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Comparison of Anglican and Methodist ministries

08 May 2015


From the Revd David Muskett

Sir, - I am an Anglican priest who has served in several parishes in the Church of England and experienced varying ecumenical relations. I am at present serving as a Methodist minister in full connexion with the British Methodist Conference.

Your unnamed correspondent ( Letters, 2 April) describes a parish priest's ministry and wonders which aspects of that ministry Methodist ministers do not do and would not expect to do. The answer is none of them - depending on the tradition and distribution of ministry in the place in which we serve. Methodist churches and ministers I have met would not describe the eucharist as marginal - just less frequent.

Many Methodists are happy with the arrangements that are meat and drink to your correspondent. Many would agree with the Revd Paul King (Letters, same issue) that a looser unity is called for. For many, there are bigger differences between some neighbouring Anglican parishes than between some Anglicans and their Methodist neighbours. My experience is that the Methodist spectrum sits within the Anglican one.

Mr King asks what would be the purpose of all the effort required to bring our two denominations together. If it were simply ongoing irrelevance to most people, it would be clearly not worth the candle. If it is to overcome the hurdle of apparently competing and very similar churches with confusingly different structures to become a united Church seeking the best and most appropriate range of worship and service in a community, then is it not time we put in some more of that effort locally and nationally?

Mutually interchangeable ministries based on mutual recognition of the apostolic nature of our Churches, as recommended by the Joint Implementation Commission of the Covenant last year, would be a start.

18 Priors Wood, Haslemere
Surrey GU27 1NF

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