Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Kilkenny talks between Anglicans and Moravians

The former Episcopal Palace seen from the garden’s of the Bishop’s House in Kilkenny this morning (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

Patrick Comerford

I was in Kilkenny this week for a two-day meeting of representatives of the Church of Ireland and the Moravian Church. We met in the Bishop’s House, Kilkenny, on Tuesday and Wednesday to consider the possibilities for closer relationship between our two Churches on the basis of the Moravian-US Episcopal Church agreement, Finding our delight in the Lord.

The delegates from the Church of Ireland were:

The Right Revd Michael Burrows, Bishop of Cashel and Ossory, the Right Revd John McDowell, Bishop of Clogher, Canon Ian Ellis, Canon Patrick Comerford and Canon Helene Steed.

The delegates from the Moravian Church were:

Bishop Graham Rights, the Revd Sarah Groves, the Revd Philip Cooper and the Revd Paul Holdsworth.

This week’s talks were a response to a request from the Standing Committee asking the Anglican Affairs Working Group of the Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue to consider the relationship between the Church of Ireland and the Moravian Church.

The request also asked us to bear in mind the continuing possibilities of the Fetter Lane Agreement, but also tasked us o consider the report Finding our delight in the Lord, which has brought about full communion between Anglicans and Moravians.

We were asked too, “if appropriate, to make suggestions to the Standing Committee concerning the possibility of similar developments in Ireland.”

While the Moravian Church in Britain and Ireland is structured as a single province, its discussions with the Church of Ireland are taking place as a bilateral conversation and the participants include bishops of both traditions. This amounts to a significant ecumenical initiative.

The delegates from the Church of Ireland and the Moravian Church in Kilkenny this morning (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

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