing bodies of CEC are involved for months ahead of the Assembly with planning its form and content. In particular, the Assembly is put together by the Assembly Planning Committee and by the staff of the Assembly Office, with the Assembly Secretary at the head of the operation.

In a second stage of planning, all the member churches of CEC participate in a consultation process that will result in the more intricate shaping of discussions at the Assembly itself. For more information on this process, and to see its emerging results, please click here.

5. What usually happens at the Assembly?

The Assembly has two main tasks. First of all, it assesses the work that has been done by CEC over the last six years, and it decides on the working priorities of CEC for the next six years. It elects committees and governing bodies for the next six years in the life of CEC, and has the power to modify the legal documents on which the Conference of European Churches is based.

Secondly, it is required to focus on a theme, which this year is "Called to One Hope in Christ".

This year we have a third task, which is to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of CEC. This is a great opportunity to look at the past, present and future of our organisation.

6. Where does the Assembly take place?

The location for the Assembly is carefully chosen, and each Assembly happens in a different place.

This year, the Assembly takes place in Lyon, France, and the sessions will be held in the Congress Centre. For more information about Lyon and the Assembly Venue, and to find out what else is on in July, click here.

7. How long is the Assembly?

The Assembly in Lyon will run from July 15th to July 21st 2009.

Participants are encouraged to arrive before noon on July 15th and may depart during the day on July 21st. For more information about arrival and departure and other key dates, please click here.

8. Will it be a "green" Assembly?

Keeping God’s creation in mind, the CEC Assembly will make an effort to do things in a just, fair and environmentally friendly manner. There will be recycling facilities in the Assembly centre, and the coffee will be fair trade.

As far as is reasonably possible, we encourage participants to travel to and from Lyon by train. If you are coming by plane, we would like to encourage travellers to pay the carbon offsetting fee which most airlines now offer.

9. Will there be a special programme for young people?

Yes and no. We are running a training meeting for delegates and delegated representatives aged under 30. That meeting takes place at the end of May. At the Assembly itself they will attend the same programme as the other participants, although they are encouraged to get to know our stewards, who will be attending a pre-programme of their own from 11th-14th July and for many of whom this will be their first experience of CEC.
For more information about young people’s involvement in the 13th Assembly, click here.

10.1. How can I become involved?
There are three ways of becoming involved in the CEC Assembly:

  • You are nominated by your church or organisation, which is a member of CEC, to attend as a delegate, delegated representative, representative or observer. Information on these roles is available in the "participation" section of this website.
  • You are part of a church or organisation that is part of CEC, you are aged under 30, and you have applied to be a steward at the Assembly. More information is available on the stewards’ page of this website.
  • You do not attend the Assembly in person, but experience it through talking to those members of your church and organisation who are attending, and by following it through this website.

10.2. Can the general public/local church members participate?

The parts of the Assembly which take place in the Congress Centre will not be open to members of the public. Only registered Assembly participants will be allowed access to the centre.

There are three moments at which the public may join us for worship:

  • Opening Worship, 15th July at 15:00 in Sanctuaire St Bonaventure, Place des Cordeliers, Central Lyon.
  • Taizé Prayer, 18th July in the evening (time to be confirmed), in Grand Temple
  • Various services in Lyon churches on the morning of Sunday 19th July. Please see here for more details.

11. In what languages will the Assembly take place?

The Assembly will be in English, French and German.

12. How can I follow if I am not attending the Assembly?

News of the Assembly, its programme, its decisions, and so on, will be posted on this website as of now until the end of the Assembly, and maybe beyond. These pages will be constantly updated, and during the event itself photos and videos of the proceedings will be uploaded. You are invited to check the Assembly website regularly and to use what you find here as a basis for discussions within your own church or organisation.

13. I would like to submit a contribution on the theme of hope for this website; to whom do I send it?

We welcome your reflections on the theme of the Assembly as well as other comments you may have. You should type your contribution and send it to the Assembly Office, ssa[at]

Should you wish to send a message of greeting to CEC for the 50th Anniversary, please do this by submitting it to our guestbook.

To the top

For nominated participantsFor nominated participants

14. Registration

The online registration process will be open from March 24th to June 10th.

Participants are asked to register before May 10th.

From 10th May to 10th June late registrations will be accepted, but will incur an extra fee.

No registration will be possible after June 10th 2009.

We encourage you to arrive before noon on July 15th to ensure that you are able to be present at the opening worship in central Lyon at 15:00. More information about arrivals and departures is available here.

15. I shall attend the Assembly; when and how can I register?

In mid- March you should receive a package from CEC informing you of the registration process and sending you documentation relevant to your personal preparation for the Assembly.

Registration will take place on line, and will be open from 24th March until 10th May.

16. How much will it cost to come to the Assembly?

The registration fee will amount to 100 euros for those registering by May 10th.
The meals will cost approximately 50 euros per person per day.
Accommodation will cost between 45 and 110 euros per person per night, depending on your individual choice of hotel.

An invoice will be sent to you by CEC before the start of the Assembly.

In the event of cancellation after registration:
Until 10th June: 90% refunded
10th June-10th July: 40% refunded
After 10th July: no refund

17. What is the best way to travel to Lyon?

Lyon is easily accessible by car, bus, train and aeroplane. To find the best journey you may find the following websites useful:




Flying with Air France or KLM - We have arranged special discounts of up to -47% on flight tickets with AF or KLM. For further information and to access the online booking system please use this link, and the Event code: ID 06419AF

For the sake of the environment, we encourage participants to travel to Lyon by train, if this is reasonably possible.

Please make sure that you have appropriate travel and medical insurance. CEC takes no responsibility for costs incurred during your travel or for medical needs.

18. Do I need a Visa to come to Lyon?

Participants from non-EU countries may require a visa to enter France.
Further information is available here.

19. Health insurance

If you require a Health Insurance for your visa application (for Non E.U. Participants only) then CEC is able to arrange this for you. 

You will be able to request this in the online Registration form for the Assembly.

20. How can I get to the Assembly location?

The Centre de Congrès is on the North side of the city of Lyon, on the banks of the river Rhone. To see a map, click here.

Direct access to the centre is by bus number C1 or bus number 4. For information on the public transport in Lyon please go to:

- Saint-Exupery Airport: Tel: 00 33 426 007 007

- Taxis: At the airport or call @LyonTaxis: 00 33 472 27 15 15

21. Accommodation

  • INSA Residence:  Good quality accommodation (studios with own bathroom and kitchenette) situated within walking distance of the Congress Centre. Breakfast is served in a restaurant next door. More info...
  • Accor hotels of ** or *** star category: the precise names and addresses of the Accor Hotels (in central Lyon) will be sent by the end of June to those who have chosen these.
  • If you wish to stay in a hotel of a higher category, you are asked to book your own accommodation (for this you may wish to use the L.R.I. SERVICES website)

Reminder: If your accommodation will be paid for by your Church/Organisation, please check your choice of accommodation with them.

PLEASE NOTE that bedsheets and towels WILL be provided at the INSA residence, there is no need to bring these with you.

22. Can I find out who else is attending from my country/church?

You may also be interested in attending a preparatory meeting in your region, if one is being organised. You can find out about these meetings here.

23. I have been nominated but so far I have not heard anything from CEC. Is this a problem?

You should receive a package of information from CEC in March. Please do not contact us unless you hear nothing by March 27th.

24. How can I prepare for my role during the Assembly?

  • By reading the documents we will send to you from March until July.
  • By discussing the themes and issues with other people in your church or organisation.
  • By writing down your ideas.

To the top

During the AssemblyDuring the Assembly

25. Where will worship take place during the Assembly?

Most of the times of worship during the Assembly will take place in the Congress Centre itself. There are three exceptions to this:

The Gathering Service on 15th July will be held in the Sanctuaire de St Bonaventure.

There will be a Taizé Prayer in the Grand Temple on 18th July.

Services on the morning of 19th July will be held in various churches around Lyon.

26. How can I find out who will be speaking?

Information about the programme of the Assembly, as well as the names of speakers, will be available in the Programme section of this website in due course.

27. Who has the right to vote at the Assembly?

Only delegates (those nominated by Member Churches of CEC) have the right to vote in the business sessions of the Assembly. For more information on the different roles at the Assembly, please see the 'participation' section.

28. How does the voting happen?

Info soon to come.

29. Where do we eat our meals during the Assembly?

Breakfast will be served at your hotel.
Lunch and dinner will be taken all together in the Congress Centre.

30. I have a special diet. Will you cater for me?

The catering service will cater for all special diets, as long as we are informed about your needs in advance. Please indicate your specific requirements when completing your online registration form. No changes will be accepted after June 10th.

31. Will there be an exhibition space?

There will be an area for exhibitions throughout the Assembly, known as the Agora.

32. What are the hearings and how can I participate in these?

Hearings offer an opportunity for participants to contribute to the assembly programme through inputs, discussions and debates about certain issues, sub-themes or special interests related to the Assembly theme. Read more.

33. Applying for Subsidies?

If you are requesting subsidies, please ask your Church to contact the CEC Finance Secretary, Mr Jean-Daniel Birmelé.

Please note that only delegates from CEC Member Churches may be granted subsidies. For your information, if CEC agrees to cover your accommodation costs (full or part), you will automatically be accommodated in the INSA Residence.

34. Solidarity fund

Would you envisage helping the participation of delegates who might not be able to cover the cost of the Assembly? In this case you can contribute before or during the Assembly, please contact the Finance Secretary.

35. How can I find out more?

If your question has not been answered on this page, do not hesitate to look through the website where more detailed information can be found on most subjects.

If you still require further information, please contact the Assembly Office using the contact form in the contact section of the site.

To the top