Archive news



The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will give the keynote address at the 'Love your neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote' conference organised by the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church. This will be the third such conference arranged by the three churches and will be held at Coventry Central Hall on Saturday 21 February 2015.

The 'Love your neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote' conference has been designed to enthuse and equip delegates to be effective Christian disciples in the build-up to the UK's general election on 7 May 2015. The Archbishop's address will set the scene for a day of reflection, discussion and Bible study focused on how churches and individual Christians can help create a more just society.

During the day delegates will be able to choose from a number of workshops covering issues such as poverty, housing, peacemaking, immigration and climate change, as well as sessions dealing with the practical issues of encouraging churches and communities to be an active part of the political process.

Rachel Lampard, Joint Public Issues Team leader and policy adviser, said: "The 'Love your neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote' conference will explore how we can work together as a people of faith to challenge political leaders to focus on the needs of the most vulnerable.

"The Conference aims to help us put Christ's call to 'love our neighbour' at the heart of everything we do in the run up to May's General Election. By responding to the needs of the disadvantaged and marginalised we hope Christians will use their vote to help to create a world that better represents God's Kingdom of justice and peace."

Archbishop Justin is committed to ecumenical working and building links across the denominations and is attending this conference as a guest of John Ellis, moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church.

Mr Ellis said: "Archbishop Justin has been a champion of social justice both in the UK  - where he has shown great leadership in tackling payday lenders and in the reform of the banking system - and internationally where he has provided a much needed voice for peace and reconciliation in Iraq and Sudan. It is great honour to have Archbishop Justin as the keynote speaker at the 'Love your neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote' conference."


In November a delegation of staff from the World Council of Churches visited Church House to share details of their recent events and current plans. The group included the Revd Dr Hielke Wolters, Associate General Secretary for Unity and Mission (Protestant Church in the Netherlands) and Dr Clare Amos, Programme Executive for Inter-religious Dialogue and Cooperation (Church of England). Its programme included a meeting hosted by Archbishop Justin at Lambeth Palace with bishops having a lead role in ecumenical dialogue. There was a seminar at Church House with national staff from Mission and Public Affairs, Education, Ministry and other departments to explore matters of shared interest.


The Filipino Community and the Church of England celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Concordat between the Church of England and the Iglesia Filipino Independiente (Philippine Independent Church) on Sunday 19th October at St John the Evangelist, Notting Hill, the home of the Filipino Chaplaincy in London. The President at the Eucharist was the Obispo Maximo, The Most Revd Ephraim Fajutagana, and the preacher was the Most Rev'd Joris Vercammen, Archbishop of the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht, a church also in communion with the Church of England. The Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, the Right Revd Robert Innis, represented Archbishop Justin.


The photograph shows a group of Igorot Dancers dancing  in the service.

The Obispo Maximo and a delegation of clergy and laity from the Philippines had been visiting England the previous week. Archbishop Justin welcomed the delegation to Lambeth Palace on Wednesday 15th October (see the photograph below), when the two primates met privately to continue the conversation begun during Archbishop Justin's visit to the Philippines in August.


The Concordat, bringing our two churches into communion, was signed on 16th October 1963 by Archbishop Michael Ramsay and the Obispo Maximo, the Most Revd Isabelo de los Reyes Jr. One of the fruits of the Concordat has been the establishment and maintenance of the Chaplaincy Program to Filipino Migrants in the Dioceses of London and Chelmsford and the recent opening of the Chaplaincy Program in the Diocese of Leicester. The journey in the past 50 years of the two churches is concretely manifested in these and other joint efforts and cooperation.

Archbishop Justin's message, which the Bishop Robert Innis read at the service, can be read here.


The Archbishop Justin and the Revd Kenneth Howcroft, President of the Methodist Conference, hosted an Ecumenical Day of Reflection on Mining on Tuesday 7 October with representatives of leading mining companies, as well as representatives from non-governmental and other faith-based organisations at Lambeth Palace.

Work towards the Day began in late 2013, when senior representatives of a group of mining companies contacted first the Methodist Church and then the Church of England to ask for Christian ethical input to their conversation about the future of their industry, recognising a need for change that involves communities taking an active role in the process.

The Day provided an opportunity to explore different perspectives, find common ground and build a shared understanding of what mining's role could and should be.

In September 2013, the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace hosted a Day of Reflection at the Vatican, attended by senior mining company executives, led by the CEO of Anglo American, along with church and religious civil society representatives. The 7 October Day of Reflection at Lambeth built on that conversation particularly how mining can contribute to the Common Good in the years to come.

For more details see:


Further to a Latest News item earlier this year senior theologians in the Anglican Communion and Oriental Orthodox Churches have confirmed an agreed statement on  their understanding of Christ's Incarnation. This statement focuses on the question of how the two natures, human and divine, were united in one human being: Jesus Christ. Although the text is challenging for non-specialists it signals a significant step forward.

This mutual understanding of Christ's incarnation is not just a minor point of theology but a subject that divided the Church following the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, leaving the Oriental Orthodox Churches separated from the Eastern Churches and the Church of Rome.

The work to reconcile these branches of the Christian family on the question of how the two natures human and divine, were united in one human being, Jesus Christ, began in earnest in the 1990s.

By 2002 an Agreed Statement on Christology had been prepared by the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission (AOOIC) and sent to the participating Churches and an updated statement was recirculated in 2013. By the October 2014 meeting in Cairo, AOOCIC members were able to finalise the document and Bishop Geoffrey Rowell and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damietta signed on behalf of their churches.

This statement, which is a significant step of reconciliation, will now be sent to "the responsible authorities of the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Communion for their consideration and action."

Dr Jeremy Worthen, CCU Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Theology said: "The terminology of the agreement may seem obscure to many readers but its central concern is to speak truthfully about Jesus Christ as the son of God who became incarnate for our salvation."

At its Cairo meeting the Commission was greatly appreciative of hospitality extended by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Most Revd Dr Mouneer Anis, President Bishop of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

The Commission shared the urgent concerns of members from the Middle East, especially in the critical situations in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and other regions, and heard of the experience of the Church in Egypt from Pope Tawadros and Bishop Mouneer.

The fourth meeting of the Commission took place in Wales in October 2015, hosted by the Anglican Communion, addressing among other issues the theme of the Holy Spirit, on which important preliminary work has been done.

More details available at link below:,-as-anglicans,-oriental-orthodox-agree-on-christs-incarnation.aspx

The agreement can be read at:

The Communique from the Commission can be read at:


The Commission's agenda had the theme Reformation and Politics and included a visit to the offices of the EKD Representative to the Bundestag and the European Union. The Commission also considered what contribution Meissen could make to the Reformation Jubilee in 2017.  To read more details click here.


Friday 19th September 2014

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu welcomed more than 40 Porvoo Church Leaders for their meeting at Bishopthorpe Palace on 18-19 September 2014.

Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien, Presiding Bishop of the Church of Norway, and Archbishop John Sentamu delivered Bible Studies on the theme Towards Greater Unity and Closer Fellowship. Archbishop Michael Jackson of the Church of Ireland and Bishop Peter Skov-Jakobsen, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark - the Anglican and Lutheran Co-Chairs of the Porvoo Communion of Churches - also spoke on the theme.

At the closing Eucharist service held at Bishopthorpe Chapel on Friday 19 September, the signing of the Porvoo Declaration was completed by Archbishop Elmars Ernsts Rozitis of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad, and Bishop Martin Lind of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain. Archbishop Sentamu presided and Archbishop Antje Jackelén of the Church of Sweden preached.

The Porvoo churches continue their commitment to grow together as churches in mission and service, praying for and with one another.

For more information about the Porvoo Communion, please visit


St Martin's in the Fields, 27th September

An Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving, supported by the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church, the Church of England, CMS and Us on 27th September 2014 at St Martin-in-the-Field celebrated the continuing contribution of British Churches, mission organisations and individuals in the areas of education, healthcare, social welfare, peace and justice, mission and evangelism in Pakistan.

The staff and choir at St Martin put a lot of energy in to it. Revd Dr Sam Wells presided at the service; Ms Caroline Tisdall shared her experience and feelings as a missionary child in Clarkabad, the oldest Christian village in Pakistan, Dr James Tebbe Rector Forman Christian University spoke about the importance of education and the role of Christian institutions in Pakistan. The Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave Bishop of Woolwich in his sermon talked about the hidden but powerful faith of Pakistani Christians that they express during the time of tribulation and persecution.  Revd Christopher Lamb presented a brief history of the church and British missionaries in Pakistan.

Guests came from all over the country. Among them were guests from Netherlands and Norway and Pakistan as wel as British missionaries and their families who have lived in Pakistan; representatives and staff of the churches, organisations, societies and groups working in Pakistan; and Christians and Muslims of Pakistani heritage. For a full report go to  Thanksgiving for Missionaries in Pakistan. To watch the service go to:


Archbishop Justin is opening up Lambeth Palace to adults aged 20 - 35 to spend a year living, praying and studying together as a radical new Christian community. Launching in September 2015, the Community of St Anselm will gather a group of young adults from all walks of life seeking a challenging and formative experience of life in a praying community.

The Community will initially consist of 16 people living at Lambeth Palace full-time, and up to 40 people, who live and work in London, joining part - time. The year - long programme will include prayer, study, practical service and community life.

The Revd  Dr Jo Wells,  chaplain at Lambeth, said: "Archbishop Justin is passionate about prayer and about community. The renewal of prayer and Religious Life is the first of his three priorities, and that is what the Community of St Anselm is all about.

"We are inviting people from all around the Anglican Communion - and beyond - to live a year in God's time. There are no qualifications for joining the Community except a  longing to pray, to learn, to study together the things of God, and so to be stretched in body, mind and spirit.

To find out more details visit:



Senior theologians in the Anglican Communion and Oriental Orthodox Churches are to  confirm an agreement on  their understanding of Christ's Incarnation.

The Co- Chairs and Co- Secretaries of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission who near Beirut, Lebanon in August and reviewed responses to the 2002 Agreed Statement on Christology which had been sent to the Churches of the two church families for consideration.

The statement considered the question of how the two natures, human and divine, were united in one human being: Jesus Christ. Noting overwhelming approval for the agreement from both sides, the steering committee considered minor adjustments and will prepare a Preamble for consideration by the Commission.

His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy  of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Rt Revd Geoffrey Rowell of the Church of England, Archbishop Nareg Alemazian of the Armenian Orthodox Church were joined by Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett - Cowan, Director for Unity Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion who said: "Such agreement on the fundamental theological question about the Incarnation marks a breakthrough in over 1,600 years of division. It is a blessing that the churches can proclaim together in such a time as this the great good news that God in Jesus Christ became human in order to enter into and save our world."

Dr Barnett-Cowan said that throughout the meeting the group was conscious of the violence breaking out in so many places in the Middle East. "Anglicans and Oriental Orthodox alike, together with Christians worldwide, are united  in prayer for the peace of God to come again to the region."

More details available at link below:,-oriental-orthodox-churches-prepare-for-theological-breakthrough.aspx

PLIGHT OF IRAQI CHRISTIANS -                                        JULY 2014


The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has urged social media users to show their concern for Iraqi Christians by adopting the hashtag #WeAreN. He tweeted on Wednesday: "Share solidarity of prayer and love with victims of terrible suffering in Iraq, especially threatened Christians of Mosul. #WeAreN." Mentions that five Iraqi Eastern Churches are organising a demonstration this Saturday (26 July) in front of the Houses of Parliament to express their solidarity with Christians in Iraq and draw attention to their plight.

For more information about the plight of Iraqi Christians see report in "The Tablet" at link below:


ST MELLITUS RETURNS TO ROME                           June 2014

In 601 AD, Pope Gregory sent a band of missionaries from his monastery in Rome, led by Mellitus, the Abbott of the monastery of San Gregorio, to help the recently commissioned Augustine in his mission to the east Saxons. Mellitus was soon to be Bishop of London, founded what later became St Paul's Cathedral and later became the third Archbishop of Canterbury.

In the context of developing relationships between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic church, based around the Archbishop of Canterbury's developing relationship with Pope Francis, in June 2014, a group of ordinands from the recently formed Anglican College named after Mellitus made a return visit. In a trip planned in conjunction with the Anglican Centre in Rome and its Director, Archbishop David Moxon, twenty students and staff from St Mellitus College visited Rome, staying in the very monastery from which Mellitus was sent, exploring its Christian history, and meeting with various representatives of the Roman Catholic church, including Fr Luigi Gioia from the Pontifical University of San Anselmo, Fr Peter Hughes, Abbott of San Gregorio monastery, and Sr Therese Magdala of the Sisters of Charity.

This was a ground-breaking way of building links between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.

Father Peter Hughes, Abbott of San Gregorio commented: "I was delighted with the group's positive response to the experience and the sense of grounding discovered in returning to the monastery of Augustine and Mellitus. It was right and appropriate that they should have all felt at home here! I hope that we can build on this creative and important initiative."

Archbishop David Moxon said: "We were delighted to have the students here and to get to know them. They were intelligent, aware and very engaged. It was a privilege and a joy to work with such talented people."

Graham Tomlin, Dean of St Mellitus College said "this felt a historic moment - the spiritual descendants of Mellitus' mission to Britain paying a return visit to the place from which he was sent, and an expression of our debt to the bold missionary work of the church in Rome in centuries past."

Andy Rooney, one of the ordinands wrote: "It was an extraordinary trip, rewarding in so many different ways.  Being reminded, not least through the tombs of SS Peter and Paul, that our faith is not a disconnected spiritualism but an incarnational faith rooted in particular people in a particular place and time.  Approaching the Lord's table with Christians from around the world through liturgy whose words we didn't understand but whose meaning was palpably the same worship of the same Christ.  Meeting those working from either side of the divide for reconciliation between the Anglican and Roman communions. "


July 2014

Archbishop Justin has written to ecumenical partners about the General Synod's decision to allow women to become bishops, emphasising that churches "need each other".

In his letter he emphasises that of the five principles declared by the House of Bishops principles 3 and 4 have particular ecumenical relevance. These read as follows:

3. Since it continues to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and those provinces of the Anglican Communion which continue to ordain only men as priests and bishops, the Church of England acknowledges that its own clear decision on ministry and gender is set within a broader process of discernment within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God;

4. Since those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to enabling them to flourish within its life and structures

In his conclusion Archbishop Justin says:

"Finally, it is clear to me that whilst our theological dialogue will face new challenges, there is nonetheless so much troubling our world today that our common witness to the Gospel is of more importance than ever. There is conflict in many regions of the world, acute poverty, unemployment and an influx of oppressed people driven away from their own countries and seeking refuge elsewhere. We need each other, as we, as churches empowered by the Holy Spirit, rise to the challenge and proclaim the good news of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and strive for closer fellowship and greater unity."

The whole letter can be read at the Archbishop's website at:

The Anglican - Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum

Deep Concern about Christian Communities in Syria

Bishop Geoffrey Rowell and Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Church in the UK and Republic of Ireland, the co chairs of the Anglican Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum, have sent a message of deep concern to the Christian leaders of Syria.

They said in the letter to HH Catholicos Karekin,  HH Catholicos Aram, HH Patriarch Aphrem 'we are sending this message of deep concern, knowing your responsibility for these historic Christian communities, and to assure you of our prayers for you, your people, and all who suffer, and who have been displaced and made homeless at this time. We stand in Christian solidarity with you, and hold before God the suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters, praying that God will sustain and strengthen you and give all who suffer the blessing of His peace and the strength to endure. We greet you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and assure you of our prayers for your ministry and for your people.'

The letter was sent following a meeting of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum in England on July 1st at Lambeth Palace, in London, to which members of the Forum were welcomed by Bishop Nigel Stock, on behalf of the Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. Bishop Nigel serves as Bishop at Lambeth and has, along with other responsibilities, the oversight of the ecumenical relations of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A major part of the agenda of this meeting was receiving an update on recent developments in the Middle East, particularly the tragic conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Members of the Forum were deeply saddened to hear in more immediate and personal detail, what is already known from news reports, of the devastating consequences for the Christian communities of Mosul and elsewhere of the recent seizure of territory by Islamic jihadists - acts of terror, the destruction of churches, and the expulsion of the Christian population from villages and districts where they had lived in peace for centuries. They were also told of similar outrages elsewhere in Syria.

This meeting was also a valuable opportunity for members of the Forum to share with Bishop Nigel its work over the years in sharing common concerns, exchange of news from the churches, and keeping open important channels of communication between the Church of England and the Oriental Orthodox Churches in England. It is part of long years of close relationship between Anglicans and Christians of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

NEW ARCHBISHOP OF SWEDEN:                             June 2014

The Bishop of Newcastle takes greetings from the  Archbishop of Canterbury

The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Martin Wharton attended the inauguration service of Archbishop Dr Antje Jackelén in the Cathedral of Uppsala on Sunday 15 June.

Jackelén, born 4 June 1955 in Germany, is the new Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden. She was ordained in the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden in 1980 and became Doctor of Theology at Lund University in 1999. In October 2013, she was elected archbishop and primate of the Church of Sweden, thus making her Sweden's first female archbishop.

The Archbishop said in her sermon in the Cathedral of Uppsala: "When Nathan Söderblom became Archbishop of the Church of Sweden a hundred years ago, in the autumn of 1914 when the First World War had just begun, he realised that Christians from different countries and churches needed to talk to one another and work together for peace and the good of the world. The powerful nationalism of the early 20th Century put a spoke in the wheel of his peace initiatives. But he did set in motion cooperation between the churches, ecumenism: "God's orchestra plays music of many parts", as he put it."


On Tuesday 1 July 2014 the Methodist  Conference received the Anglican Methodist Covenant Joint Implementation Commission report  Challenge of the Covenant: Uniting in Mission and Holiness approving all three of its major recommendations.

A report on the Methodist Church website reports that the Conference directed that proposals for a form of Methodist episcopal ministry (such as a "president bishop" ) be developed for consideration. It also urged local churches, circuits and districts to make the most of what Anglican and Methodist can already do together in joint worship and in serving their communities. One example of this is the creation of "Covenanted Partnerships in Extended Areas" which allow an increase in shared ministry in local areas.

"Covenanted Partnerships in Extended Areas are a very welcome progression for us in Cumbria", said the Revd Richard Teal, Chair of the Cumbria Methodist District. "We hope the whole of the county will become one because they enable   covenant partners to share ministry and develop strategies across the area. They also allow Methodist ministers to conduct baptisms and preside at holy communion in Anglican churches and Anglican clergy to do the same in Methodist churches."

The Church of England is expected to consider Challenge of the Covenant at the next General Synod meeting taking place after the York session of 11-15 July. The report specifically challenges the C of E to resolve the issues that stand in the way of interchangeability of the ordained ministries of the two Churches.

More details can be read at:

A Quick Guide to the report can be downloaded from the link below.

The whole Report can be viewed at the home page of the Anglican - Methodist Covenant Website (see link below):

The report can be downloaded as a single document or by chapters.


Anglican and Roman Catholic First XIs will face each other in Canterbury on Friday 19 September in a historic match to raise funds for the Global Freedom Network, the joint Anglican - Roman Catholic anti-trafficking initiative launched in March.

Entrance will be free but there will be a bucket collection during the match, which will be followed by a gala dinner to raise further funds.

The match will mark the culmination of the St Peter's Cricket Club "Tour of Light" initiative, and follows a challenge laid down by the club's honorary president Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi to Archbishop Justin Welby.

Archbishop Justin said: "I was delighted to meet members of the St Peter's Cricket Club during a recent visit to Rome, and am greatly looking forward to welcoming them to Canterbury in September for what will be an historic occasion. I would like to express particular thanks to Kent County Cricket Club for so generously offering the use of their ground, and to those who are working hard to ensure the St Peter's team enjoy a memorable tour. I also pray that the match will draw attention to the very serious problem of modern slavery and human trafficking, which our two churches are working closely together to combat through the work of the Global Freedom Network."

For more details about the St Peter's Cricket Club (including the team playing on 19 September) see the website of the Pontifical Council for Culture


Archbishop Justin Welby met Pope Francis in  Rome on Monday  16 June. In their second meeting within eighteen months the church leaders recommitted themselves resolutely to the struggle against human trafficking and modern slavery. This follows their decision to support the foundation a new faith based global freedom network. They both endorsed this network as a crucial force in the struggle to rid the world of a global evil.

Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin also spoke about areas in conflict and how churches around the world are called by Christ, our reconciler, to act as peacemakers. They described their Christian passion for peacemaking in places torn apart by war, and pledged their ongoing commitment to act as agents of reconciliation and restorative justice.

The Pope and Archbishop also spoke of their appreciation of the recent work of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) following its meeting in South Africa. The burdens of division continue but the opportunities for new collaboration and much deeper understanding between the two world communions are compelling and timely.

Addressing Pope Francis Archbishop Justin paid tribute to ecumenical conversations over the last 50 years:

"As we remember the precious spiritual heritage that is common to us both. I pray for the continuing work of the members of the official groups who conduct our ecumenical conversations. Remembering always the desire of the Our Lord that "all may be one", we remain deeply committed to this work. I realise that there are matters of deep significance that separate us. Yet looking back, we see that the Grace of God has led so much to happen. In November this year it will be 50 years since the decree on ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, was promulged by your blessed Pope Paul VI, and it right that I should pay tribute to the work of the Holy See through the PCPCU through these fifty years towards the goal of full visible unity. In 2016 we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Archbishop Ramsey's historic visit, commemorated in the ring given to him by Pope Paul VI."

Archbishop Justin visited the Anglican Centre in the city to hear about a new international Anglican Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission website at the time of its launch. The Archbishop also saw a church-based refugee project, visited the Sant'Egidio community mission and heard about poverty projects. He met members of the international ecumenical Catholic foundation Chemin Neuf four of whose members took up residence at Lambeth Palace earlier this year, and visited the Monastery of San Gregorio al Celio for ecumenical vespers.

Archbishop Justin also met with the Vatican cricket team in Rome ahead of a planned match between Anglican and Roman Catholic teams to raise awareness of joint efforts to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. For further details about the match see latest news item above.

For more details of the visit and the address go to the following links on the Archbishop of Canterbury's website:


CCU was sorry to learn of the death of Bishop John Satterthwaite, who from 1980 to 1993 was the first Bishop of the new diocesan see of Gibraltar in Europe. In his previous roles as Bishop of Fulham and as General Secretary of the Church of England's Council for Foreign Relations (1955-1970), he played a major part in strengthening his church's relations with those of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions and also in establishing a strong Anglican presence in continental Europe. He had a key role in organising the historic visit that Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher made to Pope John XXIII in 1960. Soon afterwards he arranged for the attendance of official Anglican observers to the Second Vatican Council and himself attended part of the Council's sessions. As Secretary of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Council for Roman Catholic Relations he helped to establish the ecumenical programme that has in more recent times been carried out by the English Anglican-Roman Catholic Committee (English ARC). He befriended, on behalf of the C of E, émigré Christian communities in London and helped to build up the Anglican-German Christian Fellowship and the Anglican- Eastern Orthodox Churches Association.


The Council for Christian Unity met on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 June for its annual residential meeting at Launde Abbey, the retreat centre for the dioceses of Leicester and Peterborough. The Council, chaired by Bishop Donald Allister, addressed a number of key areas of the Church of England's ecumenical work including its response to the final report of the Joint Implementation Commission for the Anglican-Methodist Covenant The Challenge of the Covenant. Members of the Council received a presentation on research currently in progress regarding the growing presence of Christians from ethnic minorities in England, and also discussed recent documents from the World Council of Churches.


Archbishop Justin has sent a letter of greeting to the Third Receptive Ecumenism conference  which is taking place at Fairfield University, USA from Monday 9 to Thursday 12 June. In a warmly supportive communication he recognises that "Receptive Ecumenism seeks to take seriously the very significant challenges facing formal, theologically-based ecumenism in contemporary context and seeks to make a valuable contribution on our journey towards greater unity and closer fellowship"  His prayer is that this Conference: "will enable bonds of friendship to be strengthened., provide good conversations and dialogue, that we may understand one another's traditions better and that we may mature in faith."

The Receptive Ecumenism  Conference is being organised by the Centre for Catholic Studies at  Fairfield and the Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University U.K. and co-sponsored by the Anglican Communion and other ecumenical partners. Building on previous gatherings in Durham in 2006 and Ushaw in 2009 the theme will be "Receptive Ecumenism in International Perspective: Contextual Ecclesial Learning". It will press the issue of Receptive Ecumenism in the more complex contexts of global Christian reality and in relation to some of the sharpest issues providing causes of tension and division within and between the traditions.

To read the full letter of greeting click here.


An inspection report from the Churches' Quality in Formation Panel has awarded confidence to the Queen's Foundation, Birmingham, praising the college as 'vibrant learning institution' with 'a very gifted staff team'. The first overall strength of the college highlighted in the report is the 'ecumenical nature' of Queen's: 'By preparing for both Anglican and Methodist ministries it gives all its students a natural awareness of ecumenical possibilities for the future.'

The full report is available at:,-birmingham.aspx


The Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission is in its third phase of theological dialogue. From 12 to 20 May it met at the Vuleka Centre, Botha's Hill, Durban, the first time in its 40 year history that ARCIC has met in Africa.

Under its mandate for this third phase of work the Commission explored the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal church come to discern right ethical teaching.

Commission members visited the Hillcrest Aids Centre, and a project in Nazareth, Pinetown run by the Diakonia Council of Churches, which works for social justice and community development with the poorest people.

A communiqué from the meeting can be read at the Anglican Communion website at the link below:é-from-the-meeting-of-arcic-iii-in-durban.aspx


The group responsible for carrying forward official Conversations between the Church of England and the United Reformed Church held its fifth meeting on Monday, 2 June, at Church House, Westminster. The focus of the meeting was on lay and ordained ministry in the two Churches, and how we can learn from one another and grow closer together as we face common challenges. The group heard presentations from the Revd Ruth Whitehead, Convenor of the Ministries Group for the United Reformed Church, and the Ven. Julian Hubbard, Director of the Church of England's Ministry Division, and engaged in a lively discussion with them.

The group is due to finish its work in 2015. It was appointed by the two Churches following the publication of the 2011 report, Healing the Past, Building the Future.

To read the "Healing the Past, Building the Future" report click here


The Reuilly Contact Group met for its ninth session in Leicester from Monday 19 to Wednesday 21 May, celebrating twelve years since the signing of the Reuilly Common Statement that brought together British and Irish Anglican Churches with Protestant Churches in France. The gathering had the theme of Building Christian Confidence, with a programme facilitated by the St Philip's Centre that included visits to places of worship of other faiths.

The Group found that in parts of the city where the Christian population of parishes was a small minority, the Church of England had developed new ways of Christian witness.  Far from their confidence being undermined by this situation, Christians were serving and witnessing with joyful humility to the Risen Christ. This provided a fruitful area for the group's reflections on common challenges during their discussions together.

To read the communiqué click here