Churches launch website to promote Anglican-Methodist Covenant

The Church of England and The Methodist Church have launched awebsite detailing the work of the Anglican-Methodist Covenant. Thehistoric agreement, committing both churches to explore ways ofworking together, was signed in the presence of Her Majesty QueenElizabeth II on 1 November 2003.

The website - www.anglican-methodist.org.uk- contains resources for churches and individuals, stories ofsuccessful Covenant- inspired projects and material for joint actsof worship. It also provide quick links to compare the positions ofthe two churches on key topics such as marriage and alcohol, aswell as a diary section for upcoming events and the history of howthe Covenant came to be signed.

The website was created after it became apparent that Methodist andChurch of England churches were working together on local projectsthat were not being publicised to others. The Revd Peter Sulston,Co-ordinating Secretary for Unity in Mission for The MethodistChurch, said, 'as the Joint Implementation Commission has kept theimplementation of the Covenant under review it has been clear thatthere is more happening in the name of the Covenant than we wereaware of. Joint action on behalf of the whole of both churches iseasy to track, but we want to share the success stories of workbeing done by Dioceses and Districts, by Deaneries and Circuits andby individual Methodists and Anglicans. The website will inspireothers to try new things, and enable them to share what theylearn.'

The Church of England and The Methodist Church will also hold aseries of workshops in the first half of 2006 to promote local workbased on the Anglican-Methodist Covenant.

The workshops, with the theme 'Living God's Covenant' are designedboth to highlight the range of joint work already undertaken by thetwo churches, and to encourage Christians of both denominations totry new ways of working together. The workshops cost £12.50, whichincludes lunch.

The daylong workshops span England from Taunton to Newcastle, andeach will cover a range of topics relating to the vision for acovenant lifestyle, sharing God's mission and seizingopportunities. The workshops will also address how to overcomeobstacles, and how to create a shared participation in a covenantlifestyle.

The workshops will be led by John Cole, National Advisor for Unityin Mission for the Church of England, and Chris Sissons,Development Officer for Local Mission and Unity for the MethodistChurch. Members of the Joint Implementation Commission will alsotake part in each workshop.

Chris Sissons says that the theme of the day will be combininginspiration with practicalities. 'Inspiration involves exploringthe vision of what can be achieved as Christian disciples,' hesays, 'and then we need to see the practical possibilities in anyparticular situation and explore what is actually involved indealing with the obstacles.'

The Revd John Cole says that the workshops are as much aboutsharing information and experiences as anything else. 'There arealready a lot of exciting projects that have grown out of theCovenant within Dioceses and Districts, and in Deaneries andCircuits,' he says. 'People's experience and expertise are crucialto the success of the workshops, both in terms of local knowledgeand the insights people can bring. We want to learn as well as toencourage and inspire.'