The Church of England works with a wide range of other Churches in England and throughout the UK. We do this through:
Commit us to consultation and co-operation with Churches at different levels. The agreements are:
The Anglican - Methodist Covenant: signed on the 1st November 2003 in Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London in the presence of the Queen.
A report was written about the covenant in 2013. That report can be accessed on the distinct Anglican - Methodist Covenant website. The Report called on both Churches to:
- Consider the impact that the 10-year-old Anglican-Methodist Covenant had made on their relationship
- Rejoice in the progress that had been made; and
- Face together the challenges of mission and holiness.
A further report explaining difficulties with the covenant, The Challenge of the Covenant: Uniting in Mission and Holiness, was written in 2014, with both Churches supporting its recommendations.
Currently, our Churches are looking at proposals that would enable ministers from one church to serve also in the other. The proposals are set out in Mission and Ministry in Covenant.
The Fetter Lane Agreement: with the Moravian Church was signed on the 15th of May 1995 at the Fetter Lane Moravian Church in Chelsea, the site of their first church in England.
The Fetter Lane agreement was established through conversations between 1989 and 1995, in which the two churches achieved significant theological convergence. They acknowledged each other as churches with authentic ministries and sacraments; and identified ways in which they could commit themselves to grow together. It is hoped that the agreement between the Anglican Church in England and the Moravian Church in Great Britain and Ireland will serve as a basis for progress towards visible unity between Anglicans and Moravians in other countries where the traditions exist alongside each other.
The Columba Declaration: with the the Church of Scotland was signed on the 28th of November 2016, in a ceremony at Crown Court Church in central London.
The Declaration followed the publication of the report Growth in Communion, Partnership in Mission in 2016. It marks the mutual acknowledgement of each church as ‘belonging to the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ and truly participating in the apostolic ministry and mission of the whole people of God’. A Contact Group was established to help take forward the commitments that it contains, such as ‘to grow together in communion and strengthen our partnership in mission’.
Held at national level, especially to encourage mission and other initiatives. These include meetings with:
There are strong links with the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales through the English Anglican-Roman Catholic Committee (English ARC), which meets twice a year, and through joint meetings of bishops from both Churches. English ARC works to promote relations between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church in England at local and national levels.
In 2016 Co-Chairs Archbishop Bernard Longley and Bishop Tim Thornton supported the Lent Course from Church House Publishing for that year The Joy of the Gospel by Paula Gooder, which took inspiration from Pope Francis's Evangelii Gaudium. They both also wrote in the preface about the impact it would have on relationships between Catholics and Anglicans. This is available to purchase as a book and an ebook from Church House bookshop.
English ARC has also produced a leaflet called "Praying for Unity" to celebrate the unity already shared in Christ. You are welcome to print off copy or copies for your own reading or to circulate to others where you are.
The roots of the current Conversations go back to the 1990s, when a small group of Anglicans and Baptists met to talk about the issues, agreements and differences. In 2005 they produced a report, Pushing at the Boundaries of Unity: Anglicans and Baptists in Conversation, which was welcomed by the General Synod. A study guide on this report was produced to help local communities of Anglicans and Baptists talk, it can still be accessed on request.
A second report, Sharing the Faith at the Boundaries of Unity, was published in 2015, describing the groups work from 2012 to 2014. In his preface for the book the Rt Revd Donald Allister, Bishop of Peterborough stated that
"This book is quite unlike other reports of ecumenical conversations. In its conversational form it aims to give the reader a flavour of the cut and thrust of friendly debate, on the key theme of sharing the Christian faith today. How do we know what the faith is? How do we receive and grow in the faith? How do we celebrate the faith in worship? How do we share the faith beyond the walls of the church?”
Conversations with the United Reformed Church have led to two recent reports, one published in 2011 and another in 2015.
The first full report was Healing the Past, Building the Future. It prepared the way for a service of Reconciliation held on Tuesday 7th February 2012 in Westminster Abbey, attended by some 1,400 people of both churches as well as representatives of other churches in Britain.
A second report Unity, Identity and Mission: Report on conversations between the Church of England and the United Reformed Church 2012 – 2015 opened up further issues and made a number of recommendations for further work
We value our relationships with the whole range of Christian Churches in this country. We believe in the importance of diversity in Churches across the UK, and are actively involved in promoting greater understanding of and partnerships with Churches from all different cultures and contexts. We have growing links with Pentecostal and Orthodox Churches, which help us to learn and grow together. Church life in England is constantly changing and we aim to respond to that creatively and supportively.
Joining the wider conversations
An agreement or an establishing of two groups into a relationship.
Action to help the world become more like the place God intended it to be, and share the good news of Jesus
A ceremony or ritual by which divine grace is conveyed; a term used in the Church of England especially with respect to Baptism and the Eucharist.
Leading bishop with authority for a province. There are two provinces and therefore two Archbishops in England – Canterbury and York.
A senior ordained person who has oversight of clergy and lay people in a diocese.
Bringing together of people with different views in a peaceful resolution