This is based on the advice document followed in Nottinghamshire.
The content of a Covenant or Declaration of Intent will usually include:
- a theological basis for working together
- a commitment to prayer and decision making which is always aware of the other partners in the Covenant
- a commitment among the covenanting chaplains/sector ministers to meet regularly for prayer and consultation
- a commitment to clearly named objectives in the area of mission and ministry served by the chaplains/sector ministers
- a commitment to the development of the relationship between the chaplains/sector ministers and of what they do together or on behalf of one another
- a recognition that nothing should be required of the covenanting chaplains/sector ministers which infringes the discipline of the Church/denomination to which each belongs.
These will form the objectives with reference to which the ecumenical Partnership will be reviewed. There will also need to be an acceptance by the constituent denominations that appointments to posts within the Covenant will be made only after ecumenical consultation.
An accompanying Constitution would include:
- a definition of the ‘catchment’ area covered by the Covenant
- a statement of its relationship with the Sponsoring Body and with the institution served
- agreed procedures for consultation over appointments, joint decision making and areas of responsibility and accountability (including, as appropriate, provision for ongoing support/management/enabling of the partnership)
- provisions for amendment, wider participation, review and development.
Reviews would normally be initiated by the Sponsoring Body, and reviewers chosen in consultation with, the appropriate Co-ordinating Group of Churches Together in England and the institution served. For example, where Industrial Mission is constituted as an LEP, it would be appropriate to consult INDEM (The Churches Co-ordinating Group for Mission in Industry and the Economy).
In order for the Covenant to be recognised by the parent denominations and registered with the Sponsoring Body, specific examples and evidence of the commitments named in the Covenant or Declaration of Intent may be requested.