Gent, 11 June 2016
The Anglican-Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council (AOCICC) met in the Carmelite Monastery in Ghent, Belgium, from 7-11 June 2016. The meeting was hosted by the Anglican Communion. This was the fourth 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 relationships in which both Communions are engaged;
considering how to develop concrete proposals for the common mission of the Anglican and Old Catholic Churches on the European continent.
A significant feature of the 2016 meeting of the Council was its 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). We engaged in an open and wide-ranging discussion, which was mutually enriching and informative. The Council was encouraged by the bishops’ affirmation of its mandate. This strengthens the Council’s resolve to serve usefully the bishops and the two communions as upholder and guarantor of the Bonn Agreement.
For this reason the Council took time to hear from Archbishop Vercammen and Bishop Whalon about their concept of a ‘Missionary Alliance’ between the Convocation and the Union of Utrecht in France. The Council would like to take further time to consider the many dimensions to this proposal. The meeting with the bishops began to explore creatively how the two communions could celebrate the centenary of the Bonn Agreement in 2031. All agreed that the encounter, held in an atmosphere of trust and mutual support, had been valuable in taking the mandate forward. It was agreed that the bishops would meet again with the Council at its meeting in 2018.
The Council warmly encourages Anglican and Old Catholic churches to send participants to the AOCICC Young Adults’ Pilgrimage from 25-28 May 2017 to Echternach, Luxembourg, the site of the shrine of St Willibrord. The pilgrimage is open to Anglicans and Old Catholics between the ages of 18 and 30 years. The pilgrimage will be led by the two Co-Chairs, Bishop Michael Burrows and Bishop Dick Schoon.
The Council prayed the Daily Office together according to the Anglican and Old Catholic traditions. The Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe presided and preached at the Eucharist on the Feast of St. Columba in the chapel of the Carmelite Monastery and the Bishop of Haarlem on the Eve of St. Barnabas in the Anglican Church of St. John. The council appreciated the help and assistance provided by the local Anglican priest, the Revd Stephen Murray, and the parish intern Mr James Roberts.
The Council will meet again in Germany, 4-8 July 2017, hosted by the Union of Utrecht.
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
The Right Revd Dr Dirk Jan Schoon, Co-chair
The Revd Prof Dr Angela Berlis (unable to attend)
The Right Revd Dr Heinz Lederleitner
The Revd Prof Dr David Holeton (unable to attend)
The Revd Lars Simpson, Co-Secretary