Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sesquicentennial Dinner – The Anglican and Eastern Churches Association

This year the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association celebrates its 150th Anniversary. To mark the occasion a Dinner will be held at Lambeth Palace in the presence of Anglican and Orthodox Guests on Wednesday 29th October 2014.
‘The Anglican and Eastern Churches Association (AECA) is the first group to be founded in Britain on Anglican-Orthodox relations. The number of Anglican-Orthodox groups which exist, primarily in the West, and more specifically in Britain, have contributed immensely towards the establishment of the current dialogue. The first group to be founded in Britain was “The Association for the Promotion of the Unity of Christendom”[1] which was founded in 1857, whilst the Eastern Church Association came into being in 1864. The E.C.A.’s purpose was to

“inform Anglicans of the state and position of the Eastern Christians; to make the doctrines and principles of Anglicanism known in the East; to take advantage ‘of all opportunities which the providence of God shall afford us for intercommunion with the Orthodox Church, and also for friendly intercourse with the other ancient Churches of the East’; to give financial assistance to the Orthodox bishops to assist in their efforts to promote the spiritual welfare of their flocks.”[2]

The E.C.A.’s importance is evident, since it was the first endeavour within the United Kingdom to find an organisation with a sole purpose the promotion of Anglican-Orthodox Relations. On the whole, discussions before this point were products of individuals, existing on the periphery of the church’s interest, in both East and West. Nevertheless, the E.C.A. altered this practice. It persisted that its members were representing a church; consequently giving it an official position within the relations of the two churches.  This organisation is currently known as ‘The Anglican and Eastern Churches Association’ (A.E.C.A.). It eventually amalgamated with ‘The Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union’, in 1906, forming finally the existing A.E.C.A, based in London. It is significant to identify its goals; the Association has the following aim:

“To advance the Christian religion, particularly by teaching members of the Anglican and Orthodox Churches about each other, in order to prepare the way for an ultimate union between them, in accordance with our Lord’s prayer that ‘all may be one’. All its members are urged to work and pray constantly to this end.”[3][4]

Tickets for the dinner will be £75 each for a three course dinner, including drinks. If you wish to apply for a ticket, the application above (see picture) should be completed and returned to the Secretary, together with a cheque for £75 payable to the AECA. Numbers will be limited to 80 and guest applications should be sent with a separate cheque (payable to the AECA) which will be returned to applicant should tickets not be available for guests.

[1] Young, Ivan, The Relations of East and West since the Great Schism, (London, SPCK, 1935), p. 19.
[2] Brandreth, Henry, “Anglican Eastern Associations: A Sketch”, Sobornost, No. 31 (New Series), June 1945, p. 10.
[3] A.E.C.A.,, accessed 08/01/12, 14.57.
[4] Part of an article, published on Londinoupolis:

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