Steps Forward for Anglican-Methodist Relations

 — Dec. 14, 200714 déc. 2007

[ACNS 4351 • December 14, 2007] A consultation has been held in London to review the progress of the report of the Anglican – Methodist International Commission “Sharing in the Apostolic Communion,” which was received by the World Methodist Council in 1996 and the Lambeth Conference in 1998. The meeting was chaired by the Revd Professor Robert Gribben, Chair of the Standing Committee for Ecumenics and Dialogues of the World Methodist Council, and Bishop Harold Miller, Bishop of Down and Dromore in the Church of Ireland, nominated by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General on behalf of the Anglican Communion. Five members were nominated by each church for the purpose of this review. The meeting took place from 30 October to 1 November 2007 at the historic Wesley’s Chapel.

The consultation noted the fruits of the international dialogue in two recent Covenants in Britain and Ireland, an agreement for Interim Eucharistic Sharing between the Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church in the USA and conversations in other parts of the world. Recommendations are now being considered by the World Methodist Council’s Standing Committee and the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council to set up an Anglican – Methodist Commission for Unity in Mission (AMICUM) with the principal task of advancing Anglican – Methodist unity, monitoring dialogues and relationships between the two churches, gathering information and insights, reviewing and evaluating agreements and theological statements, and then sharing the best practice learned.

The Commission intends to be a resource for ecumenical conversations around the world, and in all possible ways to encourage closer relationships between Anglican, Methodist and United and Uniting churches related to them. A detailed set of guidelines or terms of reference has been set out for the work of the Commission, addressing specific, practical issues, such as ways of defining ‘membership’, the transferability of ‘members’ between the churches, aspects of eucharistic sharing, the use of common liturgical rites, and steps towards a common Ministry. It is proposed that there be ecumenical consultants to the Commission, particularly from the (Roman Catholic) Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation. It is hoped that the first meeting might be held late in 2008.

The full report of the consultation can be found here:

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