Revised Code of Practice for new Ecumenical Legislation approved by General Synod
In what could be considered a landmark moment for the Church of England’s ecumenical relations, the recent February Sessions of the General Synod concluded the updating of the Church’s ecumenical legislation. Significant amendments to the Ecumenical Relations Measure had already come into force on 1 February; at the General Synod members formally enacted the new Canon B 43, which replaces the previous Canon’s B 43 and B 44 and, significantly, approved a new Ecumenical Code of Practice. This Code, which is normative for all office-holders in the Church of England, gives guidelines for applying the new legislation. It allows for greater flexibility in relationships, fresh possibilities for ecumenical practice and more opportunities for mission by churches in co-operation. One of the key new provisions is for bishops within their dioceses to designate churches as churches to which the legislation applies. Thus it is now possible to enable newer and minority churches without a national presence and associated structures to come into the Church of England’s framework for hospitality and partnership. The provisions for LEPs (Local Ecumenical Partnerships) have also been made applicable in a broader range of circumstances, wherever a ‘Local Ecumenical Co-operative Scheme’ is recognised. The hope is that the new Code of Practice will help support the excellent ecumenical work already taking place and be an encouragement for greater co-operation in mission.
You can read the Code of Practice here.
Read the Church of England Press Release.