Anglican-Methodists reassert church unity despite women bishops' vote

(Photo Credit: Diocese of Coventry / Methodist Church)The Co-Chairs of the Joint Implementation Commission of the Anglican Methodist Covenant, The Rt. Rev. Christopher Cocksworth of the Church of England, and Prof. Peter Howdle of the Methodist Church, are seen in a composite photo.

A group seeking to build greater unity between Anglicans and Methodists in the United Kingdom expressed disappointment over the Church of England General Synod's recent vote against allowing women bishops, but said work continues to implement a 2003 covenant.

"There is still much that unites us and we will continue to work towards full visible unity of our churches," sait the Rt. Rev. Christopher Cocksworth (Anglican) and Prof. Peter Howdle (Methodist), who co-chair the Joint Implementation Commission of the Anglican Methodist Covenant.

The pair said the relationship between the churches had been growing at all levels – national, regional and local – since the covenant was made, especially at the local level.

"We hope that Methodists and Anglicans, bound together in Covenant and a common history, in the light of the General Synod vote, will continue to pray for each other, value each other's spiritual heritage and work tirelessly with renewed determination for the unity of the whole Church."

The Covenant – signed in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster in 2003 – commits the two churches "to work to overcome the remaining obstacles to organic unity of our two churches, on the way to the full visible unity of Christ's Church."

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