THE first formal "consultation" between the Church of England
and Pentecostals has taken place this week, ending with a pledge of
Successive Lambeth Conferences resolved to hold talks with
Pentecostal Churches, but the Church of England had been slow to
follow it up, the ecumenical officer at the Council for Christian
Unity, the Revd Dr Roger Paul, said.
"We recognise the growing presence of Churches from the
Pentecostal tradition, and we have much common ground between us.
The Pentecostal Church is growing globally, but there are areas
where it is standing still, and there are Anglican Churches which
are growing, and there are a lot of challenging discussions to have
"Alongside key doctrinal questions on the work of the Holy
Spirit, apostolic leadership, and prophecy, we have explored
significant grass-roots issues, such as church sharing, Christian
schools, and joint ministerial training."
The two-day consultation was organised in response to a proposal
by the Principal of St John's College, Nottingham, the Revd Dr
David Hilborn, a member of both the Faith and Order Commission and
the Society for Pentecostal Studies.
Dr Hilborn said: "I had been involved in ecumenical work for
some years, and had noticed that, while Roman Catholic, Reformed,
and Lutheran Churches had been engaged in bilateral theological
conversations with Pentecostals, Anglicans had lagged behind."
Professor William Kay, a Pentecostal participant from the
Assemblies of God, said: "Pentecostals have much to learn from
Anglicans - and, dare I say it, Anglicans have much to learn from
Pentecostals. This enriching consultation got us off to a flying
The Revd Nezlin Sterling, from the New Testament Assemblies,
described the consultation as a "welcome new development in
understanding and co-operation between our respective
Pentecostalism spread to Britain from the United States in the
early years of the 20th century, and was swelled by immigration
from the 1950s onwards. Pentecostal churches are now among the
fastest-growing churches in the UK.