Methodists to continue exploring a relationship of communion with Anglicans

covenantThe Methodist Conference, meeting in Nottingham until July 5, has welcomed the Mission and Ministry in Covenant joint report by the Methodist Church and the Church of England. The report outlines proposals for bringing the Methodist Church and the Church of England into communion with each other.  

If accepted the proposals would enable interchangeability between presbyteral ministries and see increased missional opportunities as the two churches work closer together to support the communities they serve.

The report was positively received by representatives at the annual Methodist Conference, the governing body of the Methodist Church which is currently meeting in Nottingham. The Church’s Faith and Order Committee, with the Church of England’s Faith and Order Commission, will now undertake further work on the issues detailed in the report and bring its response back to the Conference in 2019 for consideration.

The joint report has already been welcomed by the Church of England at its General Synod in February 2018 and the Bishop of Carlisle and the Bishop of Aston were invited to address the Methodist Conference before it received an update on the work, which included responses from the Church’s ecumenical partners. 

The discussion gave members of the Conference an opportunity to consider the Mission and Ministry in Covenant report and the impact of its proposals, including what difference the proposals could make and whether they are consistent with Methodist theology. The Conference asked for further work to be done and for a further report to be brought to the 2019 Conference.

The Revd Canon Gareth J Powell, Secretary of the Conference, commented: “These proposals seek to articulate common ground and to honour the differences between our Churches. This is not about each partner becoming more like the other but about discovering ways of being in a closer relationship with integrity, grace and generosity.

“The path towards reconciliation is of great significance to all within our Churches and there are many steps that will be required to be undertaken by both Churches as we continue on this process of discernment.”

The full Faith and Order Committee Report can be found here.