The Malines Conversations were a series of five informal ecumenical conversations held from 1921 to 1927 which explored possibilities for the corporate reunion between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, forming one stage of Anglican–Roman Catholic dialogue.

The impetus for the conversations emerged largely out of the friendship between the high church Anglican, Charles Lindley Wood, the Second Viscount of Halifax, and the French Roman Catholic priest Fernand Portal. Although the ultramontanist attitudes of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Great Britain made direct talks between British Anglicans and British Roman Catholics infeasible, the Lambeth Appeal of 1920 opened doors to Roman Catholics on the continent. Cardinal Désiré Joseph Mercier, Archbishop of Malines, agreed to host the private ecumenical discussions desired by Lord Halifax and Abbé Portal. The conversations were held in the Belgian primatial see of Malines (being the French name for the city of Mechelen) from 1921 to 1927 with tacit support from the Vatican and the archbishops of Canterbury and York, Randall Davidson and Cosmo Gordon Lang respectively.

The number of participants varied but included on the Anglican side Lord Halifax, bishops Walter Frere and Charles Gore, and Armitage Robinson (Dean of Wells). The Roman Catholic participants included Mercier himself, Pierre Batiffol, Hippolyte Hemmer, Portal and Mercier's successor, Jozef-Ernest van Roey, who wound up the conversations in 1927. A consensus emerged during the five conversations, of which only the first four proved substantial, that the Anglican Church should be "reunited" with—not simply "subsumed" by—the Roman Church. Dom Lambert Beauduin's 1925 paper "L'église anglicane unie, mais non absorbée" was particularly remarked.

Van Roey was personally less favourable to the idea of unity than his predecessor, and Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, successfully urged the Vatican to withdraw its encouragement, in line with Leo XIII's bull Apostolicae curae (1896), which had denied validity to Anglican orders. Although the conversations provoked controversy in both churches and failed to produce concrete results, they did pave the way toward future ecumenical discussions between Roman Catholics and Anglicans.

The Maline Conversations are important to the Garrowby Benefice twofold. Because in the church of All Saint’s Kirby Underdale there is a memorial window by F. C. Eden, that commemorates the life and work of Charles, second Viscount Halifax, who was one of the original driving forces of the “Conversations” and the current Earl of Halifax is one of the benefice’s patrons. In recent years the Rector led an ecumenical service for the Malines Group and has attended the centenary celebrations held at York Minster and Bishopthorpe Palace. The celebrations for the Week for Christian Unity always highlight the ongoing value of this ecumenical engagement.

The conversations continue today under the auspices of The Malines Conversations Group. An international group of Anglican and Roman Catholic theologians committed to dialogue and unity. The group takes its name and inspiration from the original Malines Conversations of the 1920s. These early informal conversations, held between a small group of British Anglicans and European Roman Catholics, were made possible because of the bonds of friendship between the members of the group.

The current Malines Conversations Group is under the patronage of Cardinal Jozeph De Kesel (Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels) and The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Lord Williams of Oystermouth (former Archbishop of Canterbury), and meets with the blessing and support of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity and Lambeth Palace. Like its predecessor, it is an informal group whilst also keeping in close contact with the official mandated ecumenical bodies in both communions; it includes members of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and the Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM).

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