The Church of England as a whole is committed to the search for full visible unity with other Christian Churches, and to the bodies at all levels which promote this search. The Council for Christian Unity is the principal channel of communication between the General Synod and other non-Anglican Churches and ecumenical bodies.
The following sections of the Diocese in Europe regulations set out further aspects of ecumenical provision on Continental Europe:
The Canons of the Church of England: B43 and 44
Diocese in Europe Constitution 1995: section26, 27
Diocesan Handbook 1998: section A1, 6, 7, B25
Canons B43 – ‘of relations with other Churches’ – and B44 – ‘of local ecumenical projects’ – encourage and make provision for sharing in worship with other Churches. These were promulged after the passing of the Church of England (Ecumenical Relations) Measure 1988, and are set out in The Ecumenical Relations Code of Practice (Church House Publishing: London, 1989) and its supplement (1997).
In November 1988 the General Synod welcomed the Meissen Common Statement calling for a closer relationship between the Church of England and the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD – the protestant Churches of Germany). An Act of Synod solemnly proclaimed the Meissen Declaration in January 1991. The provision allows for a much closer degree of fellowship (pulpit and altar fellowship, though not the interchange ability of ministries) and commits the signatory Churches to work for the goal of full visible unity of the Church. The member Churches of the EKD are Churches to which the Ecumenical Canons apply.
Fuller information is available from the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity, or the Westminster Church House Bookshop, in the form of the following papers:
German Evangelical Churches, CCU Occasional Paper 1
The Meissen Agreement, CCU Occasional Paper 2 (1993)
Anglo-German Links: an information pack
with the French Lutheran and Reformed Churches.
In 1999 the General Synod welcomed the Reuilly Common Statement calling for a closer relationship between the Anglican Churches of Britain & Ireland and the Elgise Réformée (a grouping of four French Protestant Churches, namely the Lutheran and Reformed Churches of France and the Lutheran and Reformed Churches of Alsace and Lorraine). The provision allows for a much closer degree of fellowship (though, not the interchangeability of ministers) and commits the signatory Churches to work for the goal of full visible unity of the Church. The Agreement was signed in Canterbury and Paris in the summer of 2001. Fuller information is available in the form of the following book:
Called to Witness and Service [the text of the Reuilly Statement and essays on Church, Eucharist, and Ministry] (London, 1999)
(Jumelages et Echanges) with the Roman Catholic Church in France
The Agreement is intended to help clergy and those laity who may be involved in twinnings and exchanges at local level and applies only to the situation in France and England, and was the result of the work of the French and English Anglican-Roman Catholic Committees. The notes in the text are to help those interested to understand the practices of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches in our two countries so that they may use all available opportunities to worship together while respecting those who discipline may differ from their own. Fuller information is available in the form of the following papers:
Twinnings and Exchanges (London, 1990)
Roger Greenacre: The Catholic Church in France: an introduction (London, 1996)
Secretariats in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg
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