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Bishop Robert in discussion with Dr Isabelle Hamley

The Revd Prebendary Dr Isabelle Hamley (above) took up a key position as Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Theology at the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity, and Theological Adviser to the House of Bishops last November.

In this discussion with Bishop Robert, Isabelle speaks of her French Protestant background, her journey into the Church of England, her work as Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and her experiences of Brexit.

The discussion addresses ecumenism, in which Bishop Robert describes Anglicanism as a “bridge church in Europe” engaging with Protestants and Catholics, and emphasizes our desire in the Diocese to deepen these fraternal relationships.

Dr Hamley asks what the ecumenical work of the Church of England needs to look like today, in the context of both the Pandemic and post-Brexit. 

She identifies two tasks:

The first is to articulate the theological and spiritual rationale for our ecumenical work.

“Our Christian faith calls us to engage and to bridge gaps and not to widen them. I would like to see the Church articulating that quite powerfully.   Whatever the political relationship we have, as Christians we are members of the same body, and as fellow human beings we have a duty to reach out to one another,” Isabelle says.

The second is practically important, and to look at how we engage ecumenically using instruments like the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Conference of European Churches (CEC) in the post-Brexit world, to which Isabelle adds:

“There are bilateral relationships with other Churches … Old Catholics, Meissen with German Protestants, and Reuilly with French Protestants. How do we show the potential of working together?”

You can watch the full interview here.

Story:  Damian Thwaites  

Video:  Amber Jackson