Thinking Anglicans

a Welsh view of the Anglican Communion

The Revd Dr Tudor F L Griffiths, outgoing Chancellor of the Diocese of St Asaph, preached a sermon last Sunday in St Asaph Cathedral, which is reproduced in full here. Dr Griffiths is also Rector of Hawarden Parish Church. (h/t Ruth Gledhill, for finding this.)

He discusses the Anglican Communion at considerable length, and concludes with this:

So does this mean the end of the road for the Anglican Communion? I hope not but fear so. I think Archbishop Rowan Williams a wonderful grace-filled man with an impossible job. You may have heard of the Anglican Covenant, a kind of agreement between the different Anglican Provinces. Our own Bishop Gregory has been very much involved with the Covenant; it has been a long drawn-out process of drafting and re-drafting and debates. But my own assessment is that it will go down in history as a valiant failure. The shape of Anglicanism is changing; but my prayer and hope in all this is that I hope we can remember what is really important and that is not the growth or even survival of the Anglican Church. At best we are no more than unworthy servants, a signpost to the Kingdom of God and we look forward to the great day when labels and denominations will fall away in one chorus of praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

18
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
18 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
14 Comment authors
HelenMalcolm French+Martin ReynoldsJohn HoldingMartin Reynolds Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Pensamento Positivo
Guest
Pensamento Positivo

Of course this Canon (correct me if I am incorrect) says the truth in his proper words: There are more things that unite Christians than what divide them.

But unfortunately people have Ideas and live in different ways… Different dreams… And for some different approaches to power… So, unfortunately to get the arrangements to get the division should be a less bad to all of them.
Alternatively we can have a new Archbishop ++Desmond Tutu to moderate things… Is there anyone younger like him on the Communion nowadays?
Have a good evening!…

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

One particular claim made in this sermon appears to me to be erroneous. That is the claim that “the number of Anglicans involved in [ACNA] is increasing rapidly”.

The membership of ACNA recently declined substantially when the AMiA decided not to remain as part of it.
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/004369.html

More generally, ACNA claims about its numbers have been reported several times on TA, most recently here, with links to earlier reports
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/004439.html

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“At best, we are no more than unworthy, signpost to the kingdom of God and we look forward to the day when labels and denominations will fall away in one chorus of praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ – Revd Dr. Tudor Griffiths, St.Asaph’s – ‘Here is a true Welshman without any guile’. The final paragraph of Simon’s summary of this sermon shows that the retiring Chancellor of the Welsh Diocese of Saint Asaph – now near to retirement – speaks very wisely. Dr. Griffiths’ estimate of the difficulty of his fellow Welshman, Dr. Rowan Williams’ role as… Read more »

Grandmère Mimi
Guest

Simon, thanks for the info about ACNA. I wondered about the canon chancellor’s statement that the group’s numbers were “increasing rapidly”, but I didn’t take the time to verify.

I also wonder when the canon chancellor uses the term “Anglican Church” if he means the Church of England or something else.

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

It is probably reasonable to say that this gentleman is not unbiased. The sky may not be falling as quickly as he suggests and in fact, rumours of its fall seem to appeal to those who seem to want to hasten it.

Alan T Perry
Guest

I’m sorry, there are just too many errors of history and geography here to take this presentation even half-way seriously. The Church in Wales has many people who know much better. Try Torchwood for a better source of information. On the question of history, for example, the first meeting of the Lambeth Conference was 1867, not 1878. On the question of geography, Canon Dr Griffiths seems unaware of the existence of Canada in North America. It’s the rough equivalent of untutored North Americans being unaware of the distinction between England and Wales. I won’t bother pointing out the other errors.… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“what is really important and that is not the growth or even survival of the Anglican Church”

To what “Anglican Church” is he referring? The one in Wales? Or the fondest dream [“All Problems w/ The Anglican Communion Will Be (Forcibly) Fixed in The Anglican Church!”] of Rowan Williams?

Prior Aelred
Guest

It seems to me that Simon is correct about an error of fact in this sermon — otherwise, it seems fair enough — as the point of view of one person. Of course it omits to mention the fact that the justification of Anglicanism is provincial autonomy — which would really seem to knock the Covenant into a cocked hat. There is of course the “Anglican Church” remark — becoming increasingly common in certain circles, as if saying it would make it so — perhaps it will (but I share Dr. Griffiths’s suspicion that the Covenant will be a failure… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Tudor is a lovely man and sometimes mischievously described as Wales’ only evangelical, in part because he does often figure as a member of various committees as the token Evo. He has sat on the response groups to such as The Windsor Report and the various Covenant drafts. I think what is interesting about this sermon is that it appears on the Church in Wales website and that it does represent the view of the Welsh bench on the Covenant. More perhaps for the Prior’s reasons than Tudors but I speculate …… Perhaps most interestingly, the man who was the… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest

The way the Welsh Church’s website appears to be set up. each of the diocesan websites is a site within the larger national site. This sermon appears in the St. Asaph’s diocesan section.

I hope, therefore, that Martin is not correct in surmising that this reflects the views of the Welsh bishops collectively, but rather that it reflects the views of the Covenant’s principal drafter. If so, we should be grateful that Dr. Griffiths avoids the rhetorical excesses of his diocesan.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Malcolm is certainly right that the CiW website is set up that way.

As to the rest, I was claiming that the Welsh bishops thought the Covenant was a dead duck as the divisions it was intended to stop had arrived. I suppose the question remains as to fitting the bolt to the door anyway, I think there are different views on that here as elsewhere.

Malcolm French+
Guest

I appear to have misinterpreted you, Martin. Apologies.

I’ve heard runours that there are Welsh bishops who think the Covenant is a very bad idea but are concerned about appearing to undermine their former Primate.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I have also heard those rumours Malcolm and believe they are more than credible.

The question is, how does one kick the Covenant into the long grass without making Rowan’s life more difficult?

Malcolm French+
Guest

Martin, I’m not sure it’s possible to defeat the Covenant without undermining +RDW. The problem is that he and the antiphonal echochamber around him have decided that emotional blackmail is the key to accomplishing what they want. Instead of permitting and encouraging a grown-up discussion about the Covenant, its few remaining advocates (at least those at the official level), fearful that they are losing control, have abandoned any pretence of reasoned discussion. Instead, quibblers, questioners and skeptics are to be derided as fascists. At the same time, the undecided will be manipulated with a false plea to decide their vote… Read more »

John Holding
Guest
John Holding

Martin and Malcolm — I fear that the time has come when loyalty to Rowan Williams needs to take second place to the truth, or else the clear moral unfittedness of the bishops in question will become an open scandal, and will in the long run be seen to have damaged the church of God in their care. Archbishops of Canterbury have been wrong in the past. They have misjudged and made mistakes, sometimes grievous mistakes. Since becoming leaders (whatever that means) of a group of international churches, they have — and Williams in particular has — frequently misjudged, misunderstood… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

My impression is, John, that few (if any) here think the policy developed by Rowan has had any success and some think it may now deepen the divisions. There are different types of loyalties and Rowan has dragged his successor along with him – though he protested loudly and widely about “rule by Primates – and the friendships are deep and sincere. For some, deep friendships were squandered by Rowan when he decided gay families were worth sacrificing to what he saw as the overal well-being of Christ’s Church. Others whose families have not been threatened and undermind by his… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest

On the editorial page of the Globe and Mail – Canada’s major newspaper of record – there is a quotation attributed to Junius: “The truly loyal subject of the magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures.”

At the end of the day, it appears that the only people truly being loyal to Rowan are those of us who are prepared to defy him.

Helen
Guest
Helen

‘Dear Lord and father of mankind
forgive our foolish ways
Reclothe us in our rightful minds’