Church leaders sign historic document

The presidents of Churches Together in England: the Archbishopof Canterbury, Dr George Carey; the Cardinal Archbishop ofWestminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor; the Rev Tony Burnham,Moderator of the Free Churches Group (which includes the MethodistChurch) and the Rev Esme Beswick, representing the smallerchurches, signed the following document yesterday, in the presenceof 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" ourparamount ecumenical task is to show forth this unity, which isalways a gift of God. Jesus Christ revealed to us on the cross hislove and the mystery of reconciliation; as his followers, we intendto do our utmost to overcome the problems and obstacles that stilldivide the churches.

"We rejoice that the Churches in England are steadily growingcloser in mutual trust and respect. As Presidents of ChurchesTogether in England we have in common many joys and hopes, and wehave much to offer and to receive from one another in the richdiversity of our traditions.

"We believe that in our common pilgrimage we are being led bythe Holy Spirit, and that God the Father, through our Lord JesusChrist, is calling us to a deeper unity and to a greater sharing inour mission in his world.

"We therefore commit ourselves to persevere in seeking a commonunderstanding of Christ's message of salvation in the Gospel; inthe power of the Holy Spirit, to work towards the visible unity ofthe Church of Jesus Christ in the one faith, expressed in commondiscipleship, worship, witness and service.

"We undertake

  • to develop our mutual friendship and support,
  • to pray, study and work together for the unity and mission ofthe 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 inChrist, towards communion in faith, life and witness; so that,united in one body by the one Spirit, we may together witness tothe perfect unity of his love."