From 17 - 19 September, the Archbishop of York hosted at his residence, Bishopthorpe Palace, a gathering of 45 church leaders from the Porvoo Communion of Churches. The theme of the gathering was "Towards Greater Unity and Closer Fellowship". The meeting was chaired by the Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson, and the Bishop of Copenhagen, Peter Skov-Jakobsen. As Chairman of the Porvoo Panel of the Church of England, I was an invited consultant to the meeting.
The meeting set out a work plan for the next 4 years which would take into account these themes which emerged from the meeting:
- The role of servanthood, leadership and discipleship in authentic Christian witness, with a special focus on the current situation in Europe.
- The need to provide space and opportunities for prayer, spiritual expression and pilgrimage.
- The need for a refreshed emphasis in mission as a way of life with and in the community.
- The importance of including young people emphasising their visible and active role in the life of the Communion.
- The important contribution of majority and minority churches in the Porvoo Communion of Churches
Participants attended Evensong at York Minster each day.
The Porvoo Communion includes Churches, Anglican and Lutheran, from the British Isles and Ireland and the Nordic and Baltic countries.