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Church of England and Methodist Church to continue exploring closer communion.

Following debate at the General Synod, the Church of England's Faith and Order Commission will now undertake further refinement and clarification on proposals that would see the Church of England and the Methodist Church enter into a relationship of communion and enable an interchange of their presbyteral ministries.

Building on the theological convergence encapsulated in An Anglican-Methodist Covenant, signed in 2003, and the work of the Covenant's Joint Implementation Commission from 2003-2014, acceptance of the proposals would mark a further step on the journey of reconciliation between the two Churches.

After the debate, the Revd Gareth J Powell, Secretary of the Methodist Conference, said: "We are very grateful to the Church of England for this opportunity to address the General Synod and discuss the progress we are making together on the path towards reconciliation and the ordering of our existing ministries in a way that reflects the needs and wishes of both Churches.

"We recognise that these are matters of significance to all within our Churches. As we move forward, we will continue to discern the will of God and deepen our understanding of each other through ongoing dialogue."

The proposals are already available for discussion in both Churches. In light of the further work, and to enable time for proper reflection, it is unlikely that the proposals will be brought to the Methodist Conference for discussion before 2019.

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