Following a first series of dialogue between the (then) Leuenberg Church Fellowship and the representatives of European Baptists in 1999 and 2000, a series of official consultations took place between 2002 and 2004 between the European Baptist Federation (EBF) and the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe – Leuenberg Church Fellowship – (CPCE). The present book documents the final communiqué and some papers of this dialogue. The introduction to the final communiqué gives more detailed information on its background and process. After the final Report which had been adopted unanimously by the both delegations was received by the CPCE Executive Committee and the EBF Council, it was forwarded to the CPCE member churches and the EBF member unions. It is expected to be studied at first at national and regional levels. In various countries, e.g. in Britain, France and Italy, the document has become object of new or ongoing dialogues between Baptists and CPCE churches. It is our hope that it will promote and intensify in manifold ways the cooperation between our communities. A possible resumption of the dialogue proposed to be held after the CPCE General Assembly in autumn 2006 would certainly lead to a further intensification of fellowship.
In order that the document might be studied across Europe, we are presenting it to the public in this bilingual publication. It has been published only at the websites of the two organisations up to now. The German version, albeit without the introduction, was printed in the Ökumenische Rundschau 2004, pp. 387-397. The initial reception in ecumenical and theological circles was very encouraging. Most of all, the common statements on baptism, which in some respects go beyond the scope of existing convergences and may open a way to the overcoming of the controversies, have met with keen interest.