The Peterborough Anglican-Lutheran Covenant

In 2012, the clergy of the Anglican parishes in Peterborough were invited by then-Area Bishop Linda Nicholls to discern a plan for a way forward for the parishes, which had collectively experienced a decline of approximately 50% in attendance over the previous decade.  The conversation which followed expanded to include the laity and, in March 2014, the four remaining Anglican parishes (All Saints', St Barnabas's, St John's, and St Luke's) entered into a Covenant relationship with each other (click here to read the Covenant).  It affirmed that "the covenant relationship among the clergy and the four congregations will be a shared ministry of love and trust to which Christ is calling them".  It called for weekly meetings of the clergy, periodic meetings of parish leaders, and a Council which would seek opportunities for deepening the shared relationships between the parishes.  Later in that year, Christ Lutheran Church joined the Covenant.

In the fall of 2015, the Bishop called together the five churches for a meeting with her and diocesan staff to review the work done so far and to challenge the churches to be more intentional about discerning a vision for sustainable ministry in the city.  That led to the formation of the Covenant Commission, which spent most of 2016 in consultation with the five congregations and external resources.  The Commission explored our joint mission, collected information on resources, provided a report on options, and provided a final report in November 2016 with recommendations and next steps towards creating a sustainable Anglican-Lutheran presence in Peterborough.

On Sunday, February 12th, 2017, the five Covenant churches held Special Vestry/Congregational Meetings to vote on a motion to proceed in principle towards the recommended amalgamation option of reducing the current five churches to two.  At St John's, the motion passed overwhelmingly, and it was carried in all of the other congregations.

In Eastertide 2017, Archbishop Colin Johnson appointed a five-member assessment commission (under Canon 13 of the Diocese of Toronto) to review the information contained in the reports of the Covenant Commission.  The assessment commission also visited each of the five churches and met with the Covenant Council to receive additional submissions.  They will provide a report by May 31 to the Archbishop with a recommendation on a way forward with respect to which churches will be used.  The timeline provided by the Diocese suggests that the implementation of the recommendation will begin in the fall of 2017.