The Anglican–Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council (AOCICC) met in the historic city of Winchester, UK, from 22 to 26 May 2018. The meeting was hosted by the Anglican Communion. This was the sixth meeting of the Council under its current mandate (2013-2019).
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;
- reviewing the overall work of the Council in this the twentieth year of the Council’s existence;
- reflecting on the work of the Council during the period of the present mandate with a view to preparing a report for the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and the International Bishops’ Conference (IBC) of the Union of Utrecht;
- beginning to consider the focus of a new mandate.
The Council came together in Winchester in its twentieth year, invigorated by the substantial success of the survey of Anglican and Old Catholic communities in Continental Europe, which has demonstrated a high level of local co-operation and initiatives. Similarly, the Council is encouraged by the wide circulation of the brochure Anglicans and Old Catholics together in Europe since its launch at last year’s Council meeting in Bonn. It was agreed to produce a German version of the brochure, reprint the English-language version and encourage online versions in Czech and Polish.
Council members Bishop David Hamid and Professor Angela Berlis, who served as Co-secretaries in the early years, reflected on twenty years of the Council. The Council was called into being following the Lambeth Conference of 1998, by the ACC and the IBC. The Council was reminded of the important contribution of the first two Co-Chairs, Old Catholic Bishop Joachim Vobbe, who died on 26 July 2017, and Anglican Bishop Jonathan Gledhill, in shaping the way the Council does its work. They both felt it important that the Council operate fully in German and English, and that worship and study undergird its work. Bishop David Hamid said, “the importance of this body being called a Council underlines that the relationship between Anglicans and Old Catholics is one of full communion”. Angela Berlis reiterated, “the significance of the Council’s work lies in it covering the worldwide Anglican Communion and the Union of Utrecht”. The Council sees itself as the guarantor of the Bonn Agreement of 1931, which ushered in this full communion, and the Council is already beginning to consider the context for the centenary celebrations in 2031.
The Council reviewed the Anglican and Old Catholic responses to the WCC convergence text The Church: Towards a Common Vision and commends the continued study of the document to both our church communions, especially as a component of ministerial training.
The Council has sought to host its meetings during the present mandate in or near city centres (Amersfoort, Kilkenny, Zurich, Ghent, Königswinter near Bonn and now Winchester). This has given us many opportunities to encounter local Anglican and Old Catholic communities.
The work of the Council in Winchester was greatly enriched by the opportunity to worship regularly in the Cathedral for morning and evening prayer and the daily Eucharist, according to Anglican and Old Catholic rites. The Council appreciated the visit of the Bishop of Winchester, The Right Reverend Tim Dakin, for a lively exchange about the mission and renewal of the Church, as well as a consideration of the figure of St. Willibrord. The Council greatly enjoyed the hospitality of the Dean of Winchester Cathedral, the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, and Chapter at the Deanery and would like to thank them for their warm and gracious welcome.
The Council will meet for its final meeting of the present mandate period in Prague, Czechia, 16–19 January 2019, hosted by the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht.
Winchester, 26 May 2018
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 Professor Dr Angela Berlis
The Revd ThDr. Petr Jan Vinš
The Revd Lars Simpson, Co-secretary