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Local Covenants

Local covenants can be informal, though significant, agreements between local congregations or can be formal LEPs. When they are LEPs, it is very common for one of the partners itself to be an LEP, eg the members of a Covenanted Partnership LEP may include a shared building LEP or a single congregation LEP.
The Greater Manchester Sponsoring Body Guidelines are extremely helpful:
  1. The text of the Local Covenant and the Constitution of the LEP must have been approved by the constituent denominations and the Sponsoring Body.
  2. There should be a formal acceptance of the local Covenant by each of the congregations involved, so that all their praying and decision making is done with an awareness of the other congregations in it.
  3. There should be a commitment among the leaders (lay and ordained) of the congregations involved to meet regularly for prayer and consultation. In some Local Covenants this happens once a week for prayer and once a month for consultation.
  4. There should be a clear indication of and commitment to the objectives of the Local Covenant. These should include the areas of mission, joint ministry, shared worship, mutual care etc which are to be the starting points for the operation of the Local Covenant. To only describe general aspiration of 'working more closely together' is not sufficient. There also needs to be a commitment to the development of the relationship between the churches and that which they do together. The Local Covenant will be reviewed and evaluated with reference to these objectives.
  5. There should be agreed procedures for joint decision making, areas of responsibility etc which are framed in the constitution.
  6. There should be an acceptance by the constituent denominations that appointments to posts within the Local Covenant will be made after ecumenical consultation.
  7. Nothing should be required of congregations within a Local Covenant which infringes the disciplines of their parent denominations (unless that discipline is relaxed by the granting of LEP status).

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