Archive for the ‘Anglican Matters’ Category

Recent Methodist-Anglican Dialogue in Ireland

October 25, 2010

As most of you will know, the Lausanne Movement for mission and evangelism is currently meeting in Cape Town. In my humble opinion, the holy grail for more successful mission is a unified church. What better witness could there be to the powers and principalities than that they are forced to say of us “see how they love one another”? In fact, didn’t someone say at some time something about being one as he and his Father were one? Or, some wordy bloke, who wrote lots of letters, scribbling some piffle about being one body with one baptism under one Lord? Yeah, you vaguely remember hearing that somewhere, don’t you?

Anyway, over the past few years in particular there seems to be genuine hope that the dialogue between the Church of Ireland (Anglican) and the Methodist Church in Ireland, which has led to a Covenant between the Churches, might actually bring us down a path towards eventual unity (or something like that). Who knows? One can dream. Anyhow, as I’m very, very slowly trying to get on top of Anglican and Methodist history and theology at the moment, I thought it might be of interest to my fellow ecumenical dreamers if I sketched out what’s been happening on the little emerald isle. Thankfully, a very good friend of mine, the Rev. Peter Thompson (peace be upon him) who is Rector of St. Michael’s Castlecaulfield and St. Patrick’s Donaghmore is on the inside and in the loop and will keep me right as I proceed with a few posts dedicated to summarising the dialogue (based principally on his thesis and bending his ear).

So, to follow over the next while will be posts briefly outlining the divisions between the Churches from the beginning of Methodism to the unity in India between Anglicans and Methodists, and through to a quick depiction of early 20th century dialogue in Ireland. Further, some description of the contribution of the Joint Theological Working Party in Ireland and the Covenant which was agreed upon, as well as how matters might be furthered. At least, that’s the plan. We’ll see what happens 😉