Anglicans and Methodists edge closer towards unity

London, England - The Church of England inched closer to the Methodists yesterday when the General Synod in York welcomed a report designed to resolve many of their differences.

The two Churches took the first steps towards healing their 200-year-old rift two years ago when they signed a covenant under which they will move towards sharing services, clergy and resources.

It raised the prospect of unity between the two denominations, which separated over disputes about the ordination and authority of bishops.

The synod yesterday unanimously commended for study an interim report from the committee overseeing the covenant, which examined the two faiths' contrasting approaches to issues such as communion and ministry.

Introducing the report, which highlighted examples of co-operation, the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Ian Cundy, said he wanted Anglicans to take the covenant "to heart".

During the debate speakers compared the agreement to a marriage, demanding serious effort and commitment to overcome the inevitable disagreements.