27 June 2017
Publication of Mission and Ministry in Covenant
The Methodist Church in Britain and the Church of England have today published a joint report called Mission and Ministry in Covenant. It sets out proposals which, if accepted, will enable a new depth of communion between the two churches and would make presbyters from each church eligible to serve in the other. Together these developments will enhance the churches' common mission to the glory of God.
The proposals would also see the Methodist Church recognise the office of a President-bishop as expressing in a personal form the Conference's ministry of oversight.
They represent a major step of growth in the relationship between the two churches, building on the theological convergence encapsulated in An Anglican-Methodist Covenant, signed in 2003, and the work of the Covenant's Joint Implementation Commission from 2003-2014.
The Reverend Gareth Powell, the Secretary of the Methodist Conference said: "Methodists and Anglicans urgently need a set of proposals to enable the two churches to move towards fuller communion, sharing more profoundly in mission and ministry. The model of a President-bishop, in these proposals, upholding as it does the centrality of the Conference, is a deeply Methodist way for John Wesley's people to engage at every level with the Church of England in mutual planning for pastoral oversight and Christian mission."
The Bishop of Coventry, Chair of the Church of England's Faith and Order Commission, said: 'I am grateful to the joint working group for their careful but imaginative work on bringing forward a workable plan for enabling interchangeability of priestly ministry in our two churches. The solution is built on the centrality of the historic episcopate and the bishop as minister of ordination. The scheme as proposed will enable dioceses, districts and local churches to engage in creative pastoral planning for the good of the mission of God in this country.'
The report has now been released for discussion in the Methodist Conference and General Synod.