Ecumenism - The Search for Unity


Four centuries of separation have been followed by a century of healing as both at the international and the local level Christians have debated, explored and co-operated together.

In 1960 Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher visited Rome and was the first Archbishop of Canterbury to meet the Pope since the Reformation.

Archbishop Fisher



The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism (1964) opened the way for the establishment of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. This dialogue has enabled the Churches to make great strides towards unity.

The Second Vatican Council



Archbishop Ramsey visited Pope Paul VI in 1966. As he left the meeting, the Pope handed him his own episcopal ring.

The episcopal ring:
“I felt vividly”, said Ramsey, “that he was giving me a piece of himself.”



Archbishop Michael Ramsey with the encouragement of Pope Paul VI established the Anglican Centre in Rome in 1966.


The Queen at the Anglican Centre in Rome, 2000


Since 1966, the ring given by Paul VI has been worn by Archbishops of Canterbury whenever they meet the Pope.

The tradition continues under the present Archbishop, Dr Rowan Williams, who has met on several occasions with Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor.

Archbishop Rowan and Pope Benedict, November 2009


The Search continues

Roman Catholic Bishops of England and Wales and Church of England Bishops
hold a joint meeting in Leeds    

Greetings from the Archbishop of Canterbury
at the Installation of the Archbishop of Westminster