Church of England, Methodists Consider Merger

The Church of England and the Methodist Church on Dec. 12 launched a process that could change the face of English Christianity, by publishing a covenant that could lead to unity within a decade. According to Guardian Unlimited, the two churches spoke in a joint statement of common ground being "rediscovered." They affirmed the validity of both churches' doctrines and committed themselves to overcoming obstacles to the "full visible unity of Christ's church" for the first time since Methodism was founded more than 250 years ago. Intermittent discussions about unity have taken place over many years, though the most serious effort collapsed in 1972.