Inter-denominational dialogue

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 Nicola Furley-Smith, Moderator of URC Southern Synod.

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

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 Roman Catholic/URC Dialogue Group

The Roman Catholic/URC Dialogue Group will shortly enter its third phase of discussions, which mainly centre on joint theological reflection. It 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.