The Anglican Church of Australia has taken a significant step towards working more closely with the Lutheran Church.
The 12th General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia, meeting in Brisbane this week (July 21 to 27) passed a motion to further ties with the Lutheran Church.
The General Synod welcomed and supported the Anglican-Lutheran Dialogue Group report, "Common Ground", which was the result of almost three decades of discussions.
The Synod authorized the continuation of the work of the Anglican-Lutheran Dialogue Group and requested that the dialogue group report comments from both churches to the churches' next respective general synods.
The Synod also affirmed that the report formed "an appropriate basis for proceeding towards a national covenant for Eucharistic hospitality" at a regional level, subject to further review by the Anglican Church's Doctrine Panel.
Bishop of The Murray, Graham Walden, who is Anglican co-chair of the dialogue, said the report and motion passed by General Synod provided a significant step forward.
"'Common Ground' is not a declaration of church union but a solemn pledge to walk together towards that goal," Bishop Walden said.
"The results of our discussions now need careful study in our churches."
He said that since 1972 the two churches had produced a number of agreed statements on the Eucharist, Ministry, Baptism, Anglican-Lutheran Marriages and Episcope and Unity.