The first 50 years

31 Paul VI-Ramsey ring-2

The Anglican Centre in Rome was founded in 1966 following the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey. Famously, as they parted, the Pope took off his Episcopal ring and placed it on the ring finger of the Archbishop. This gesture symbolised the friendship between the two Christian leaders and the hope they cherished that this same love would also come to transform the relationship between their churches. The Anglican Centre was to play a fundamental part in this transformation.
The Centre was charged with developing a new relationship of friendship and deeper understanding between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church, focussing on three main areas; areas which have continued to develop and flourish to this day.
Firstly, the Centre was to be a house of study and education offering scholars, pilgrims and ordinands the opportunity to learn more about each others’ life and witness. At the heart of the Centre is The John Moorman Library which holds the largest collection of books for the study of the history and theology of Anglicanism in mainland Europe.
Secondly, the Centre was to be a house of hospitality welcoming pilgrims and visitors from all over the world, resourcing and supporting the Archbishop of Canterbury in his visits to Rome, and facilitating an enormous variety of formal and informal conversations between the Anglican Communion and the dicasteries of the Holy See. The Centre’s Director is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See.
Finally, the Centre was to be a house of prayer, sustaining a community of clergy and laity offering daily prayer for unity and reconciliation between the churches, and inviting visitors to share this prayer.
This was the foundation upon which the Centre was built; a foundation that in the context of prayer and hospitality, Anglicans and Roman Catholics could come to discover the riches of one another’s traditions.
Today, the Christian community finds itself in a very different world, one in which the need for a united witness is more important than ever. Once again, the Anglican Centre is pioneering a way forward for this witness, in a bold renewal of its original mission. 

Staff Member, 12/01/2017