BATHURST will become the sixth diocese in Australia to formalise the relationship between its Anglican and Catholic churches next Thursday, when Anglican Bishop Richard Hurford and Catholic Bishop Michael McKenna sign a covenant of friendship.
Representatives will travel from across the state to witness the historic event, which will consolidate the connection between the two Christian denominations.
Bishop McKenna said the covenant was a celebration of a "very long-standing friendship and co-operation".
"It is a chance to let everyone know the Anglicans and the Catholics are good friends, with a common belief in Jesus Christ," Bishop McKenna said.
"We're making public a reality that is already there and encouraging people to celebrate all that we have in common, rather than our differences."
The signing of the covenant will feature in a three-stage liturgy, which will begin at the Catholic Cathedral of St Michael and St John at noon.
The congregation will then walk through Machattie Park to All Saints' Anglican Cathedral for the signing and the exchange of two icons, which will hang in each cathedral as a "permanent and visual reminder" of the bond between the denominations.
Bishop Hurford emphasised the importance of modelling and encouraging a positive relationship between denominations.
"For the community of the central west of this state, we would like our cathedrals, churches, bishops, clergies and lay people to be encouraged to walk together," Bishop Hurford said.