Bishops Robert and David are taking part in a historic pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome to mark the 50th anniversary of the Anglican Centre in the Italian capital.

Together with leaders of the world-wide Anglican church they will arrive in Rome over the next few days to join in the celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of the Anglican Centre in Rome. Whilst there, they will continue their dialogue with their Roman Catholic counterparts as members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), and are expected to have a formal audience with Pope Francis.

Together with their episcopal colleagues who have been meeting in Canterbury since 30 September, they will take part in a Symposium on Wednesday 5 October at the Pontifical Gregorian University on current relations between the two traditions and where issues remain unresolved. They will also be present at the evening service that day at San Gregorio al Celio in Rome. The service will be jointly led by Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby will give an address.  This service will combine elements of Anglican Evensong and Catholic Vespers. The Sistine Chapel Choir will be joined by the choir of Canterbury Cathedral as they unite in common worship.

Bishop David who is co-chair of International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM), says there has been "extraordinary progress" between the two churches in the last 50 years. "The common faith we have discovered through our years of dialogue now compels us to act together, sharing in Christ's mission in the world," he said.

A spokesman from Lambeth Palace told the news service Christian Today that the event "recognised Catholics and Anglicans can do a lot together locally in terms of mission".

The Anglican Centre in Rome was established in 1966 after a meeting between Archbishop Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI where the Pope gave Ramsey his papal ring. Archbishop Justin will wear the same ring during the visit.The Director of the Anglican centre, Archbishop David Moxon, has commented that the celebration is a "new chapter in the history of the Christian Church".

For regular updates and information check out Bishop Robert’s blog:   and

Bishop David’s blog: and