Joint Implementation Commission – Update on Work in Progress, June 2010
The Joint Implementation Commission was set up by the Methodist Conference and the General Synod when they approved the Covenant in July 2003. The remit of the JIC is to monitor and promote the implementation of the Covenant. The first phase of the JIC came to an end in July 2008, and a refreshed Commission was appointed with Professor Peter Howdle and Bishop Christopher Cocksworth as co-chairs and the Revd Ken Howcroft and the Revd Canon Dr Paul Avis as co-conveners. The JIC meets three times a year.
The JIC is encouraging our two churches to work together as one in all the ways that are already possible, while it continues to address more long-term issues. The following areas will be included in the substantial interim report that the JIC intends to bring to Conference and Synod in 2011:
- The interchangeability of ordained ministries, and the role of the historic episcopate in this, continues to be a priority for the JIC. The JIC is being informed by the Faith and Order bodies of both Churches.
- The JIC is also doing innovative work on shared local unity in mission in order to maximise what is already possible under the rules of our churches.
- An important and constructive consultation on the ministry of deacons in our two churches was held at the Methodist Diaconal Order’s Centre in April 2010.
- The JIC has been collating responses from dioceses and from the Methodist Connexion on its 2008 report Embracing the Covenant.
- Scottish and Welsh Methodism each have a voice on the current JIC, and the Church in Wales and the Scottish Episcopal Church are represented.
- Fresh Expressions remains a major joint initiative under the Covenant; the United Reformed Church has recently become a partner in the organisation.
- Under the Covenant, a joint working party is looking at the ecclesiological implications of emerging expressions of Church; this group has direct links with Fresh Expressions.
- The United Reformed Church has a representative on the JIC; both our churches are developing their relationship with the URC.
- Elizabeth Hall has been appointed as Safeguarding Officer for both churches, succeeding the Revd Pearl Luxon.
- The JIC is researching current joint training of Local Preachers and Readers in order to promote this further.