Australian Anglican, Catholic Heads to Sign Covenant

In a sign of a warming relationship between the Anglicans and the Catholics in New South Wales, Australia, a formal covenant will be signed between the two groups.

The Anglican Archbishop of Newcastle, Dr. Brian Farran, said it was an indication of the common value they shared together and a step towards "healing" the differences.

This covenant, the second time it was agreed upon in Australia, would be signed by three regional heads of the two largest Christian denominations, spanning areas around Newcastle. A Fairfax newspaper reported the agreement will entail holding an annual ecumenical service of worship, an annual joint clergy day, an annual exchange of pulpits and examining the possibilities of sharing church planting.

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Bishop Farran told the Sydney Morning Herald that sharing resources would benefit both parties given they were limited and emphasized the goodwill both denominations enjoyed over the years.

"There are already cases in rural areas where resources are stretched and many 'competing' church buildings are being used for a few parishioners. This will be a statement that we don't want to waste resources," Farran said.

"There is much goodwill already between our denominations and we have been running successful combined clergy days for many years," he added. "I'm sure there will be a solid welcome by parishioners for the annual exchange of pulpits."

The covenant is scheduled to be signed on April 2 in the Newcastle Anglican Cathedral.

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