SWEEPING proposals to solve major problems standing in the way between the Anglican and Methodist Churches have been made Lambeth, former Archbishop of Canterbury.
of full communion by Lord Fisher of Lord Fisher, 79, mane his proposals in an address to a meeting of Anglicans and Methodists at South Petherton, Somerset. He said the Churches should set a goal of full communion by 1968.
His address came only a few weeks before joint teams of negotiators will make an interim report. The teams under the Anglican Bishop of London, Dr, Robert Stopford, and former Methodist Conference President, Dr. Harold Roberts — have been charged with reporting back to their Churches by the end of 1968. Lord Fisher said the greatest barrier to full communion between the two Churches had already been overcome by reason of the Methodist Church's willingness to become an "episcopal Church."
"But," he continued, "there is a double problem left. The Church of England has priests. The Methodist Church has ministers, and does not call them priests.
The simple fact is that Church of England priests can equally well he called Church of f7..ngland presbyters, which is the New Testament word.
And Methodist ministers can equally well be called presbyters, too.
"Thus, both Churches have presbyters; the difference is that in the Church of England they are ordained by bishops with presbyters assisting, and in the Methodist Church by presbyters alone. This difference will disappear when there are Methodist bishops."
Turning to the method of reconciling the two ministries, Lord Fisher said that some Anglicans thought that this should be done by a "particular" service with "particular" words which could be taken to mean that the bishop, in laying hands on the Methodist minister, "is, or may be, ordaining him to the priesthood (to be understood as something entirely different from presbyterhood).
"But, if that is what the service means," he added, "it is an ordination service, and it is agreed on both sides that it would be altogether wrong to do anything which implies that Methodist minislers are not already by their Methodist ordination fully and completely presbyters in the Church of God."
Eire TV training
TWELVE students have started the first nine-week course at the new Communication Centre in Booterstown Avenue, Dublin, under the direction of the Irish Hierarchy and founded in response to the Vatican Council's directives on the media of social communications.