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This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Anglican Centre.

The Dedication took place during Archbishop Michael Ramsey's historic visit to Pope Paul VI, fifty years ago.
The Anglican Centre has been blessed by being hosted in the ancient Palazzo Doria Pamphilj since Opening in 1966.

They say that God walks through history a decade at a stride. As the decades have passed, the knowledge and love for each other has grown as meetings between Archbishops of Canterbury and the Pope have become frequent and regular.

If we measure the growth in mutual awareness, understanding, trust and cooperation between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church in decades, we can see five great steps forward:

  • Since Vatican II and its decree on ecumenism we have totally embraced each other’s baptism: we are members one of another in the mystical body of Christ, in the life and community of the triune God;
  • It is now possible for Anglican and Roman Catholic priests to co-preside at the marriage of Anglican and Roman Catholic partners;
  • We have witnessed agreement on the meaning of the great thanksgiving in the Eucharist as well as baptism. We have witnessed agreement on 'the Church as Communion', on the meaning of Christian marriage;
  • In principle, we concur on the crucial doctrine of justification by faith in Christ, unto good works. This means that the main theological reason for the Reformation has been resolved;
  • We are working hard on doctrines about authority, Mary, the way global and local church holds together, and the way the global and local church discerns right ethical teaching.

The Anglican Centre in Rome has been an embodiment of this progress and this journey in hope for 50 years. The Centre has sought to demonstrate that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion are totally serious and fully committed to the belief that Jesus held up before us in John’s Gospel “that they may all be one”.

May they all be one; Even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you; may they be one in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. [John 17:21]

The Anglican Centre has sought to live this hope by being a presence, by encouraging conversation, by worship, hospitality and education, by the exchange of gifts and by initiating and encouraging: communicating fresh ideas and best practice.

The Anglican Centre today

The chapel

From the very first day, the Anglican Centre has had a chapel dedicated to St Augustine of Canterbury. Today it hosts daily services and a weekly Eucharist.

Almost sixty people can be fitted into the chapel and we host a community of Anglicans, Catholics, Orthodox, Methodists, and many others.

Every Tuesday we offer a lunch after our Eucharist, and see Christians of all denominations encounter and befriend one another.

The library

The Anglican Centre’s library was opened in 1966 by the Rt Rev’d John Moorman, sometime Bishop of Ripon and an instrumental force in the setting up of the Anglican Centre. It was at the core of Archbishop Michael Ramsey’s vision for the Centre:

the Anglican student is often a debtor to writers within the Roman Catholic Church. This Centre is an attempt to repay that debt by making available the resources of Anglican learning to any who will come and enjoy them.

Archbishop Michael Ramsey

This is a reference library, boasting a catalogue of over 15,000 books, is currently used by many, including Roman Catholics living and studying in Rome, the Centre’s Scholars in Residence, clergy on sabbatical, and visiting students on courses at the Anglican Centre. It has a particular focus on ecclesiology, doctrine, and ecumenism making it ideal for those who wish to explore Anglican Ecclesiology.

Introducing Anglicans to Rome

This is the first step in practical ecumenism - to know. To know each other.

Pope Paul VI

Last year we ran four courses, each bringing 15-35 people to Rome. We offered 20 scholarships for people from developing countries, which we negotiated from the St Augustine’s Trust, covering the course fee, accommodation, and half of the airfare over.

St John the Divine, Kennington Youth Group

Helping future priests come to and experience Rome is essential as our communions come to know each other better. Eight Theological Institutions visited in 2015 for bespoke training courses, each bringing between 15 and 20 students at a time.

Seminary of the South West study visit to Rome, 2016

Over the past two years the Centre has developed a successful Scholar in Residence Programme with scholars from across the Anglican Communion staying for a week to a month at a time. Most typically, a scholar is a seminarian, student researcher or recognised leader for whom time apart to study and reflect is of great value.

Introducing Rome to Anglicans

The distance which separates us should first be diminished by this approach - mutual knowledge; a knowledge free of prejudice, informed by reverence, eager to discover not only what separates us but what unites us; a knowledge which banishes mistrust and clears a path by which we may draw nearer still.

Pope Paul VI

The gifts of Anglican scholarship and music are those which we hope will help "repay the debt" which Michael Ramsey says the Anglican student owes to the Roman Catholic Church.

We help choirs sing in Rome and share their repertoire and skill with a city that loves good music.

We bring Anglican scholars to Rome and host talks and seminars and colloquia.

Professors Mark Chapman and Norman Tanner hold a colloquium discussing Chapman's book, 'The Fantasy of Reunion'.
Rowan Williams is a regular visitor to Rome and a popular scholar.
NT Wright in the crypt under the Anglican Centre (and the Palazzo) which is thought to be the site of St Paul's house arrest.

Walking together

We must walk together as if we were already one.

Pope Francis to Archbishop Justin Welby, on their first meeting

The Anglican Centre works closely with the Vatican and Catholic agencies in Rome to show how Anglicans and Catholics, working together can make a better world.

Archbishop David Moxon was involved in setting-up a major inter-faith gathering in the Vatican, which produced a common declaration against modern slavery. The Anglican Centre continues to educate and resource this cause.

We work with the Sant' Egidio Community, a lay community heavily involved in social action around the world, and are helping to introduce it to the Anglican Communion.

Representing the Anglican Communion.

Archbishop David Moxon is the Archbishop of Canterbury's Permanent Representative to the Holy See.

In this role, the Anglican Centre works to represent the Anglican Communion at the highest level, and to make sure that Primates and bishops from around the Communion have access to the right people in the Vatican at the right time.

In this pontificate, with Pope Francis and with Archbishop Justin Welby, we can look forward to new and greater common ground emerging. Mission will drive ecumenism and we will find ourselves, by God’s grace, closer than we were before. We are called to live and work out of the oneness our baptism gives us and trust God to increase the degree of communion we already share. This grace and power is able to move through our differences and to reveal a light that the darkness cannot overcome.

Celebrating fifty years.

Created By
David Moxon
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