Called to Witness and Service: The Reuilly Common Statement with Essays on Church, Eucharist and Ministry. Conversations between the British and Irish Anglican Churches and the French Lutheran and Reformed Churches

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Called to Witness and Service: The Reuilly Common Statement with Essays on Church, Eucharist and Ministry. Conversations between the British and Irish Anglican Churches and the French Lutheran and Reformed Churches. London: Church House Publishing, 1999. Pp. vii + 136, common statement, participants list, profiles of churches, essays. £6.95 (paper).

This is at least the seventh in a series of "occasional" volumes put out by the Church of England Council for Christian Unity. This series includes the much better known Porvoo Statement and Meissen Statements. These treat (respectively) the highly successful negotiations between the Church of England and Episcopal Scandinavian Lutherans which achieved "full communion," and the ongoing negotiations between the major German Protestant groups, in various stages of dialogue and communion with each other, and the Church of England. As such they are significant signs of hard-working and intellectually rigorous ecumenical dialogue. The Reuilly Statement and its supporting documents belong to this family, though the volume betrays several unique strengths and weaknesses.

The Reuilly dialogue (which began in 1994) and this volume are ambitious in their scope: the partners include the Church of England, the Church of Ireland, the Church in Wales, and the Scottish Episcopal Church. These are obviously in full communion with each other but offer up startlingly different histories and contradictory contemporary experiences of ecumenical co-operation and societal significance in their own jurisdictions. Across the channel the partners are various French Lutheran and Reformed regional and national bodies, in various stages of dialogue and union with each other both before and after their own failed merger proposal in 1969. The consequence was, however, a LutheranReformed Standing Council (1972), which continues to function as the locus of much practical co-operation, and may soon include another partner, the Union of the Reformed Evangelical Independent Churches. …