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theology for a missionary church
the dominical sacraments
The sacraments of baptism and Eucharist are `pledges of the New
Covenant'. `A sacrament is about establishing commitment and
A mission initiative that does not have an authorized
practice of baptism and the celebration of the Eucharist is not yet a
`church' as Anglicans understand it.
Churches are eucharistic communities, irrespective of their church 
tradition, or the frequency of eucharistic worship. The Eucharist lies at 
the heart of Christian life. It is the act of worship (including the ministry 
of the Word) in which the central core of the biblical gospel is retold and 
re enacted. New expressions of church may raise practical difficulties 
about authorized ministry, but, if they are to endure, they must celebrate
the Eucharist.
The role of the `bishop in mission' was explored in some depth at the 1998
Lambeth Conference, and is here considered in detail in Chapter 7   `An
enabling framework for a missionary church'.
The bishop's role as missionary, focus of unity and guardian of the faith,
places him necessarily in a key strategic role. It is said that the Church 
of England is `episcopally led and synodically governed'. In council and in
synod the bishop leads the Church in its decision making and he licenses
ministers. This is a missionary role, necessarily responsive to cultural
change. `The historic episcopate is locally adapted in the methods of its
administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of
God into the unity of his Church.'
This means that proper relationship with the bishop of the diocese 
becomes crucial. To be `in communion' with the diocesan bishop and hold
his licence becomes a theological as well as practical necessity. To be
Anglican is to be in communion with the See of Canterbury, and, at a
diocesan level, with one's own bishop. Breaking New Ground identified 
this as an important principle:
The episcopate represents the church's catholicity.
a national Church
We have already shown how a network society changes the nature of many
local communities and thus of the parochial system. The parochial system 

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