The Church of England and the Methodist Church: updated

On 9 February, the Church of England’s General Synod voted in favour of a motion welcoming the joint report, Mission and Ministry in Covenant, co-written by the two Churches’ faith and order bodies and published last year, setting out proposals on how clergy from each Church could become eligible to serve in the other. This updated post includes the text of the motion as finally agreed. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 11th February

A week in which General Synod welcomed plans for mutual recognition of ministries with the Methodist Church – and the Masons got their aprons in a twist…

Anglicans and Methodists

The Church of England General Synod has voted in favour of a motion welcoming the joint report, Mission and Ministry in Covenant, co-written by the two Churches’ faith and order bodies and published last year, which sets out proposals for intercommunion and the interchange of presbyteral ministries. Continue reading

Use of church buildings: update of “toolkit”

A date for the diary and a web page to watch

The Communications Director of the Hereford Diocese, Catherine Cashmore, has issued the Press Release New guide to developing a place of worship for community use on an updated version of the snappily titled ‘Crossing the Threshold: a step by step guide to developing your place of worship for wider community use and managing successful building projects’, which is being undertaken in partnership with the Diocese of Hereford.  Continue reading

Church of England: confusion over episcopal consecration in Newcastle

Episcopus vagans consecrated at Jesmond

George Conger reports at Anglican Ink that on 2 May the Revd Jonathan Pryke was irregularly consecrated as a bishop at Jesmond Parish Church by bishops of the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA).

REACH-SA, aka the Church of England in South Africa (CSA), is one of the breakaway Churches in the Anglican tradition; and the Church of England recognises its orders under the terms of the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967, along with those of the Free Church of England, the Anglican Church in North America and the Roman Catholic Church, “although it is not in communion with them”. The intention, presumably, is that the Revd Mr Pryke should offer episcopal oversight to Evangelical Anglicans who would prefer not to accept the authority of their diocesan bishop.

Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 10th July

So it’s Theresa May vs Andrea Leadsom and Sir John Chilcot finally published the report of the Iraq Inquiry: meanwhile…

URC votes to solemnise same-sex marriage

Yesterday, Saturday 9 July, the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church voted to allow its local churches to conduct and register marriages for same-sex couples. A two-thirds majority was needed to confirm the proposal and the Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of the resolution, by 240 votes to 21. United Reformed churches in England and Wales wishing to register their buildings for the marriage of same-sex couples will be able to start that process immediately. (In Scotland the legal framework is rather different but the effects of the Church’s decision will be broadly similar.)

The General Assembly has considered the proposal twice before: in 2014 and in a special, single-issue Assembly in June 2015. The 2015 Assembly ruled that the decision on whether or not an individual URC congregation could host marriages of same-sex couples lay wholly with each local church; and that policy was confirmed yesterday.

Methodist Church to reconsider position on marriage Continue reading

Ecclesiastical exemption: where things stand in the four jurisdictions

In view of the fact that the ecclesiastical exemption from listed building controls has become a matter of some political interest in both Northern Ireland and Wales, we thought it might be useful to provide an overview of how things currently stand across the four jurisdictions.

England

In England (and currently in Wales), the “listed denominations” under the Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (England) Order 2010 are exempt from listed building controls. Currently, the listed denominations in England are the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union and the United Reformed Church. Continue reading