Churches join forces to share work of clergy and services

A GROUNDBREAKING partnership between the Church of England and the Methodist Church has been established.

The agreement between the Ripon and Leeds Anglican Diocese, which covers a large chunk of North Yorkshire, and the Leeds Methodist District, will mean greater sharing of clergy and joint services with both churches working together to support their ministry and mission.

Under the Covenant Area Partnership – the first of its kind in Great Britain – there will be greater consultation and co-operation between 85 Anglican parishes and their 65 neighbouring Methodist churches.

The agreement was signed at a special celebration at Trinity Methodist Church, in Harrogate, last Saturday.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Right Reverend John Packer, said the partnership was an important opportunity for both.

He said: “This marks an important step for the diocese and the Leeds Methodist District.

“It will encourage us to strive for closer connection with other churches, both together as well as separately. We hope that through working more closely together we will also be able to encourage unity between other churches.”

The Reverend Julian Pursehouse, acting chair of the Leeds Methodist District, said: “The new Covenant Area Partnership is a fantastic opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to one another and to live out our calling to serve our communities in a more dynamic and coherent way.

“It will be a privilege to share in celebrating the gifts and heritage of both churches, while looking to a more fruitful and exciting future together.”

Methodist ministers will be encouraged to apply for permission to minister in Church of England parishes and Anglican clergy will be encouraged to apply for ‘Associate Presbyter’ status with the Methodist Church.

This might mean for example that an Anglican priest would be able to preside at Methodist services of Holy Communion and baptism, and at funeral services.

The two churches will also seek to involve one another in their procedures of appointing new ministers, clergy and staff throughout the convenant area.

In 2003, a national covenant between the Methodist Church in Britain and the Church of England was signed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Secretary General of the General Synod, the President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Methodist Conference in the presence of the Queen.

Comments (2)

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5:14pm Mon 15 Oct 12

pxatkins says...

It's like witnessing a game of Kerplunk. Religious organizations scrambling to stop the gaps, staunch leaks and stem the flow. Futile. I used to think I would have some effect on the demise of superstition, but now I realize simple attrition will see the end of religion as a force. No more unelected priests in Parliament, no more rules and regulations on women from celibates and no more opiate for the bottom rung. Alleluia!
It's like witnessing a game of Kerplunk. Religious organizations scrambling to stop the gaps, staunch leaks and stem the flow. Futile. I used to think I would have some effect on the demise of superstition, but now I realize simple attrition will see the end of religion as a force. No more unelected priests in Parliament, no more rules and regulations on women from celibates and no more opiate for the bottom rung. Alleluia! pxatkins
  • Score: 0

1:28am Tue 16 Oct 12

Jolly Jonty says...

About 200 years too late.The Methodists were hung out to dry by my former Church of England and have been forced to bow and return to the fold in order to survive.My sympathies are with the Methodists who now number less than 300000 and I will be surprised if 1/3 of that number join the CoE when a full merger takes place.Moribund and Red tape ridden the CoE stumbles on whilst the pews empty whilst failing to be the spiritual guardian of the Nations Soul..Time for Disestablishment & for the CoE to go its own way,& for those Methodists who think they will be getting Priests..the current trend is to reduce the paid Clergy & replace them with retired and Lay Clergy..The affluent Diocese of Sussex will run out of cash reserves at the end of 2014 would be a good place to look at the"health" of the Church as well as the emptying pews.I gave up & have never felt better since moving on..
About 200 years too late.The Methodists were hung out to dry by my former Church of England and have been forced to bow and return to the fold in order to survive.My sympathies are with the Methodists who now number less than 300000 and I will be surprised if 1/3 of that number join the CoE when a full merger takes place.Moribund and Red tape ridden the CoE stumbles on whilst the pews empty whilst failing to be the spiritual guardian of the Nations Soul..Time for Disestablishment & for the CoE to go its own way,& for those Methodists who think they will be getting Priests..the current trend is to reduce the paid Clergy & replace them with retired and Lay Clergy..The affluent Diocese of Sussex will run out of cash reserves at the end of 2014 would be a good place to look at the"health" of the Church as well as the emptying pews.I gave up & have never felt better since moving on.. Jolly Jonty
  • Score: 0

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