As part of the Anglican Church, St Thomas Becket is a member of the Porvoo Communion, a Communion of churches that have agreed to share a common life in mission and service.
The following, taken from the Porvoo Churches website [www.porvoochurches.org], explains what the Porvoo Communion is and what its member churches have agreed.
What is the Porvoo Communion?
The Porvoo Communion is a Communion of churches, mostly in Northern Europe, that have signed an agreement to “share a common life in mission and service”. The churches that signed the agreement are The Evangelical-Lutheran Churches of Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland and the Anglican churches: Church of England and of Ireland, Church in Wales and the Scottish Episcopal Church. Two churches from South Europe also belong to the Porvoo Communion. They are the Lusitanian Church in Portugal and the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain.
The name Porvoo comes from from the Porvoo Cathedral in Finland where the eucharist was celebrated on the final Sunday of the conversations leading to the Common Statement and thus finally to the Porvoo Communion.
Why these churches?
The big national churches in Northern Europe, which participated in the first steps towards the Porvoo Communion, have a great deal in common: their history, liturgy, identity and their understanding of the Church’s mission today bear great resemblances and they are all episcopal churches, that is churches where the office of oversight, the episcope, has been constant from the time of reformation. Other churches which joined at different steps share most of these elements and have greatly enriched the Porvoo Communion.
What are the key factors in the Porvoo Common Statement?
In the Common Statement the Porvoo Churches reached an agreement on the nature and purpose of the church, on its faith and doctrine, specifically on the apostolicity of the whole Church, on the apostolic ministry within it, and on the episcopal office in the service of the Church.