Much of the work done ecumenically is based on building strong relationships of respect and trust. Without these relationships, which can take time and patience to develop, theological dialogue and cooperative activities are not possible. Eventually, ecumenical partners may reach a point where they wish to formalise and celebrate their relationship in the form of a Covenant.
What follows are examples of where this has been achieved at a variety of levels:

• National
• Diocesan
• Local ecumenical partnerships

Australian Churches Covenanting Together

In July 2004, after eight years of prayerful discussion and planning, the member churches of the National Council of Churches in Australia signed a Covenanting document. It is a multi-dimensional covenant enabling Churches to sign only those aspects of the document, which are possible for their tradition. It is also a living document, allowing new member Churches to sign where they are able and early signatories to increase their commitment when that becomes possible.

Australian Churches Covenanting Together

Covenanting relations at diocesan level

In various parts of the country, close relationships have developed between the Anglican and Roman Catholic Dioceses. This has led to the signing of Covenants between:

The Anglican Diocese of Ballarat and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ballarat (30 November 1997)pdfDownload50.57 KB
The Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Maitland/Newcastle and Broken Bay (2 April 2008) pdfDownload11.55 KB
The Anglican Diocese of Brisbane and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane and Diocese of Toowoomba (29 May 2009)
The Anglican Diocese of Bathurst and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst (24 May 2012)

Local ecumenical partnerships

Many local communities also build strong ecumenical bonds and formalise these in the form of a Covenant or Partnership Agreement. The following are examples:

New South Wales


Northern Gold Coast

Stanley River


Maryborough and Redland Bay

South Australia

Seaford (Anglican, Catholic, Church of Christ, Lutheran and Uniting Church) 

West Lakes Church - Uniting Church and Churches of Christ 

 St Columba’s College - Anglican and Catholic

Gartrell Memorial Church (Dulwich -Rose Park United Parish) - a combined congregation of Uniting Church and Churches of Christ South Australia and NT since 1971