Saturday, 19 July 2008

News from the big blue tent (3)

The retreat finished at lunchtime today after a fifth and final address from Rowan. Among the gems was a quotation from Alan Ecclestone (I did my curacy in the parish next door to where Alan spent many years; I always found his writing more complex than Rowan’s!) that “episcope is insight as well as oversight”. The main theme took us into Hebrews and the notion of Christ who clears a new and living way so that we can go where otherwise we could not. Christians (and bishops in particular) lead by following Jesus. Writing it down makes it sound simple and obvious, but there’s a huge depth in what we have heard and it sets the context within which we will turn to the conference part of Lambeth on Monday.

Various ecumenical guests joined us this afternoon. There is enormous support for us from orthodox, catholic, protestant and pentecostal denominations, mostly in presence but some with letters of greeting. Reading all the titles of the writers made me wonder whether the problem we have with Anglican authority is that we just don’t have impressive enough words in front of our names. If Rowan styled himself catholicos, supreme head, patriarch, holiness or beatitude who’d dare oppose him? Personally my vote is for “His beatitude”, there’s something about Rowan that encapsulates what Matthew 5 is all about. We had a reading from the works of the sixth century St Dorotheus. I’m starting a rumour that he/she is the patron of Changing Attitude.

It’s been humbling to eat and speak with bishops from Sudan and Zimbabwe. To hear stories of the faith lived out under persecution from bishops whose courage and humour are intact. As when I went to Peru three years ago, it has convinced me that the Anglican Communion may seem to make little difference in England, but to these leaders of small, young churches in difficult and hostile surroundings it matters hugely to be part of something global and steeped in history. The catholicity of Anglicanism is far more at stake here than it was at General Synod two weekends ago.

Highlight of the day: I met my namesake, the cartoonist, whose work I’ve admired since I first found it on a website. We had our photos taken together to prove we’re really not the same person.

Lowlight of the day: This is the only conference I can recall that doesn’t provide good quantities of tea and coffee at every meal and break. It took me 20 minutes to find a mid afternoon hot drink.

Posted by David Walker on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 8:42pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Big Blue Tent | Lambeth Conference 2008

You and Dave Walker, cartoon meister, may not be the same person, but you certainly look a lot alike, especially the mouth and the smile thereof!

Posted by: revLois Keen on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 11:25pm BST

The picture of two Davids, both named Walker, can be found here:

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 12:15am BST

"Lowlight of the day: This is the only conference I can recall that doesn’t provide good quantities of tea and coffee at every meal and break. It took me 20 minutes to find a mid afternoon hot drink."

A shortage of "the Eighth Sacrament"? Heresy!


Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 2:08am BST

Dear David Walker: I appreciated your comments on your visit to the Anglican Church in Peru. My Peruvian wife and I were married in Trujillo (Peru) some 27 years ago, according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Anglican Church, by the then Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dr. David Evans, who also celebrated a Nuptial Eucharist for us on that occasion. The non-Anglicans present at the ceremony were deeply impressed, and a friendly RC priest actually "led the singing" !. "The Anglicans are real Catholics" was one of the comments made by members of my wife's family.

Posted by: Dave C. on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 2:53am BST

Nice that we can participate spiritually in this wonderful event thanks to these blogging bishops and thanks to Thinkinganglicans!

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 7:34am BST
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