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A Mad Hatter's Tea Party in the Old Mitre Tavern?

Ecumenical Reactions to Growing into Union

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In the immediate aftermath of defeat for the Anglican-Methodist Unity Scheme in the Church of England's Convocations in July 1969, Archbishop Ramsey famously spoke out in despair: 'Let the minorities, who disagree among themselves, tell us what their scheme is. But they won't, they won't, they wont'. The Scheme's evangelical and catholic opponents had frustrated ecumenical hopes, but without offering a viable alternative. Responding to the archbishop's cri de coeur, four leading dissentients (Colin Buchanan, Graham Leonard, Eric Mascall and J.I. Packer) published Growing into Union (1970), one of the most controversial ecumenical tracts in recent decades. This paper examines the background to their pioneering catholic-evangelical alliance and the reactions which Growing into Union provoked, especially amongst ecumenical thinkers.


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