New Cooperation Possible in U.K.

Almost three weeks on people are still talking about “that sermon.” Few preachers in Church of England pulpits pack the punch of Presiding Bishop Curry’s sermon on the power of love for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

It’s not certain there is a direct link to the royal wedding address, but the Church of England is set to create new rules that allow parishes to enter local partnerships with independent churches. General Synod will consider enabling legislation in July.

“The royal wedding certainly demonstrated how dynamic worship drawing from many cultures can be,” said the Rev. Will Adam of the church’s Council for Christian Unity. “And we all saw through the amazing reaction to Bishop Curry’s sermon how the nation really sat up and listened when they heard the gospel preached with passion and without reserve. If enabling parishes to forge closer relationships with some of most dynamic and fast-growing churches in this country helps bring new life and new ideas to our congregations, that can only be a good thing.”

The plan has the support of the Archbishop Justin Welby, who said that Curry’s wedding sermon “blew the place open” and the Windsor congregation and its massive television audience was “gripped by it.”

“It was fantastic,” Welby said, “and you could see people just caught up in it, and excited by it.”

The Church of England’s secretary general, William Nye, said the proposed changes to church law would make it easier for parishes to “work with what is effectively the fastest-growing” expression of Christianity in England.

He told a General Synod media briefing, “A lot of the life of Christianity in England is in the independent churches, evangelical churches, Pentecostal churches, black-led, black-majority churches,” Nye told a General Synod media briefing.

“And many parishes are working with those, and finding ways to share in the lives of those churches, and come together for a better expression of Christianity, in partnership, but we haven’t previously had a framework for it.”

John Martin


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