Lay involvement, involvement of youth and young people in our churches, issues in ordained ministry, especially on women bishops and diaconate were among the priorities set by the Porvoo Church Leaders’ Meeting for the next years.
At a meeting in Cardiff, Wales, 16. – 21. March 2006, around 50 leaders from the churches of the Porvoo Communion evaluated the work since the signing of the Porvoo Declaration 10 years ago and identified issues and guidelines for the next years.
The meeting was designed to ensure an active participation of everyone, giving much time for group work and interaction. The delegates also visited a prison, initiatives for the homeless, the Welsh Assembly, an Inter Faith Forum and a mosque in Cardiff.
The seven areas of work identified were:
- Lay involvement
- Involvement of youth and young people
- Issues in ordained ministry
- Issues in human sexuality
- Living in Communion
- The effect of European and national legislation on the churches.
- Interfaith Issues
The Porvoo Contact group will be asked to work further with these recommendations according to the discussions during the meeting.
The theme of the meeting was “Come, follow me!”. Bible studies during the meeting were given by the Revd Canon Robert Paterson from the Church in Wales and focused on discipleship.
On Sunday there was a special service in Llandaff Cathedral to celebrate 10 years of the signing of the Porvoo Agreement. The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Barry Morgan officiated and the Archbishop of Sweden, the Most Revd KG Hammar preached.
Parallel to this meeting a conference of communicators from the Porvoo churches was held in Cardiff. The participants recommended that a Porvoo church communicators’ network should be established and a pattern of regular meetings put in place.
The Porvoo Communion is a family of churches encompassing the four Anglican Churches of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England, and eight Nordic and Baltic Churches, namely Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church and the Lusitanian Church (Portugal). The Evangelical Lutheran Churches of Denmark and Latvia have an observer status in the communion. The purpose of the Porvoo communion is to draw the churches involved into a new and closer relationship for the sake of greater unity and more effective mission.
Present also in the meeting were observers from other churches and ecumenical church organisations, making valuable contribution to the discussions. These were representatives of the Old Catholic Churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany, the Conference of European Churches, the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (the Leuenberg Church Fellowship) and Cytûn (the Council of Churches in Wales).
News and pictures from the consultation were published on a separate blogsite.