Professor Peter Howdle, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Medicine in the University of Leeds, and member of Oakwood Church (a Methodist-Anglican Partnership), has been awarded the Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism by the Archbishop of Canterbury for “his outstanding contribution to Anglican-Methodist relations”.
Peter Howdle has been instrumental in the development of Anglican-Methodist relations in the last 15 years.
Following the signing of an Anglican-Methodist Covenant between the Church of England and the Methodist Church in 2003, he was appointed Methodist co-chair of the Joint Implementation Commission (JIC), to further the work of the Covenant, alongside the late Bishop Ian Cundy. Together they made some fundamental recommendations (including the conditions necessary for the interchangeability of ministry between the two churches) which the Methodist Conference and the C of E’s General Synod accepted.
The citation for the award says, “It was very much down to Peter’s commitment and vision for Anglican-Methodist reconciliation that the work of the JIC led to the current phase of work to bring about a real step change in Anglican-Methodist relations.”
Peter says, “I’m delighted to receive this award and feel very honoured. I feel that it reflects the importance of the work of the JIC but also is a great encouragement to local ecumenism, as in our local church in Oakwood. I think Oakwood is a unique expression of unity and hopefully is a helpful model for other Anglican and Methodist congregations.
“The joint Faith and Order bodies of our churches have been working out the practical implications of the recommendations and their report will be published later this summer. If eventually accepted by both churches this will mean that we shall be ‘in communion’ with each other, allowing much closer working together in our mission to the community and to the nation.
“In my professional life I was Professor of Clinical Medicine at Leeds University and a consultant gastroenterologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. So I can now truly say I am a theological gastroenterologist!”
The Revd Anne Brown, Chair of Leeds Methodist District, says, “The Leeds District is delighted to hear of this honour and are proud of the contribution Prof Howdle has made towards ecumenism on behalf of the Methodist Church”.
PHOTO: Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace's press release on all this year's awards can be read here.
Professor Peter Howdle, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Medicine in the University of Leeds, was vice-president of the Methodist Conference from 2002 to 2003. He was Consultant Gastroenterologist at St James’ Hospital, Leeds and Professor of Clinical Education and subsequently Clinical Medicine at Leeds Medical School until 2009. He is a recognised expert and author on Coeliac disease, and has served as a consultant for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Following the signing of an Anglican-Methodist Covenant between the Church of England and the Methodist Church, he was appointed by the Conference as Methodist co-chair of the Joint Implementation Commission (JIC), alongside the late Bishop Ian Cundy. In the first quinquennium as co-chairs, Peter and Bishop Ian steered the Commission in the publication of two interim reports and a final report (Embracing the Covenant) which addressed most of the issues identified in the Anglican-Methodist Common Statement and also considered the conditions necessary for the interchangeability of ministry between the two churches.
Peter was then appointed to serve as co-chair for the second quinquennium with Bishop Christopher Cocksworth. It was very much down to Peter’s commitment and vision for Anglican-Methodist reconciliation that the work of the JIC in the second quinquennium led to the current phase of work to bring about a real step change in Anglican-Methodist relations.
He continues to serve Anglican-Methodist relations in the Joint Faith and Order Ministry and Oversight Group, which is developing proposals for the interchangeability of ministry. His sustained contribution to this work has been outstanding.