Friday, February 12, 2010

Wesley Returns Home? A Methodist -- Church of England Reunion in the offing

Being that I'm an 18th century British historian by training, I'm always intrigued by conversations that hearken back to that era.  Well today, an article in the Telegraph caught my eye that might bring a twinkle to the eye of John and Charles Wesley.

It appears that merger talks between the Church of England and the British Methodists may soon bear fruit.  Thus, the "Enthusiasts" as the Anglican hierarchy liked to refer to them in the old days, will find themselves again welcome.  In the mother church!  As to the reasoning for this action, the head of the Methodists shared his sense with the Church of England's General Synod.

The Rev David Gamble, president of the Methodist Conference, told General Synod, the Church of England’s governing body on Thursday: "We are prepared to go out of existence not because we are declining or failing in mission, but for the sake of mission.
"In other words, we are prepared to be changed and even to cease having a separate existence as a Church if that will serve the needs of the Kingdom."

Apparently the major sticking point has been women clergy/bishops and that issue is quickly subsiding, making it possible for the two to rejoin, healing a breach that came about after Wesley's death.

This will likely have no effect on the American churches, but this is intriguing, if nothing else from a historical perspective. 


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