Historic regional Anglican-Methodist Covenant signed in York Minster

Signing the Yorkregional Anglican-Methodist Covenant on Saturday 24 May2003 (left to right): Bishop Andrew Hefkie(Methodist District of the Cape of Good Hope); Mrs RosemaryHarrison, Synod Secretary, Methodist District of York & Hull;Dr David Hope, Archbishop of York; Mr Colin Sheppard, DiocesanSecretary, Diocese of York; Dr Stuart Burgess, Chairman, MethodistDistrict of York & Hull.

A Covenant of friendship and co-operation between the Diocese ofYork in the Church of England and two Methodist Districts wassigned in the course of a Service in York Minster at 11.00am onSaturday 24 May 2003.

The Chairman of the Methodist District of York & Hull, theRev Dr Stuart Burgess; the Deputy Chairman of the MethodistDistrict of Darlington, the Rev David Vonberg, and the Archbishopof York, the Most Rev Dr David Hope, signed the document during aservice to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of John Wesley,the Church of England minister who became the founder ofMethodism.

The Covenant applies to the territory of the Diocese of York,which extends from the Humber to the Tees and from the coast aboutas far west as the A1. It reflects the growing co-operation betweenthe two Christian traditions on the ground, in sharing buildings,personnel, and increasingly in working together for the communitiesserved by local churches.

The two national churches are approaching the point of agreeinga national Covenant, but this regional Covenant is withoutprecedent.

The Covenant itself (the full text follows below) stresses that"nothing in this Covenant will discourage or hinder the developmentof relations with other Churches or other Christiancommunities."

The Covenant strengthens the Christian community as a whole, asan expression of a shared commitment to overcoming barriers, and iterects none.

The Service also included the signing of a Partnership betweenthe Methodist District of York & Hull with the MethodistDistrict of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

Further information on the YorkCovenant

Text of the Covenant


In the name of God. Amen.

We believe that we are being led by the Holy Spirit and that Godthe Father through our Lord Jesus Christ is calling us to greatersharing in this mission to the world.

We recognise that we have in common many similarresponsibilities, joys, problems and hopes and that we have much tooffer and receive from each other in the rich diversity of ourgifts and traditions.

We affirm one another's Churches as true churches belonging tothe One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ and astruly participating in the apostolic mission of the whole people ofGod.

We have confidence that through friendship, commitment and trustwe will bring vision to our Churches.

We affirm what is already happening through local covenants andLocal Ecumenical Partnerships, and hope that the Ecumenical Canonsof the Church of England and Methodist Standing Orders can be usedto facilitate further the mission of the Church.

We commit ourselves to deepen our common life and mission andwelcome each other's members to participate in the fellowship,worship and mission of our Churches.

We further encourage forms of eucharistic sharing, includingeucharistic hospitality, in accordance with the rules of ourrespective Churches.

We realise that God is calling us to make this journey of faithand that numerous opportunities lie ahead. We believe that ourrespective structures, procedures and boundaries should always beopen to scrutiny and the possibility of modification as wepursue:

  • ways in which our councils and committees can work closelytogether
  • ways of addressing together some of the fundamental issuesfacing us at this time, e.g. rural and urban challenges,multi-faith issues and international problems
  • consultation about the deployment of clergy
  • consultation concerning buildings, resources and finance
  • joint training of Readers and Local Preachers
  • opportunities of training for lay and ordained.

We will review regularly the purposes and objectives of theCovenant.

It is our intention that nothing in this Covenant willdiscourage or hinder the development of relations with otherChurches or other Christian communities.

We invite circuits, deaneries and congregations to support thisCovenant to which we now commit ourselves in the name of theFather, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Rev Dr Stuart Burgess, Chairman, York & HullMethodist District
The Most Rev and Rt Hon Dr David Hope KCVO, Archbishop ofYork
The Rev David Vonberg, Deputy Chairman, Darlington MethodistDistrict
Mrs Rosemary Harrison, Synod Secretary, York & HullDistrict
Mr Colin Sheppard, Diocesan Secretary, Diocese of York
Mr Ian Scott, Synod Secretary, Darlington District
The Rev John Cole, Witness
The Revd Peter Sulston, Witness