The Methodist Church in Ireland and the Church of Ireland (Anglican) have been in dialogue for many years. In 2002, a Covenant was signed, committing the two churches to growing together in unity at congregational, structural and theological levels. Further years of work ensued. As a result, the churches have come to work closely together at local and national level; there is participation at committee level in key areas, not least that of mission.
It became clear that more could be achieved if the respective ordained ministries might be interchangeable. After much prayer and theological discussion, those charged with this work came to the point where they were able to affirm that
We have discerned consonance between the office and function of Presidents and Past Presidents of the Methodist Church in Ireland and in the office and function of Bishops in the Church of Ireland based on the current doctrinal understanding and ecclesiology of both Churches.
The Conference of the Methodist Church in Ireland and the General Synod of the Church of Ireland concurred and the necessary legislation was drafted.
In May 2014, the General Synod of the Church of Ireland passed the third reading of the Bill on Interchangeability almost without opposition. Both the Primate of All-Ireland, Archbishop Richard Clarke, and the then President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Revd Dr Heather Morris, recognised that there were those with reservations, but affirmed that the action taken was clearly the considered mind and will of the church.
The President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Revd Peter Murray, was duly installed on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014. Together with the officers of the Methodist Church, the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin and Bishop Harold Millar of Down and Dromoreparticipated in prayer and the laying on of hands as the new President assumed office.
The Prayer of Consecration, the text of which had been ratified by the Conference in a previous year, read:
Almighty God, giver of all good things, by the Holy Spirit you have appointed different offices in your church. Send your Holy Spirit upon this your servant (Peter) now called to be an episcopal minister in the office and ministry of the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland. So fill him with grace and the truth of your doctrine that, both by word and deed, he may faithfully serve you in this office, and use the authority given to him to the glory of your name and the encouragement of the Church, through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, world without end. AMEN.
Within the next few months, the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland will similarly participate in the consecration of the incoming Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe.
From now, Bishops will be involved in the installation of Presidents and Presidents or past Presidents will be involved in the consecration of Bishops. The Presbyteral ministry of all those ordained in both churches, including those ordained in the past, is celebrated and affirmed. As a consequence, the ministries of the two churches are regarded as interchangeable.
 Anglican co-Chair of the Anglican /Methodist International Commission on Unity and Mission (AMICUM).