10 Ecc LJ 1 (2008)

handle is hein.journals/ecclej10 and id is 1 raw text is: 
(2008) lo Ecc LJ 1-2   The Ecclesiastical Law Society
doi: 10.1017/So956618Xo8OOO884


EDITORIAL



MARK   HILL


For a number  of reasons, the year 2008 will be significant for those with an
interest in ecclesiastical law. First, it marks the twenty-first anniversary of the
formation  of the Ecclesiastical Law Society and the establishment  of this
Joumal. Much  has been achieved over the past two decades, and the expectations
of the founders have been surpassed in terms of reviving the study of ecclesias-
tical law. In March 1987, Robert Runcie sent a message to the inaugural confer-
ence of the Society, held at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, stating 'there has
never been such a need as there is today for the law of the Church to develop,
and to develop soundly in the light of consistent and distinguished scholarship'.
The flourishing of the Society and of this Joumal, is testimony to the prescience
of the archbishop.
   However, the Society is a relative youngster in comparison with its Roman
Catholic equivalent, the Canon  Law  Society of Great  Britain and Ireland,
which  is currently celebrating half a century of existence. Representatives of
the Ecclesiastical Law Society were pleased to share in a Mass to mark the
Canon  Law  Society's fiftieth birthday, celebrated in Westminster Cathedral by
Cardinal  Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. Ecumenical collaboration between
the two Societies, exemplified by the biennial Lyndwood Lecture, is evidence
not merely  of the recovery of the history and tradition of Anglican canon
law, but also of the practical ecumenism  that may  be lived out through a
fuller understanding of the  similarities in the legal regulation of the two
Churches.
   But beyond the two Societies, the Anglican Communion will be faced in 2008
with challenges and opportunities at the Lambeth Conference, as heralded - to
some  degree at least - at the Ecclesiastical Law Society's residential conference
in Liverpool in January 2007. Much  attention focuses upon a draft Anglican
Covenant,  part of a rolling process of consultation and reflection which is
taking forward the recommendations   articulated in the Windsor Report. The
true nature of reflection cannot be overstated, because modern and immediate
means   of communication  are anathema   to meditative self-examination and
respectful consideration of the views of others. In an era where e-mail exchanges
and briefings on the world wide web tend to dominate, the need to slow the pace
seems  overwhelming.  There seemed  to be far more harmony in the Anglican
Communion when correspondence took weeks to reach its   intended recipient.
By the time a reply had been composed and sent back, the problem had generally
resolved itself.

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