On the global level, the Lutheran Church has been engaged in productive discussions for many years with the Roman Catholic Church. These have helped the two churches to deepen their understanding and appreciation of each other. On 31st October 1999 the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation signed a historic agreement confirming their shared understanding of the doctrine of justification (the basis of God’s acceptance of us), which had been a major stumbling-block to restoring the unity broken in the 16th century with the birth of the Lutheran Church.

To mark the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, the Council of Lutheran Churches and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have produced a form of intercessions based upon prayers used at the signing ceremony in 1999. The intercessions are intended for use on Sunday, 31 October, which is the Feast of All Saints and, for many Lutherans, is also Reformation Sunday. You can download the intercessions and may copy them for your use.

The Meissen Declaration, signed in 1991, makes provision for cooperation between Lutheran and other member churches of the EKD (German Evangelical Church) and the Church of England. Nordic and Baltic Lutheran churches entered into a new relationship with the Anglican churches of Britain and Ireland in 1996 through the Porvoo Agreement, which established full communion, and made possible the exchange of priests. Lutheran and Anglican churches in certain other parts of the world (such as Canada and the USA) have also established full communion. In some countries Lutheran churches have close relations with other Christian traditions, such as the Reformed, Methodists and Moravians, which can include intercommunion and ministerial exchange.

The Council of Lutheran Churches is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, the main ecumenical instrument for these islands. The Council is also a member of Churches Together in England and has observer status in CYTUN, the ecumenical body for Wales. Through these relationships and in many other ways Lutherans strive for reconciled diversity in the one body of Christ.