Church of Denmark signs Porvoo Agreement

The Church of Denmark has ended years of separation from Anglican Churches in northern Europe by signing the Porvoo Agreement.

The Agreement underscores the Porvoo Communion of Evangelical-Lutheran Churches in northern Europe and Anglican Churches in Britain and Ireland.

Although the Church of Denmark participated in discussions leading up to the Porvoo Agreement some 15 years ago, it never signed the document because of differences over the status of women.

With women now being accepted into the priesthood by the Anglican Churches in the Porvoo Communion, the Church in Denmark announced last year that there was no longer any barrier to becoming a full member.

The Agreement was signed at a service in Copenhagen Cathedral by Hanna Broadbridge, chairman of the Council of International Relations of the Danish Church, and Bishop of Viborg, Karsten Nissen.

The Church called the signing of the Agreement momentous. It said that an era of “reticence” had been replaced by a “more open and trusting atmosphere” between the Churches.

The Bishop of Copenhagen, Bishop Peter Skov-Jakobsen, said that one of the most urgent tasks was to get to know each other better.

“It is in the interaction with each other that the things we have in common really become clear,” he said.

Present at the signing were the Venerable Jonathan Lloyd, Chaplain of St Alban’s Anglican Church in Copenhagen, the Bishop of Newcastle and Anglican Co-Chairman of the Porvoo Contact Group, the Rt Rev Martin Wharton, and the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop David Chillingworth.