Anglicans and Old Catholics meeting in Germany have been examining the results of a survey conducted across five European countries. Members of the Anglican–Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council (AOCICC) received the results of a survey entitled ‘Belonging together in Europe’ commissioned by the Council in 2015. The Council said it was encouraged by the 106 responses from five countries.
The survey reflected a high level of awareness of the relationship of full communion between Anglicans and Old Catholics, with respondents requesting more resources for joint worship services. The survey illustrated the varied ways in which the churches are engaging with each other, especially in areas where congregations from both churches are present in the same place. The results also indicated a desire for a more strategic approach to mutual engagement in service, witness and mission. The Council agreed to send out the results of the survey to all respondents and participating churches and invite their comments for consideration at next year’s meeting.
In the light of the many requests of survey respondents for more information about each other’s churches, the Council said it was “providential” that it had planned the launch of the brochure ‘Anglicans and Old Catholics together in Europe’ in the context of this year’s meeting. The launch took place at the Hotel Königshof in Bonn overlooking the Rhine. It was in this historic location that the text of the Bonn Agreement between the Anglicans and Old Catholics was signed on 2 July 1931. The brochure seeks to provide an introduction, in a fresh and attractive way, to the Anglican and Old Catholic Churches in Europe.
Suffragan in the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe, Bishop David Hamid, has reflected on the Bonn meeting in his blog:
At the request of the recent meeting of Anglican and Old Catholic Bishops on mainland Europe, the Council also reflected on the issues of child abuse and safeguarding. The Council recognised “the centrality and importance of safeguarding in both communions” whilst noting the differences in the structure and procedures of each national church policy: “The interchangeability of ministers is a significant area where the churches are obliged to exchange information and to take the utmost care in ensuring consistency in their policies and procedures.”
The Council issued a Communique in English and German.