to Bishop David's blog. Here you can find news, information, articles and pictures about the Church of England Diocese in Europe. We have over 300 congregations or worship centres serving Anglican and (mostly) English-speaking people in Europe, Morocco, Turkey, Russia and some central Asian countries.

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Sunday, 21 March 2010

Porvoo Leaders' Consultation: Growing Together

The Porvoo Leaders’ Consultation was held in Sigtuna, Sweden from 18th – 21st March. It is a key meeting serving the Churches which have signed the Porvoo Agreement, when the Porvoo Contact Group (the main body which meets annually to serve the fellowship of the Churches) gives an account of their work over the last four years and seeks guidance and direction from the leaders of our Churches for the next period. It is a chance for the leaders to express any concerns and give suggestions to the Contact Group.

Once again I was one of the three Church of England delegates to the Leaders’ Consultation, along with the Revd Canon Dr Paul Avis of the Council for Christian Unity, and Mrs Margaret Swinson from the diocese of Liverpool. The Consultation is jointly chaired by Bishop Martin Wharton, the Bishop of Newcastle (below right), and Bishop Karl Sigurbjörnsson, the Bishop of Iceland (below centre), the co-chairs of the Contact Group. The Revd Rupert Moreton, the chaplain of St Nicholas, Helsinki (below left), is also in attendance as a member of the Porvoo Contact Group.

The theme of the consultation was “Growing Together”. Working groups met to examine some issues in the Churches' ministry, specifically lay ministry, the diaconate and women in the Episcopate. Workshops were  also held on migration/integration, climate change, rich/poor divide, the challenges of secularisation and responding to conflict.

Judging from the atmosphere at the meeting the Porvoo Communion is in good heart. There are some tensions within and among the Churches but the relationship of communion is proving to be resilient and robust. Within the fellowship there is increasing trust and we are committed to learning how to consult with eath other better and more effectively when issues arise which may affect our relationship.

The Diocese in Europe takes the Porvoo Agreement very seriously. The sharing of clergy, cooperation and even joint work are enabled in congregations of our diocese in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Italy, France and Belgium. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark will sign the Porvoo Agreement later this year, which will further extend the possibilities for us.

The Consultation ended on Sunday with a service in the Cathedral in Uppsala, the ancient See of the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden.

There is a new website of the Porvoo Communion of Churches here.

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