On 19th March at the 10h30 service we welcomed the sermon of the Most Reverend Joris Vercammen, the Old-Catholics Archbishop of Utrecht.
Old-Catholics are a group of national churches which at various times separated from the Roman Catholic Church. They are Catholic in faith, order and worship but reject the Papal claims of infallibility and supremacy. The term “Old-Catholic” was adopted to mean original Catholicism.
The Anglican Communion signed the Bonn Agreement with the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht in 1931. This agreement of “inter-Communion” has formed the basis for an ongoing relationship mediated by the Anglican-Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council.
They have participated in the World Council of Churches since its beginning and are in formal dialogue with both the Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church. Among them the Archbishop of Utrecht holds a primacy of honour not dissimilar to that accorded in the Anglican Communion to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Anglicans and Old Catholics are welcome to participate fully in each other’s worship and receive communion at celebrations of the Eucharist; clergy may act fully in each other’s churches. This was the first agreement of its kind that Anglicans had ever concluded.
A Prayer for Anglicans & Old Catholics:
we give thanks for your grace that we,
Anglicans and Old Catholics,
may walk together on the way.
You gave us each other and united us,
to become signs of reconciliation and unity for the world.
As you called Jesus,
so you call also us and fill us with your love for humankind.
As you strengthened Jesus with your spirit,
so you also strengthen us,
so that we never lack strength and inspiration,
creativity and courage.
Teach us to see the opportunities which you offer us,
and give us trust in you,
who are with us on the way,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, our God for ever.