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Church of Ireland and Methodist Covenant

 

COVENANT

between
The Methodist Church in Ireland
and
The Church of Ireland

We acknowledge one another's churches as belonging to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ and as truly participating in the apostolic mission of the whole people of God.

We acknowledge that in each of our churches the Word of God is authentically preached and the sacraments of baptism and holy communion authentically administered according to the command of Christ.

We acknowledge that both our churches share in a common faith set forth in the scriptures and summarised in the historic creeds.

We acknowledge our common inheritance in traditions of spirituality and liturgy. We rejoice in our diversity from which we may mutually benefit as we continue to develop varied forms of worship as appropriate to different situations.

We acknowledge each other's ordained ministries as given by God and as instruments of his grace by which our churches are served and built up. As pilgrims together, we look forward to the time when our ministries can be fully interchangeable and our churches visibly united.

We acknowledge that personal, collegial and communal oversight is embodied and practised in both churches, as each seeks to express continuity of apostolic life, mission and ministry.

Therefore:

We believe that God is calling our two churches to a fuller relationship in which we commit ourselves

  • to share a common life and mission;
  • to grow together so that unity may be visibly realized.

As the next steps towards that goal, we agree:

  • to pray for and with one another and to avail of every opportunity to worship together;
  • to welcome one another's members to receive Holy Communion and other ministries as appropriate;
  • to share resources in order to strengthen the mission of the Church;
  • to help our members to appreciate and draw out the gifts which each of our traditions has to offer the whole people of God;
  • to encourage the invitation of authorised persons of each church to minister in the other church, as far as the current disciplines of both churches permit;
  • to encourage united Methodist/Church of Ireland congregations
    • where there are joint church schemes
    • where new churches are to be planted
    • where local congregations wish to move in this direction;
  • to encourage united Methodist/Church of Ireland chaplaincy work;
  • to enable a measure of joint training of candidates for ordained and lay ministries of our churches where possible and appropriate and to encourage mutual understanding at all levels in our churches;
  • to establish appropriate forms of consultation on matters of faith and order, mission and service;
  • to participate as observers by invitation in each other's forms of governance at every possible level;
  • to learn more about the practice of oversight in each other's churches in order to achieve a fuller sharing of ministries at a later stage of our relationship.

Signed:

Robert Armagh
Primate of All Ireland

W Winston Graham
President of the Methodist Church in Ireland

26 September, 2002
Chrome Hill,
Lambeg