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THE PORVOO DECLARATION

We, the Church of Denmark, the Church of England, the Estonian Evangelical-Lutheran Church, the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Iceland, the Church of Ireland, the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Latvia, the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Lithuania, the Church of Norway, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Church of Sweden and the Church in Wales, on the basis of our common understanding of the nature and purpose of the Church, fundamental agreement in faith and our agreement on episcopacy in the service of the apostolicity of the Church, contained in Chapters II-IV of The Porvoo Common Statement, make the following acknowledgements and commitments:

a.      

i            we acknowledge one another's churches as churches belonging to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ and truly participating in the apostolic mission of the whole people of God; 


ii            we acknowledge that in all our churches the Word of God is authentically preached, and the sacraments of baptism and the eucharist are duly administered;

iii            we acknowledge that all our churches share in the common confession of the apostolic faith;

iv            we acknowledge that one another's ordained ministries are given by God as instruments of his grace and as possessing not only the inward call of the Spirit, but also Christ's commission through his Body, the Church;

v            we acknowledge that personal, collegial and communal oversight (episcope) is embodied and exercised in all our churches in a variety of forms, in continuity of apostolic life, mission and ministry;

 vi            we acknowledge that the episcopal office is valued and maintained in all our churches as a visible sign expressing and serving the Church's unity and continuity in apostolic life, mission and ministry.


b.       We commit ourselves:

i            to share a common life in mission and service, to pray for and with one another, and to share resources;

ii            to welcome one another's members to receive sacramental and other pastoral ministrations;

iii            to regard baptized members of all our churches as members of our own;

iv            to welcome diaspora congregations into the life of the indigenous churches, to their mutual enrichment;

v            to welcome persons episcopally ordained in any of our churches to the office of bishop, priest or deacon to serve, by invitation and in accordance with any regulations which may from time to time be in force, in that ministry in the receiving church without re-ordination;

vi            to invite one another's bishops normally to participate in the laying on of hands at the ordination of bishops as a sign of the unity and continuity of the Church;

vii            to work towards a common understanding of diaconal ministry;

viii            to establish appropriate forms of collegial and conciliar consultation on significant matters of faith and order, life and work;

 ix            to encourage consultations of representatives of our churches, and to facilitate learning and exchange of ideas and information in theological and pastoral matters;

 x            to establish a contact group to nurture our growth in communion and to co-ordinate the implementation of this agreement.

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