The Archbishops of Canterbury and York joined with bishops from the Church of England and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and archbishops and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in England for shared worship, prayer and conversation in a two-day visit to Norwich.
Over forty Bishops gathered for the biannual gathering at both the Roman Catholic and Anglican Cathedrals in the city.
Speaking to a journalist in Norwich, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: “These meetings between Catholic and Anglican bishops, that we are holding every two years, are very important. During my eleven years as Archbishop of Canterbury, I have been able to experience first-hand how these are opportunities for spirituality and coexistence that bring the two Churches closer together and make them grow in unity”.
The gathering began with prayers in the Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist, led by the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Revd Bernard Longley, before a visit to St Julian’s Shrine. Father Richard Stanton, Priest Director of the Shrine, told the bishops that 4,000 pilgrims visit the shrine every year from across the world.
The Bishops also attended morning prayer, choral evensong and a service of the Eucharist, presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in the city’s Anglican Cathedral.
Discussions included the Synodal journey in the Catholic church, the Coronation and a session on St John Henry Newman as an ecumenical figure.
The first joint meetings of the House of Bishops of the Church of England (with members of the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales) and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) took place in Leeds in 2006, followed by a second meeting in 2008 at Lambeth Palace.