Some years ago I was in England and someone I met invited me to go to a church with him. It was not his local branch of whatever the denomination was, and so he had with him a “letter of introduction” from his home branch. Does anyone know what denomination that might have been?
The only group I know of that uses the term “branch” is the LDS. Do you recall if he used the term “ward” as well? If so, it was quite probably LDS. Anyone else have any ideas?
Oh no sorry – he didn’t use the word “branch,” I did.
I know that protestants don’t use the word “parish” but I didn’t know what else to call it.
Sounds like Armstrongs Worldwide Church of God. They were careful who they invited or allowed into their meetings. I think they did have some form of letter. This is just a guess.
It could have been any Protestant church.
It is common practice among Presbyterians and Lutherans for example.
The idea is that the bearer of such a letter (sometimes called a letter of transfer or release) has been catechized and is a communicant member in good standing of the sending church and that the receiving church should accept them as such.
It is something like if a Catholic moves to a new parish and the new parish requests a copy of his certificate of baptism indicating that he has been baptized as a Catholic.
I know this doesn’t always happen and that parishes can request such documentation through diocesan channels if they want.
But the net result is the same.
It sounds like maybe Lutheran…I know that in order to receive Holy Communion in some Lutheran churches, you have to show that you are a Lutheran…
But if he said “branch” that is very LDS.
Letters of introduction are common with Quakers, more appropriately known as the Religious Socity of Friends. A clue would be that their assemblies are called Meetings.
My wife’s Meeting issues letters of introduction to members who travel. My impression is that they are less a credential than a friendly greeting and aid to starting conversations.