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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Anglican-Old Catholic International Coordinating Council in Zurich

The Anglican-Old Catholic International Coordinating Council (AOCICC) is the official instrument which serves the relationship of full communion between Anglican and Old Catholic Churches. Its most recent meetings concluded last week, in Zurich. The hosts of this round of meetings was the Old Catholic Augustinerkirche in that city. The priest of the Augustinerkirche is the Old Catholic Co-Secretary of the Council, the Revd Lars Simpson.

I have been privileged to be a member of this body since helping to establish it, just after the Lambeth Conference of 1998.

During the course of the meeting, services were held both at St Andrew's Anglican Church, and the Old Catholic Augustinerkirche.

Bishop Michael Burrows preaches at St Andrew's Anglican Church

The (Old Catholic) Augustinerkirche
The communiqué from the meeting is below:


Zurich, Switzerland, 30 May 2015

The Anglican-Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council (AOCICC) met in Zurich, Switzerland, from 26 to 30 May 2015. The host of this meeting was the Old Catholic Church of Switzerland / Christkatholische Kirche der Schweiz. This was the third meeting of the Council under its current mandate.

The work of this meeting included:
Reflecting on the nature and meaning of our communion
Updating each other about developments within each Communion
Briefing each other about developments in the bilateral and multilateral ecumenical relationship in which both Communion are engaged
Finalising the text of a booklet, Anglicans and Old Catholics Together in Europe, which introduces the faithful of both Communions to AOCICC’s 2011 publication, Belonging Together in Europe—a joint statement on aspects of ecclesiology and mission
Planning an Anglican-Old Catholic Youth Pilgrimage in 2017 to Echternach, Luxembourg, the site of the shrine of St Willibrord
Designing a survey which will map existing cooperation between Anglicans and Old Catholics in specific locations
Considering how to develop concrete proposals for the common mission of the Anglican and Old Catholic Churches on the European continent
Preparing for the Council’s meeting with Archbishop Joris Vercammen (Union of Utrecht of Old Catholic Churches), Bishop Robert Innes (Church of England, Diocese in Europe), and Bishop Pierre Whalon (The Episcopal Church, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe) in 2016

A significant feature of the 2015 meeting of the Council was its intentional encounters with local church communities. The members of the Council visited St Andrew’s Church (Anglican), the Augustinerkirche and the Christuskirche (Old Catholic), as well as the Grossmuenster and the Fraumuenster (Reformed). The Council met cantonal church leaders at an ecumenical dinner. The Council engaged with the Bishop of the Swiss Old Catholic Church, Dr Harald Rein, in a lively dialogue on his vision of deepening the communion between Old Catholics and Anglicans in the local context of Switzerland – a discussion in which the Anglican Archdeacon of Switzerland, the Venerable Peter Potter, participated.

The Council prayed the Daily Office together according to the Anglican and Old Catholic traditions, engaged in Bible study, and celebrated the Eucharist together in St Andrew’s Church and the Augustinerkirche along with members of the local congregations.

The Council is grateful to the Old Catholic Church of Switzerland and especially to the Parish of Zurich for its generous hospitality and use of its parish centre. It particularly records its appreciation to the Revd Lars Simpson.

The Council will meet again in Belgium, 7–11 June 2016, hosted by the Anglican Communion.

For further information, please contact the Revd Lars Simpson ( or Canon John Gibaut at the Anglican Communion Office (

Websites:  and

Members of the Council:

The Right Revd Michael Burrows, Co-chair
The Revd Jennifer Adams-Massmann
The Right Revd David Hamid
Mrs Jennifer Knudsen
The Revd Tony Litwinski

The Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut, Co-secretary
The Revd Neil Vigers, Anglican Communion Office

Old Catholics
The Right Revd Dr Dirk Jan Schoon, Co-chair
The Revd Professor Dr Angela Berlis
The Revd Dr Heinz Lederleitner
The Revd Prof Dr David Holeton (unable to attend)
The Revd Lars Simpson, Co-Secretary

The Council at work

Co-chairmen Bishops Dick Schoon and Michael Burrows taking a stretch from the meetings

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