Letter from the President
Anglicans and Methodists move toward a deeper ecumenical relationship
In May 2002 the General Synod of the Anglican Church passed a resolution seeking to open up a conversation on the unity of the church with the Methodist Church. This followed significant developments in the United Kingdom where a covenant was signed between the Church of England and the Methodist Church in 2003.
The New Zealand Methodist Conference responded warmly to this initiative and a joint working group was formed. A number of meetings were held and the group reported back to the General Synod and the Conference in 2004.
The report outlined the history of relationships between our two churches, what we share in common and the considerable progress made in recent years on our ecumenical journey. It identified areas for further exploration. Both General Synod and Conference endorsed the report and asked for the dialogue to continue.
Part of the report proposed that local parishes jointly celebrate liturgically the common heritage that we share in the ministries of John and Charles Wesley. This suggestion now comes with the endorsement of both of our churches and could take place on the day Anglicans commemorate the Wesleys, 3rd March, or when Methodists celebrate Aldersgate Sunday, the closest to 24th May, or another time mutually convenient to local parishes in 2005.
The joint work group has prepared worship resources which can be downloaded for parishes to use in joint celebrations. I commend this suggestion to local parishes. Our commitment to the visible unity of the church continues to be a priority. I encourage you to pray together that God will show us a way forward into the future.