Archbishop of Canterbury’s Counsellors on Foreign Relations (CFR)

From the Lambeth Palace Library:

“The Council on Foreign Relations [of the Church of England] originated in resolutions passed by the Church Assembly in 1927 and 1932. Its terms of reference were the ‘survey and promotion of the Relations of the Church of England with Foreign Churches’, that is Churches outside the Anglican Communion, and its inaugural meeting was held on 2 February 1933 with Archbishop Lang in the chair. From 1959 until 1964 its remit was enlarged to include ecumenical relations within Great Britain, such as relations with the Church of Scotland, during which time it was known as the Church of England Council on Inter-Church Relations. The Council was the church’s official organ for dealing with overseas churches until the creation, in 1970, of the General Synod with its Board for Mission and Unity. It was reconstituted as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Counsellors on Foreign Relations on 1 January 1972 and its work was finally wound up in 1981 when Archbishop Runcie brought ecumenical relations within the administrative structures and staffing of Lambeth Palace.”

In the early years of the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue, Anglican responsibility for ARCIC and other international dialogue commissions is shared between the Anglican Communion Office (ACO) and the CFR. The CFR staff frequently served as the Anglican co-secretaries of the dialogues, even after the formal sponsorship of the dialogue moved to the ACO. The CFR fonds includes correspondence with the Vatican Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, but also internal correspondence between the ACO, the CFR, and the Archbishops of Canterbury. The CFR fonds included here only represents a small part of the CFR material held at the Lambeth Palace Library and the Church of England Record Centre.

Letters, addresses, & greetings


Study papers

Journal articles

Working correspondence

Miscellaneous documents