On 1 November 2003, The Church of England and The Methodist Church entered An Anglican-Methodist Covenant.
From 2003 until 2014, the Joint Implementation Commission (JIC) monitored and promoted the implementation of the Covenant. In 2014, the Methodist Conference and the General Synod of the Church of England voted strongly in favour of three recommendations made by the Commission.
The first recommendation was:
We recommend that the Faith and Order Commission of the Church of England and the Faith and Order Committee of the Methodist Church work together to bring forward proposals for:
- the Methodist Church to consider afresh expressing the Conference’s ministry of oversight in a personal form of connexional, episcopal ministry and the Church of England to recognise that ministry in the Methodist Church as a sign of continuity in faith, worship and mission in a church that is in the apostolic succession;
- the Church of England and the Methodist Church to address the question of reconciling, with integrity, the existing presbyteral and diaconal ministries of our two churches, which would lead to the interchangeability of ministries.
The second recommendation was:
We recommend that our churches at local and regional level, supported and advised by the Methodist Anglican Panel for Unity in Mission, give priority to making full use of what is already possible for them to do together, and especially to plan together for mission and worship, deployment of ministry and the use of resources.
The third recommendation was:
We recommend that a Joint Covenant Advocacy and Monitoring Group, co-chaired by a President or Vice-President of the Methodist Conference and a Diocesan Bishop and including two other Methodist and two other Anglican members should be established, with access to the key policy making bodies of our churches, to replace the Joint Implementation Commission in the next quinqennium. This body will monitor progress of faith and order conversations and other on-going work under the Covenant and advocate new initiatives; facilitate communication of Anglican–Methodist developments in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland; and report annually to the General Synod and Methodist Conference.