08 July 2019
The Methodist Church has welcomed a vote by the Church of England’s Synod backing further steps towards bringing the two churches into Communion with each other through the interchangeability of ministers.
The Faith and Order bodies of the two churches will now work on drafting a series of texts, including a formal declaration of a new relationship of communion between the two churches. The progress will be reported back to the Methodist Conference and the Church of England in the next quinquennium along with a recommendation from the House of Bishops as to the next steps. This will happen as soon as possible but before 2025.
Ruth Gee, Assistant Secretary of the Conference and Connexional Ecumenical Officer who was at the debate said: “We are pleased that significant work will continue and that there was much affirmation of the missional imperative of the covenant from members of the Synod. Though we had hoped that the Synod would be willing to move to legislation, we understand the reasons why some members of the Synod felt it important to give this vital matter more consideration. We were heartened by the affirmative comments of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the debate and the overwhelming vote in favour of the proposals. Our journey continues as we pray and work together for the sake of the church and the world and in response to the prayer of Jesus that we might be one”.
Speaking at General Synod at the weekend as the new Methodist ecumenical representative, Susan Howdle said: “We have heard something of the rich meaning of Covenant … I do still retain a sense of excitement and hope at the possibilities which could lie ahead. I want to assure you on behalf of the Methodist Church that we remain committed to our worshipping, witnessing and working together.”