Chapter 7 - Within God's global church
The Diocese in Europe is part of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
The purpose of this section is to clarify the ecclesiological Ecclesiological Pertaining to the church in general. setting in which our Diocese flourishes. The Diocese in Europe is subject to the ecclesiastical law of the Church of England including the Diocese in Europe Measure 1980 and the Diocese in Europe Constitution 1995. This section should be read alongside Canons A1 – A8, which set out the teaching and discipline of the Church of England.
7A - The relationship to the Church of England & to other churches
Reference should be made to Canon B43 and the Code of Practice on Co-operation by the Church of England with Other Churches (February 2019).
7.A.1 The Diocese in Europe is constituted as a diocese of the Church of England within the Anglican Communion. The Diocese, its chaplaincies and congregations, its ordained and lay ministers, and all its officers are bound by the provisions of Canons A1–A6. It is deemed to be within the Province of Canterbury, and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
7.A.2 It incorporates both the former Diocese of Gibraltar and the former jurisdiction of northern and central Europe, and consists of the chaplaincies and congregations in that area designated or recognized by the Bishop.
7.A.3 Although canonically part of the Church of England, the Diocese serves Anglicans from every part of the world, either resident in or visiting the territory it covers, and also English-speaking Christians of other denominations. We understand our responsibility as being to minister and engage in mission in partnership with other Churches, especially the historic Churches of the countries in which we serve.
7.A.4 The Church of England is in communion with a number of other churches around the world, as listed on the Church of England website here. The Diocese overlaps in some places with jurisdictions of other parts of the Anglican Communion and with Churches in communion with the Church of England, namely:
the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht, and
those Lutheran Churches of the Nordic and Baltic region that have signed the Porvoo Declaration.
It is the policy of the Diocese to work to resolve the anomaly created by overlapping jurisdictions, and to increase the degree of common life between our member congregations and congregations of these Churches.
7.A.5 The Diocese shares in the Church of England's ecumenical relations with Churches with whom it is not in communion. Of particular relevance to the Diocese are —
the Meissen Agreement with the Evangelical Church in Germany
the Reuilly Agreement with the French Lutheran and Reformed Churches
the agreement 'Twinnings and Exchanges' with the Roman Catholic Church in France
and the work of some of the international ecumenical dialogues, especially with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Further opportunities are created by the presence throughout mainland Europe of diaspora congregations of other English-speaking Churches based in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
7.A.6 The rich diversity of Anglican tradition has created for this Diocese a particular obligation and opportunity to contribute towards the full visible unity of the one Church of Jesus Christ. For this reason it has been the policy of the Diocese from its creation in 1842 to avoid proselytism and seek collaboration rather than competition.
At the same time, the Church acknowledges no linguistic, ethnic or national barriers to membership, and the Diocese is ready to welcome into its congregations people of whatever background who come freely and of their own choice. Some such people may eventually ask to be welcomed into the Communion of the Church of England; such a step requires due preparation and sensitivity to local ecumenical circumstances. See 1.E.5 on the liturgical provision for this.
See also the 1.U Ecumenical provisions in worship
7B - Anglicans in Continental Europe
7.B.1 The serving bishops of the four Anglican jurisdictions in Continental Europe (see 7.A.4 above) form a college – the College of Anglican Bishops in Continental Europe (COABICE). Since 1994 the college has met at least annually for prayer, reflection and common decision-making on matters which concern all Anglicans in Europe.
7.B.2 In response to the call of the Lambeth Conferences in 1968, and the Anglican Consultative Council in 1979, work continues to address the anomaly of parallel Anglican jurisdictions in mainland Europe.
7C - Churches in Communion - membership and ministry
In 7.A.4 mention is made of other Anglican, Old Catholic, and Nordic-Baltic Lutheran jurisdictions in Continental Europe. The following notes are intended as guidance in our cooperation with members and ministers of these Churches.
7.C.1 Baptised membership of these Churches satisfies the membership requirement of the Church Representation Rules of the Church of England for enrolment on the electoral roll of a chaplaincy in this Diocese, and for other synodical qualifications, without the need to be received into the communion of the Church of England. See CRR 2022 1 (3)(a); Diocesan Constitution 28 (b).
7.C.2 Confirmation in these Churches satisfies the canonical requirement of episcopal confirmation for most purposes in the ecclesiastical law of the Church of England.
7.C.4 Lay members of these Churches may be included when a chaplain applies for the Bishop's Permission for assistance in the distribution of the Holy Communion. - see section 1.L
7.C.5 Lay ministers (readers, etc.) of these Churches may be invited – by the chaplain after consultation with the churchwardens – to take an occasional part in leading the worship of a chaplaincy. If the chaplain wishes such a person to be permanently authorised by the Bishop they should consult the Warden of Readers.
7.C.6 Episcopally ordained deacons and priests of these Churches are, subject to the current canonical regulations of the Church of England, eligible to receive the Archbishop of Canterbury's Permission to Officiate and then – but only then – to be given a Licence or Permission to Officiate by the Bishop. The Archbishop of Canterbury's Permission must be obtained for such a deacon or priest before any exercise of diaconal or priestly ministry within the Province of Canterbury. A deacon or priest of one of these Churches who has not yet received such permission may be invited by a chaplain, after consultation with the churchwardens, to assist occasionally in the conduct of divine worship, but should not be the presiding minister.
7.C.7 Bishops of these Churches are often invited by the diocesan Bishop to act on the diocesan's behalf, for example in confirmation. The other members of COABICE often hold the Bishop's Commission as honorary assistant bishops of this Diocese. If a chaplain wishes a bishop to take part in public worship in that chaplaincy (but that bishop does not hold the diocesan Bishop's Commission), then they should write to the diocesan Bishop asking the diocesan Bishop to invite the other bishop to take part in public worship at that chaplaincy.
7D - Churches not in Communion with the Church of England
This provision applies to members of Christian Churches that are either:
covered by Canon B43
designated by the Archbishop under §27 of the Diocesan Constitution.
7.D.1 A minister or lay person who is a member in good standing of a Church in either category above and is a baptised person, and who is authorised to perform a similar duty in their own Church, subject to the provisions of the Canon, may be invited to perform all or any of the following duties if that person is authorised to perform similar duties in their own Church:
(i) to say or sing Morning or Evening Prayer or the Litany;
(ii) to read the Scriptures at any service;
(iii) to preach at any service;
(iv) to lead the intercessions at the Holy Communion and to lead prayers at other services;
(v) to assist at Baptism or the Solemnization of Matrimony or to conduct a Funeral Service;
(vi) to assist in the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament to the people at the Holy Communion.
7.D.2 The table below sets out those from whom prior approval is required before an invitation can be made – and then only by the chaplain (or in a vacancy the archdeacon).
|Possible participation||Of whom approval is required|
|To officiate at Morning or Evening Prayer, the Litany, or to conduct a Service of the Word||The Church Council (prior to requesting the Bishop's approval if more than occasional)|
|To preach at any service||The Church Council (prior to requesting the Bishop's approval if more than occasional)|
|To assist at Baptism or the Solemnisation of Matrimony or a Funeral Service||The Bishop's approval, after the persons (normally relatives) most concerned have requested the chaplain to make an invitation|
|To conduct a Funeral Service||The Bishop's approval, after the persons (normally relatives) most concerned have requested the chaplain to make an invitation|
|To assist in the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament to the people at Holy Communion||The Church Council (prior to requesting the Bishop's approval if more than occasional)|
Invitations to perform duties in relation to a service of ordination or confirmation should be given by the ordaining / confirming bishop or with the Bishop’s prior approval, and in relation to a service of institution with the prior approval of the Bishop or the Bishop's Commissary.
The document Twinnings and Exchanges offers guidelines for ecumenical relations between Anglicans and Roman Catholics in France.
7.D.3 The Bishop is willing to receive requests for baptised members of other Churches to perform such duties, provided that the conditions set out above are fulfilled, and that the chaplain, in making application, informs the Bishop:
of the Church of which the person is a member, and
of the person's willingness to perform the duty or duties for which permission is requested..
7.D.4 It is important to recognize that those for whom an application is made under these provisions are required under our safeguarding policy to complete a Declaration, which is subject to checking in the same way as anyone who is to hold Bishop's Licence or other permission.