Anglican Communion Office run Companion Links meeting for bishops and share new guidance

19 February 2024

Around the Anglican Communion, many Anglican churches and dioceses are partnering in mission and prayer through Companion Links. During the Lambeth Conference in 2022, many bishops also expressed an interest in developing new links. 

Companion Link relationships between dioceses are mutually organised by the participating Diocesan teams. Many of these links begin through friendships between bishops or informal parish links which are later ratified at Synod level. They are mutually beneficial in many ways, and they enable parishioners to support one another in prayer, mission and fellowship.

To support this important feature of communion life, the Episcopal Ministry team at the Anglican Communion Office has recently facilitated two online meetings for bishops from around the world to explore the benefits of companion links (February 13 and 15).

The first Companion Link meeting involved Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon in the Diocese of Southwark (Church of England), Archbishop Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith, Primate of the Province of Ghana and Bishop of the Diocese of Asante Mampong, and Bishop Titus Ho-Wook, Bishop of Daejeon in the Anglican Province of Korea. They discussed different models and approaches to Companion Links. 

During the meeting, Bishop Rosemarie reflected on how technology is bringing parishes across the world together. She said: “New post-Covid communications enable us to have those more personal links immediately by being able to meet in parish rooms or houses and speak to each other through Zoom or Teams. I find that this is one of the opportunities that we now have.”

Archbishop Cyril explained that the concept behind Companion Links has a “strong biblical basis. This should be the context in which the whole Communion looks at the Companion Links,” he said. He continued, “If you think of Jesus and his disciples, the personal touch that existed among the disciples. There is wisdom in having Companion Links. The opportunity to share personal and spiritual struggles with your brother and sister bishop in companionship is priceless. The opportunity to share ministry issues as well all form part of the relationship of walking together. I see the Companion Link as walking together with a brother and sister, having the opportunity to link up, to share good stories, strengths as well as struggles and to have the opportunity to pray together. I encourage strongly the building up of relationships between bishops within our Communion and I think it is something that we should all work at."

New Resources and Guidance on Companion Links
To support bishops and dioceses around the Anglican Communion that wish to explore the benefits of a Companion Link, the Anglican Communion Office has published new guidance (available in four languages). It outlines different models that dioceses might wish to explore and how the ACO might be able to support the process.

Download the guidance here:

In English
En Français
En Español
Em Português

Find out about Companion Links

Find out more about Companion Links here