Inter-denominational dialogue

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Methodist/URC Liaison Group

The Methodist/URC Liaison Group meets twice a year and its task is to focus on the local and intermediate dimensions of the relationship between the Methodist Church and the URC. As such it deals with many practical aspects of our working together. The guidelines for the induction and welcome service of a new minister serving in a Methodist/URC Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP) is an example of this joint co-operation.

Both the URC and Methodist Church provide courses which provide an introduction to their respective denominations for ministers working in LEPs.

The Methodist/URC Liaison Group is convened jointly by the Revd David Chapman, Chair of the Beds, Essex and Herts Methodist District and the Revd Paul Whittle, Moderator of URC Eastern Synod.

The URC Secretary for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, and the Methodist Connexional Ecumenical Officer act as joint secretaries to the Group.

In January 2019, the liaison group issued a model constitution for Methodist-United Reformed Church ecumenical areas: model constitution

Church of England/URC Contact Group

Since its formation in 1972, the URC has entered into various dialogues with the Church of England, beginning with the informal tripartite Anglican, Methodist and United Reformed conversations, which started in 1999 and was published in 2001 as ‘Conversations on the way to unity’; followed by the report ‘Healing the Past – Building the Future’ (2010) which led to a service of reconciliation in Westminster Abbey in 2012 on the occasion of 350th anniversary of ‘the Great Ejection’ in 1662; and then the subsequent document ‘Unity, Identity and Mission’ (2016).

In 2018, the Council for Christian Unity of the Church of England and the mission committee of the URC agreed to establish a contact group to continue this collaboration. Its work will be carried out particularly with reference to the Anglican Methodist Covenant.

The first meeting of the contact group will take place during 2019.

The Roman Catholic/URC Dialogue Group

The Roman Catholic/URC dialogue group is now in its third phase of discussions. The group is currently reflecting
on the ways in which the two churches can work together particularly in the local context. One of themes for theological
discussion is ‘sainthood and celebrity’. The group is co-convened by the Right Revd Paul Hendricks, SW Area Auxiliary Bishop
in the RC Archdiocese of Southwark and the Revd Dr John Bradbury from the URC.

The group has recently produced a resource Let's talk about saintsThis is the first of an occasional series of resource sheets, aiming to explore issues of faith and practice in both traditions. The resource is designed for local RC and URC congregations to use together. It could be a one off meeting, or part of a regular pattern of meetings. The material could also be used by a wider ‘churches together’ style group, and there are notes for facilitators at the end of the resource.


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