Anglican Methodist Covenant 2003

The Anglican Methodist Covenant takes its place amongst our other ecumenical relationships, especially with the United Reformed Church. Organisationally and spiritually, the Methodist Church can work with a variety of partners at the same time, without diminishing any.

Click on the link for the Covenant, between the Methodist Church and the Church of England, with its Affirmations and Commitments.

For the support of local ecumenism the Methodist Church and the Church of England have established a Methodist-Anglican Panel for Unity in Mission (MAPUM). The two denominations shall each appoint a co-chair. The United Reformed Church and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales are invited to appoint an ecumenical participant to the Panel. The Methodist membership covers England, Scotland and Wales.

Provisions relating to the sharing of worship, including presidency at the Eucharist, are set out in 'Applying Canon B43 in the context of the Anglican/Methodist Covenant' - which is Appendix A of 'In the Spirit of the Covenant'. Permission can be given by the Bishop for a Church of England priest to preside at Holy Communion in a Methodist Church, and for a service of Holy Communion to be presided over by a Methodist Minister in a Church of England church.

Anglican and Methodist churches can enter into an LEP and thereby in addition draw on the provisions of Canon B44 with a more explicit sharing of Eucharistic presidency, baptism and confirmation. Standardised procedures have been agreed to simplify the process - set out in the booklet 'Local Covenant Partnerships', available from the Church of England's Council for Christian Unity.

The Covenant currently makes provision for 'shared ministry', not 'interchangeability'.

Difficulties remain over the requirement for Episcopal Confirmation, especially for those entering Reader or Ordained Ministry.

There is a website giving information about practical developments:

Some Dioceses and Districts have drawn up documents setting out in more detail how the covenant is to be lived out in their area.

Various joint meetings have been set up - involving District and Diocesan Synods; Staff members; Bishop's Council and District Policy Committee; Circuit Superintendents and Area/ Rural Deans - maybe for the whole Diocese/District/County or in smaller groupings. Sometimes these meetings have been one-offs or repeated.
Getting expectations clear in advance is important especially if the meeting is to be repeated. Is the intention to 'develop relationships' or 'address tasks'? Answering that question will help shape the agenda and style of the occasion.

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