Faith and Order Commission

The Faith and Order Commission of the General Synod

came into being in 2010 and replaced the Faith and Order Advisory Group and the Doctrine Commission.

The former House of Bishops Theological Group became an Episcopal Reference Group within the Commission.

The Commission (FAOC) has fifteen members and an episcopal chair (currently the Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth). The membership is as follows:

Membership of the Faith and Order Commission

Episcopal members

The Right Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry (Chair)

The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham

The Right Revd Donald Allister, Bishop of Peterborough

The Right Revd Dr Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester

The Right Revd Michael Ipgrave, Bishop of Lichfield

The Right Revd Anne Hollinghurst, Bishop of Aston

Non - episcopal members

Professor Nicholas Adams

The Revd Canon Professor Loveday Alexander

The Revd Dr Andrew Atherstone

Professor Mike Higton

Dr Joshua Hordern

The Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy

The Revd Dr Emma Ineson

The Revd Thomas Seville CR

Secretary of the Commission

The Revd Canon Dr Jeremy Worthen

Two further appointments to the Commission are to follow.

FAOC advises the House of Bishops, the General Synod and the Council for Christian Unity on ecclesiological and ecumenical matters and acts as a theological resource for the Church of England as a whole.


In 2014 the General Synod of the Church of England and the Methodist Conference mandated their respective faith and order bodies to bring forward proposals that would enable the interchangeability of ministries in the two churches. Those proposals are set out in a joint report from the Faith and Order Commission of the Church of England and the Faith and Order Committee of the Methodist Church. The report, entitled Mission and Ministry in Covenant, is available here. It sets out both how the Methodist Church might receive the historic episcopate, and how the Church of England might receive the ministry of presbyters already ordained in the Methodist Church. Both steps would follow on from the two churches entering into a new relationship of full communion, after a period of some 200 years of formal separation.

A joint drafting group was set up by the faith and order bodies of the two churches to prepare the text of the report. a list of members is available here.


FAOC's report on Communion and Disagreement was published in June 2016 and circulated to members of General Synod as a GS Misc, to support the process of shared conversations in the Church of England and the discussion and discernment that continue beyond it. It was approved for publication and commended for study by the House of Bishops. To read the report click here.

Members of the drafting group for Communion and Disagreement have also made available five supporting 'dialogue' papers. As the Chair of FAOC explains in his Preface to the papers, they are being made available 'for those who might like to follow up particular aspects of it or find out more about some of the background and related issues. Unlike the report, however, the content of these supporting papers has not been approved by the Commission and does not come with its authority.'  To read the supporting papers click here


The Gospel, Sexual Abuse and the Church: A Theological Resource for the Local Church was released by Church House Publishing in June 2016. Produced by the Faith and Order Commission in response to a request from the lead bishop for safeguarding, it was approved for publication and commended for study by the House of Bishops. To access an electronic copy of the report, click here. For information about ordering printed copies, click here for a link to the Church House Publishing website.


On 21 January 2015 FAOC published a new report titled Senior Church Leadership. To read click here or open in the resources box on the right hand side of the page.


In 2014 FAOC published a document setting forth the criteria by which the Church of England recognises the ministry of those whose orders are of churches with the historic  episcopate and with which the Church of England is not in communion.

To read the document click on the link here.


In 2013 FAOC published its report Men and Women in Marriage To read the report follow the link on the right.


FAOC published its report The Journey of Christian Initiation in 2011. Follow the link on the right for more information.