Thursday, 25 November 2010

Ecumenical Basics (1) - Introduction

History of the Methodist Church, faceted glass...Image via Wikipedia
This post is the first in a series, highlighting some of the resources for ecumenical officers and others active in local ecumenism, available on the Methodist Church website (and possibly other sites  too).
I'm starting with the largest document, Ecumenical basics: Courtesies and practicalities - Introductory notes for district chairs and those working alongside them.  Today, I offer an account of its origins.

This resource for district chairs and other district officers draws upon notes prepared by Bishop David Hawtin for bishops and their diocesan staff.   'Bishops Behaving Ecumenically: Courtesies and Practicalities, Gateway Notes for Bishops and those working alongside us' (BBE) was written a few years ago by David Hawtin,  Bishop of Repton 1999 - 2006.

I adapted it to the needs and practices of the Methodist Church. Copies of this original paper can be found on the Anglican Methodist Covenant website.  In preparing the Methodist version, I ensured:
  1. Some material was reproduced from the BBE resource unaltered; material about history, attitudes and ecumenical procedures.
  2. Some material deals with the same topic but from a Methodist perspective and so incorporates Methodist insights and practices. Sometimes it is alongside the original material and sometimes replaces it entirely.
  3. Some are new notes, not present in the original.
Ecumenical Basics was prepared with gratitude to Bishop David Hawtin for his permission to adapt his material. He says he is delighted about this co-operative venture!

Please note these are guidelines only and it is the responsibility of local churches to discuss ecumenical issues with their District Ecumenical Officer or other advisors (legal, financial, property for example) as appropriate.

Rumour has it the Baptist Union of Great Britain are working on  their version.
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