03 June 2002
Church leaders sign historic document
The presidents of Churches Together in England: the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey; the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor; the Rev Tony Burnham, Moderator of the Free Churches Group (which includes the Methodist Church) and the Rev Esme Beswick, representing the smaller churches, signed the following document yesterday, in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen in the Vicars Hall, Windsor Castle:
"We believe in the Triune God: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because we confess "one, holy, catholic and apostolic church" our paramount ecumenical task is to show forth this unity, which is always a gift of God. Jesus Christ revealed to us on the cross his love and the mystery of reconciliation; as his followers, we intend to do our utmost to overcome the problems and obstacles that still divide the churches.
"We rejoice that the Churches in England are steadily growing closer in mutual trust and respect. As Presidents of Churches Together in England we have in common many joys and hopes, and we have much to offer and to receive from one another in the rich diversity of our traditions.
"We believe that in our common pilgrimage we are being led by the Holy Spirit, and that God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, is calling us to a deeper unity and to a greater sharing in our mission in his world.
"We therefore commit ourselves to persevere in seeking a common understanding of Christ's message of salvation in the Gospel; in the power of the Holy Spirit, to work towards the visible unity of the Church of Jesus Christ in the one faith, expressed in common discipleship, worship, witness and service.
- to develop our mutual friendship and support,
- to pray, study and work together for the unity and mission of the Church,
- to consult together on issues affecting the common good,
- to promote justice, integrity and peace,
- to speak with one voice to give common witness to Jesus Christ, as far as we are able.
"We pray God to lead us, with all our sisters and brothers in Christ, towards communion in faith, life and witness; so that, united in one body by the one Spirit, we may together witness to the perfect unity of his love."