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Thursday, 29 October 2009

Diocese in Europe and the Meissen Commission

The Meissen Commission met last month in England from 17th to 21st September. The Commission carries forward the work of the 1988 Meissen Agreement between the Church of England and the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (the Evangelical Church in Germany or "EKD"). The Diocese in Europe is represented on the Commission by the Revd Simon Hobbs, the chaplain of St Boniface Bonn and All Saints Cologne. He brings a vital perspective from Germany itself where our Anglican clergy and congregations enjoy excellent ecumenical relations with our EKD neighbours. (The Agreement provides for mutual eucharistic hospitality but not an inter-changeable ministry due to lack of agreement on the historic episcopal succession).

It was the last meeting for the EKD co-chairman, Bishop Jürgen Johannesdotter of Schaumburg-Lippe (pictured left) who retiries shortly after a destinguished ecumenical career. He will be succeeded in the chair by the Bishop of Braunschweig, Dr Friedrich Weber. The Anglican co-chairman is Bishop Nicholas Baines of Croydon.
Links between the EKD Churches and Church of England dioceses and parishes have grown in recent years to around 44 formal partnership links. One of the tasks of the next years will be to promote more exchanges from the C of E to the EKD Churches. The Commission discussed a number of themes including the challenges and opportunities of working with Muslims, and looked forward to the 100th anniversary of the first World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh in 2010.

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