New links between Church of England and black-majority churches
Church of England congregations will be able to share mission and ministry with a range of churches in their area more easily under plans due to receive final approval by the General Synod next month. A long-anticipated overhaul of rules underpinning ecumenical relations is expected to open the way for parishes to take part in joint worship with more churches than previously possible.
For the first time this will include churches without a large national structure – something which will particularly affect newer independent evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic groups including many black-led churches. The move - part of a drive to simplify ecclesiastical law - is among several significant legislative changes being considered at Synod which meets in York from July 6-10.
Dr Joe Aldred of Churches Together in England, who serves as an Ecumenical Representative for Pentecostals on General Synod and is a bishop in the Church of God of Prophecy, welcomed the change. He said: “This is a great moment for relations between the Church of England and Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations and congregations, including many black-led churches, as we share the task of building the Kingdom of God in this country.
In working together and worshipping together our churches have the potential to transform their neighbourhoods. The shape and style of the Church in England has changed considerably over the years and this legislation reflects the new reality on the ground. Through the work of the Pentecostal Presidency in Churches Together in England, I have seen just what is possible by strengthening relationships, engaging in prayer and mission together and I hope and pray this change in legislation will mean we can do even more together.”
This article was first published by the Church of England from a longer article.
Additional press from the Times