Anglicans and Pentecostals have 'much to learn' from each other

(Photo: ACNS)The consultation brought together nine Anglicans and eight Pentecostals

Representatives of the Church of England and Pentecostal traditions came together in Hertfordshire this week to explore their similarities and differences, and consider their partnership in mission.

The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reports that the two-day consultation at High Leigh follows the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's call for greater interaction between the two traditions.

The Reverend Dr David Hilborn, a member of the Faith and Order Commission and the Society for Pentecostal Studies, said the talks represented a "real step forward in mutual understanding and co-operation" between Anglicans and Pentecostals.

"I had been involved in ecumenical work for some years and had noticed that while Roman Catholic, Reformed and Lutheran churches had been engaged in bilateral theological conversations with Pentecostals, Anglicans had lagged behind," he said.

His sentiments were shared by the Reverend Nezlin Sterling, of the New Testament Assemblies, who said the consultation was a "welcome new development in understanding and cooperation" between the two traditions.

The consultation considered key doctrinal questions around the work of the Holy Spirit, apostolic leadership and prophecy, as well as practical aspects of relationship, such as chuch sharing, Christian schools and joint ministerial training.

Anglicans and Pentecostals in England have enjoyed informal relationships over the years but this is the first structured conversation, the ACNS reports, and more meetings are being planned.

Professor William Kay, of the Assemblies of God, said: "Pentecostals have much to learn from Anglicans and, dare I say it, Anglicans have much to learn from Pentecostals, and this enriching consultation got us off to a flying start."