The role of the International Committee is to keep the Diocese of Edinburgh in touch with the worldwide church, through the Anglican Communion, and through the Porvoo Agreement with Baltic Lutheran churches. A number of companion links have been developed with other dioceses, currently Cape Coast (Ghana), Dunedin (Aoteroa/New Zealand), and Espoo (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland).
Many individual congregations have their own active companion links, offering practical and prayerful support to people and projects. Mutual visits have taken place. Each has brought friendship, spiritual insights, and links between churches as we share our faith in the framework of our heritage and our culture. Companion links are not about writing cheques and sitting back. Building relationships with other parts of the worldwide church can be hard work, as our youth team found when leading Youth Camps for the diocese of Cape Coast in 2008 and again in 2010. We pray for each other. We support projects suggested by our link churches. We can be a voice for them in an unjust world.
This covenant agreement encapsulates our aims: “We see ourselves as pilgrims journeying together, as companions exploring the challenges of the Gospel. Our mission is to develop links of friendship and partnership between our two dioceses, among congregations and individuals, in ways that are spiritual, imaginative, sustainable, practical, effective, enriching and fun. Our intention is to empower our Christian witness: praying for each other, learning from each other, supporting each other, respecting each other’s diversity, in culture and in theological opinions, and encouraging the development of mutual understanding between the peoples of the Dioceses. In response to our understanding of God’s call to us, we commit ourselves in prayer to the fulfilment of these intentions.”
Hospitality for international visitors
Members of the committee organise hospitality for the many international visitors who come to our diocese. A number of bishops visited before the 2008 Lambeth conference, and a group of young Anglicans before the 2010 Edinburgh Mission Conference. Recent visits have included two from parishes of the Church of Sweden, and smaller groups from Ghana and Finland. The committee has the resources to advise and inform congregations about issues for the wider church.
In the UK we maintain friendly co-operation with the Scottish Episcopal Church Mission Association, the Provincial Overseas Committee, the Mission Agencies such as USPG, and Partners in World Mission. Future plans Future plans include developing our link with the Evangelical Lutheran diocese of Espoo in Finland, while maintaining our links with the dioceses of Dunedin and Cape Coast.