Covenanted Churches in Wales

Commission of the Covenanted Churches

The Covenant was signed in 1975 (and the Commission formed in 1976) of 

  • the Church in Wales (Church in Wales) 
  • the Methodist Church
  • the Presbyterian Church in Wales (PCW)
  • the United Reformed Church (URC) 
  • some Baptist congregations (who subsequently formed the Covenanted Baptists)

In 1979 the Commission published 'The Principles on Visible Unity in Wales' but the
proposals for 'Ministry in a Uniting Church' in 1986 failed to gain acceptance.
Following this, various other developments were supported by the Commission, including 

  • the preparation of agreed liturgies for communion and baptism 
  • the development of new ecumenical congregations and churches (especially in areas of new housing in Cardiff East eg. St. Mellons and Pontprennau)

Growing co-operation led the Commission to sponsor proposals for an Ecumenical Bishop, to address issues of leadership and oversight. However, having been accepted by the Methodist Conference and URC Assembly they failed to gain acceptance by Governing Bodies of the Church in Wales and Presbyterian Church in Wales in 2002. This led to something of a crisis of confidence in the work and role of the Commission.

Further discussions led to the Trefecca Declaration of 2004, which established 

  • a new framework in which the Covenanted Churches would come within the auspices of Cytûn but with dedicated staff and resources 
  • a revised agenda, to address Faith & Order issues, support existing local partnerships, and encourage further chaplaincy developments 
  • a timetable within which this is to happen (to be reviewed in 2011) 
  • all this to be supported by annual meetings of church leaders

In a parallel development the Church in Wales agreed (in 2005) new ecumenical canons to enable a greater sharing in ministry and Eucharistic presidency (using liturgies approved by the Commission) in parishes and not just local ecumenical partnerships.

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