This report about my second visit to Canterbury on Monday has been delayed, mostly because Tuesday, when I was not there, was a much more exciting day, at least for journalists. Whether this is connected to my absence, I do not know.
Also from a separate IT Desk I was able to get a WiFi login for my own personal use. I have to say that the instructions for using it in conjunction with Windows XP (which is what my laptop runs) are definitely not for the faint-hearted. However, on Monday I was able to connect using the Press Room’s ethernet rather than the WiFi, and so avoided the challenge again.
During the day I attended two press briefings, one conducted by Paul Feheley of Canada and one conducted by Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Australia. The latter was the one at which the Archbishop of Canterbury answered questions, which have been pretty thoroughly reported elsewhere already. I didn’t understand the logic of his answer about why the Bp of New Hampshire had been excluded, but then neither did most other people I talked to.
The earlier briefing was dominated by complaints from several other journalists, but Bill Bowder in particular, about being excluded from the morning and evening worship in the Big Top. I was personally surprised to discover this was the case as I distinctly recall ten years ago that these sessions were not restricted only to bishops and spouses, and plenty of outsiders attended them on various occasions. No convincing explanation of the need for this restriction has yet been offered.
I also spent time in the Marketplace. Among the exhibitors there were Inclusive Church, and also WATCH, Changing Attitude and LGCM.
LGCM, which is sponsoring the Peterson Toscano shows next week, had several interesting documents available, including this review (PDF) of the book by Phil Groves, which has been mentioned as a major resource for sexuality-related discussions at the conference. Unfortunately, Professor Michael King is not impressed by this book, although he does like a couple of chapters in it. These were not the ones written by his professional colleagues. You can read a much more favourable review of this book here, and another critical comment here. I have still not read most of it, so am reserving judgement. There is also more about the book here.
Speaking of books, I was sorry not to be there today, Wednesday, when Peter Francis, who edited the book Rebuilding Communion to which I contributed a chapter, was due to be the LGCM Guest of the Day.
At the end of the day, I went down to St Stephen’s Church for Evening Prayer. Everyone was welcome to attend this service…