Unity Faith and Order - Commissions IASCER

The Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations

Communiqué Nassau, Bahamas 2 - 8 December 2000

The inaugural meeting of the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations (IASCER) took place in Nassau, Bahamas from 2 to 8 December under the chairmanship of the Most Revd Drexel W. Gomez, the Archbishop of the Church in the Province of the West Indies.

The Ecumenical Advisory Group of the Anglican Communion recommended the formation of IASCER in The Agros Report which was submitted to the 1998 Lambeth Conference. The following mandate for the commission was agreed by the Primates, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Lambeth Conference:

  1. to monitor and enable Anglican participation in multilateral and bilateral dialogues, both regional and international;
  2. to monitor and encourage the process of response, decision and reception;
  3. to ensure theological consistency in dialogues and conversations by reviewing regional and provincial proposals with ecumenical partners and, when an agreement affects the life of the Communion as a whole, after consultation with the ACC, to refer the matter to the Primates' Meeting, and only if that Meeting so determines, to the Lambeth Conference, before the Province enters the new relationship;
  4. to give particular attention to anomalies which arise in the context of ecumenical proposals with a view to discerning those anomalies which may be bearable in the light of progress towards an agreed goal of visible unity, and to suggest ways for resolving them;
  5. to consider, when appropriate, if and how an agreement made in one region or Province can be adopted in other regions or Provinces;
  6. to address issues of terminology;
  7. to facilitate the circulation of documents and ecumenical resources throughout the Communion, as far as possible in the languages of the Communion.

This initial meeting reviewed and discussed all the present international dialogues involving Anglicans, and received information on several provincial and regional initiatives towards unity with other Christians. Working groups were established to carry forward detailed study on some general issues which touch upon several dialogues: Communion with and within the Anglican Communion; Holy Orders; Ecclesiology and Communion and Anglican identity and coherence in dialogue. Detailed plans for the Communion-wide study of agreements from the Anglican-Orthodox and Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues were set in place, and actions and recommendations related to Anglican dialogue with Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists were agreed. During the meeting tribute was paid to the late Fr Jean-Marie Tillard OP, a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission since the beginning, an outstanding ecumenist and a friend of the Anglican Communion.

The participants attended the Advent Sunday diocesan festival Eucharist at Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau.

The Commission is grateful to the staff of the diocesan office in Nassau and to the parish priest and volunteers of Holy Trinity parish where the sessions were held, and to the chaplains who led the daily office and presided at the daily Eucharist.

The Commission consists of members representing each international dialogue involving Anglicans, including the multilateral dialogue of Faith and Order, along with consultants who bring particular regional or theological expertise. Present at Nassau were: The Most Revd Drexel Gomez (chairman), The Revd Prebendary Dr Paul Avis, The Revd Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, The Revd Dr William Crockett, The Rt Revd Mark Dyer, The Rt Revd Dr John W. Gladstone, The Revd Canon David Hamid (secretary), The Rt Revd John Hind, The Revd Sarah Rowland Jones, The Very Revd Justus Marcus, The Revd Canon Richard Marsh, The Revd Jane Namugenyi, The Revd Canon Luke Pato, The Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell, The Revd Dr Charles Sherlock, and The Revd Canon Professor J. Robert Wright. Mrs. Christine Codner, and Ms Rosemary Palmer of the Anglican Communion Office served as administrative assistants to the meeting.