Scottish Churches enter into new partnership

The Scottish Episcopal Church, Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church in Scotland entered into a new covenant with one another on Saturday.

The partnership was sealed by the denominational leaders at a special service at St Ninian’s Episcopal Cathedral, Perth.

Signing the agreement on behalf of the URC was Primus the Most Rev David Chillingworth, who welcomed the formal coming together of the Churches.

He said: “I am delighted to take part in the signing of this covenant agreement. Our General Synod has whole-heartedly affirmed this covenant and welcomed this developing relationship with our partner churches."

The covenant was also signed by the Rev Lily Twist, Superintendent of the Methodist Church in Scotland and Rev John Humphreys, Moderator of the United Reformed Church, National Synod of Scotland.

The covenant reflects the work being undertaken jointly by the Churches already in areas like training and mission development.

The Churches will also share their resources, education and development opportunities for clergy and congregations.

“Many relations of this kind are aspirational in character," said Mr Chillingworth. "What makes this relationship so encouraging is that it is rooted in work which we already share in training and mission development. We look forward to a further sharing of resources and ministry as together we address the mission challenges of our times.”

The signing of the partnership coincides with the centenary of the 1910 Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh, which marked the start of ecumenical working between churches in Scotland and throughout the world.

Congregations across Scotland are being encouraged to support and participate in local ecumenical events to celebrate the centenary, the culmination of which is the Edinburgh 2010 conference in June.