An initial conversation took place between the Church Leaders of the Black Pentecostal Churches and the Catholic Church in England and Wales on Tuesday 21 May 2013 at the offices of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales in London.
The eleven Bishops and Senior Pastors of the Black Pentecostal Churches were led by Bishop Joe Aldred and the seven representatives of the Catholic Church by Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
After a time of shared prayer and introduction the meeting acknowledged that both church communities find themselves working beside each other especially in the inner-city areas and that they face many of the same pastoral and social problems.
Both church communities share a mutual regard for the Scriptures as the divinely inspired Word of God and there are many points of convergence regarding our convictions about the moral life and especially in the areas of marriage and family life.
Among the issues discussed were the value of fellowship, prayer and reflection together for those in Christian leadership, joint recognition of the work of our church communities, the profession of faith in the public forum, education and spiritual formation, the sharing of resources and Church buildings, the possibility of developing a memorandum of understanding at national level and the work of the international Pentecostal-Roman Catholic dialogue.
The meeting was greatly valued by all the participants and it was agreed that future meetings should be arrange on an annual basis.
This is the first time that Black Pentecostal and Roman Catholic Church Leaders have met nationally.