Methodist President and Vice-President affirm commitment to a covenant relationship with the Church of England

The President and the Vice-President of the Methodist Conferenceaddressed the Church of England's General Synod this morning,expressing the Methodist Church's commitment to a covenantrelationship with the Church of England and answering questionsfrom synod members in a discussion following their address.

Revd David Gamble and Dr Richard Vautrey said that the Covenantrelationship was a "serious, deeply committed relationship" and"not an irrelevant extra". They said that responses to thechallenges of the Covenant should be driven by a desire formission.

Revd David Gamble said: "Within God's overwhelming graciouscovenant relationship with us and with our churches, we are in acovenant with each other. For better for worse, for richer forpoorer, but always for the gospel."

Dr Richard Vautrey talked about the work that the two Churches dotogether, referring to the Churches' joint action on climate changeand support for the Citizens for Sanctuary campaign.

"We can and do work together on issues of social justice, on issuesthat we both know God calls on us to challenge our society and ourworld," said Dr Vautrey. "There is more that we could and should bedoing together. David and I have just come back from a visit toIsrael/Palestine. There can be few other places in the world wherethe cries for justice and peace strike deeper in to the heart. Weknow that Archbishop Rowan is shortly to visit Israel, and perhapson his return we should explore ways that we could jointly work tohelp Methodists and Anglicans to respond to the increasinglydesperate cries for help coming from the Holy Land."

Revd David Gamble posed the question of how the two Churches couldrespond to the challenges of the 21st century; a society ofdifferent faiths, cultures and histories.

"Methodists approach the Covenant with the Church of England in thespirituality of the Covenant prayer," said Revd David Gamble. "Sowhen we say to God 'let me have all things let me have nothing', wesay it by extension to our partners in the Church of England aswell. We are prepared to go out of existence not because we aredeclining or failing in mission, but for the sake of mission. Inother words we are prepared to be changed and even to cease havinga separate existence as a Church if that will serve the needs ofthe Kingdom."

For the full text of the address click here.

Link to Citizens for Sanctuary campaign here.