Wangaratta Anglican Bishop John Parkes believes North East Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy might in future share the mission to maintain Christian faith and congregations across the region, according to a report in the Wangaratta Chronicle.
The bishop on Friday (June 2) told priests and delegates from North East Anglican parishes attending the opening session of the 39th synod of his Anglican rural diocese at St John’s Village that “ecumenical endeavour”, in his view, had become “a strategic matter” for his church.
“It is long overdue that we should seek co-operation with other Christians, irrespective of denomination, to ensure that the mission of God is carried forward in the face of the challenges of rural demography,” he said.
At the heart of his annual charge – which was also heard by the Anglican Primate of Australia and Archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier, who was a guest – Bishop Parkes explored what he believed could flow from a movement known as the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission, the newspaper reported.
He said he last year had been chosen as Australian Anglican bishop-at-large – paired with Canberra-Goulburn Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse – to participate in a pilgrimage to Canterbury, home of the Anglican church, and Rome, home of the Roman Catholic Church, to mark the 50th anniversary of a 1966 landmark meeting between then-Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsay and Pope Paul VI.