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The first Willibrord Society was founded in England in 1908. Its initial aim was to work for closer links between the Church of England and the Old Catholic churches.
St Willibrord came from England in the 7th century. He was a missionary to the Frisians, and in 695, he became the first Archbishop of Utrecht. He thus witnesses to the long-standing relationship between the Church of England and the Union of Utrecht, and has been adopted as patron of the relationship between Anglicans and Old Catholics.
The Anglican and Old Catholic churches have always been close theologically, and have always enjoyed a good relationship. The Bonn Agreement of 1931 established full intercommunion between the two. The International Anglican/Old Catholic Co-ordinating Committee (AOCICC) exists at the highest level to deepen this relationship. Their latest brochure, Anglicans and Old Catholics together in Europe provides an excellent overview of the relations between our two churches.
The Willibrord Society and its national associations are working for a practical realization of this agreement in the lives of their respective churches. http://www.willibrord.org seeks to contribute to the deepening of these ecumenical relationships.
we give thanks for your grace that we,
Anglicans and Old Catholics,
may walk together on the way.
You gave us each other and united us,
to become signs of reconciliation and unity for the world.
As you called Jesus,
so you call also us and fill us with your love for humankind.
As you strengthened Jesus with your spirit,
so you also strengthen us,
so that we never lack strength and inspiration,
creativity and courage.
Teach us to see the opportunities which you offer us,
and give us trust in you,
who are with us on the way,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, our God for ever.
Archbishop Joris Vercammen
© 2000-2011 Swiss Willibrord Society