on Saturday, 10 August 2019 at 11.00 am by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion
Fergus Butler-Gallie Church Times When was the pre-Brexit Golden Age?
Lloyd Brown Farewell to Shadowlands The Church without borders: Reflections from the Diocese in Europe
Lloyd’s articulate article gives a delightful picture of the role of the Anglican Church in Europe where it promotes unity, friendship and anti-tribalism. How depressing it is to contrast that with Brexit and all its nationalistic nonsense and little-england mentality. It’s astonishing that the CofE has nothing much to say when our nation is in crisis caused by the spurning of our European friends.
How I agree with Fr DavidH. The response of the C of E to inward looking nationalism and little Britain jingoism as espoused by Johnson et al. is deafening. Paul’s sermon at the Areopagus about the universality of God’s grace should lead us to speak out against this heresy. Instead, the C of E does navel gazing about LGBT+ issues and neglects the procalamation that we are all one in Christ Jesus. I despair of the spinelessness of our leaders who try not to offend. For me the only offence is the cross of Christ on which all our petty… Read more »
I hope and pray there will not be a “spurning of our European friends” when the ecumenical Coburg Conference takes place at Chichester Cathedral [4 Canon Lane/George Bell House] this October – 10th to 14th:
I fear folk cannot see the difference between the political argument about Brexit, and the social life between the nations of Europe, now much enlarged, and ourselves. We have seen on the political side a small unelected set of commissioners seeking to control the different nations, and make their dream od a united states of Europe. Regulations which has narrowed our ability to trade with the rest of the world. In the so called dialogue with Theresa May, the EU showed their true colours. For many of us this was the call to say out means out, and gain back… Read more »
Says Fr John Emlyn: “Europe…who in times past benefited from the many Saints who evangelised the continent…”
Protestantism originated in Germany with Martin Luther in 1517.
Boniface of Mainz, originally from Crediton, brought the gospel to Germany some centuries before Luther was around. His tomb is in the crypt of Fulda Cathedral.
The Brexit argument is founded on a contradiction because for everything the English say about the European Union, many Scots feel about the United Kingdom. And it is noticeable that when it comes to Anglicanism all pretence of a United Kingdom falls apart and it is always an English archbishop who is the instrument of communion. Even the Diocese in Europe isn’t a British affair but is solely English. In fact it seems strange that one can attend a Church of England service in Leuven but not in Livingston, Larne or Llandudno.
Kate, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Church in Wales and the Church of Ireland are independent self-governing churches in full communion with the C of E. They have their own Primates. Differences in liturgy are marginal, and essentially all share the Book of Common Prayer in an updated form. My experience in Scotland and Ireland was that I was made very welcome and felt entirely at home attending their services. (I am quite sure that would be equally true in Wales, but I have only attended one service there, a Roman Catholic wedding.) The Archbishop of Canterbury hasn’t always been… Read more »
I don’t think the Scots have had a Primate since Arthur Rose died in 1704.
‘Primus’ then for the Scottish Episcopal Church. I haven’t researched the date when it changed. The point I was trying to get across was that an essentially similar Anglican liturgy is readily available in all the places listed by Kate. I may add that I was equally at home in services at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Troy, Pennsylvania – all this talk of divisions rather than Anglican unity is so unnecessarily negative.
Then why should the Archbishop of Canterbury always be the Instrument of Communion?
I think there are two reasons, Kate. The first, the non-respectable one, the imperialist one, is that the C of E and its daughter churches can only think -as we so often see – in terms of Primates and not in terms of Primuses/Presiding Bishops. The second (more to my taste) is the “is the Pope catholic?” one: the ABC is the canonical example of an Anglican, so provides the simple test for Anglicanhood.
Fr John: unfortunately the xenophobic little-Englanders are in charge. Hence it will be a long time before we are able to resume civilised relations with the rest of Europe. And your hypothetical vision of an EU-free Britain has a lot in common with that of the left wing ‘Lexiters’: a once theoretical possibility which is no longer on offer. It’s as if Britain and the EU have evolved into conjoined twins; the operation to separate them will be extremely complicated and potentially dangerous. Certainly by the inept surgeons that are attempting to do so.
The Diocese in Europe is the only diocese of the C of E that is actually growing, according to the statistics. It has been for a couple of decades, both under the scholarly Catholic Dr Geoffrey Rowell, and his more Evangelical successor Dr Robert Innes. It is also the most under-resourced. It gives a perfect snapshot of what Grace Davie has been saying about religion in Europe for the past couple of decades: that churches flourish where there is migration. The thing about the Diocese in Europe, which Lloyd’s article underscores, is that it is absolutely not an ex-pat ghetto… Read more »
Anne, I’m delighted to read your challenging and stimulating comments. The Diocese in Europe is regularly passed over in the counsels of the C of E, but it is indeed vibrant. I cannot speak of the present bishop, but the late Dr Geoffrey Rowell – a scholar and pastor of the kind the Church desperately needs now – did outstanding work in building up the Diocese. Perhaps it’s because its people are living in a wider environment than Britain that they are less inclined to waste time on fatuous and unproductive discussions on matters like sex. I am presently in… Read more »
“unlike another Anglican province…catering mostly for its own nationals who seem unable to integrate”
Church of the Ascension Munich: “We are an international community of several hundred adults and children. We are American, British, German, and a wonderful diversity of people from other locations including Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.”
Lloyd Brown’s seminal article should remind us all of the need to move past the era of Colonial Anglicanism – into an ecumenical age of spiritual and cultural ‘Unity in Diversity’. In a time of emerging indigenous Faith Communities (e.g. Canada and New Zealand) we Anglicans need to rejoice in our inherent diversity and welcome one another into a corporate understanding of our common baptismal inheritance. Not only are we Anglican Christians, with our own inner diversity, we are also part of the Body of Christ that rejoices in the unity that only Jesus can give. None of us is… Read more »
For me, the singular most impressive aspect of the Diocese in Europe is that it does what it does brilliantly without being ‘flash’ or bombarding its churches with endless initiatives. It takes inculturation absolutely seriously, and its level of ecumenical engagement goes well beyond setting up a tired and predictable ‘Churches Together’ group. It boasts some impressive clergy, too, and you sense they are inspiring and energising the people they serve. We had a week in Oslo earlier in the year and the chaplain there (a young priest from Ireland) was fantastic – simply because he was sensitive to his… Read more »
“If we paid a bit more attention to what is happening in our church on the ‘mainland’” — but that is baked into the CofE. Not a bug, but a feature. It is the Church of England. Just as the Church of Scotland thinks of itself as, well, a Kirk for Scots. And let’s not get too giddy. Most of the parishes of the Diocese in Europe major in Englishness, esp in France, (with a footnote or two, they are still ex-pat churches, with outreach to anglophones who are non-English). That may be defensible. But a CofE church in the… Read more »
What about Italy? The days of rich expatriates (aka immigrants) relaxing on the Riviera or of E M Forster characters in Rome and Florence are long gone. Certainly in Genoa (which I know best) the erstwhile ‘English Church’ has a majority Nigerian congregation and several other nationalities (to whom English is a second language, or even third after Italian). Maybe in the areas to which English people flock for holidays or retirement, the old pattern persists. But in cosmopolitan capitals or major cities like Rome, Milan, Paris, Madrid, Berlin etc I’d be surprised if ‘Englishness’ was the dominant characteristic.
To the degree that churches have new (anglophone) national populations, that is no less true for TEC’s convocation as for the CofE, pace “unlike another Anglican province…catering mostly for its own nationals who seem unable to integrate.”
Good for Italy (adieu Forster) and good for capitals. There are of course hundreds of parishes in the Diocese in Europe.
TEC has just five churches across the territory covered by the Diocese in Europe, which is around 10% of the total chaplaincies of the Diocese in Europe, which gives rather more scope for greater cultural diversity and ecumenical involvement by the Church of England by virtue of numbers. But, I agree, statistics would be helpful. May be the Diocese in Europe has some? I can only comment from what I experienced of the setting up of the Clermont-Ferrand TEC congregation (ECUSA in those days), which must be a decade or two ago by now. Mostly supported by people whose worked… Read more »
Oh, it is much smaller. There are almost 300 parishes in the CofE.
You can see the website at Clermont-Ferrand. Lots of non anglo faces. Munich is no different (see quote above).
As for partnerships between CofE and TEC, C-F has one. But that is very rare, and one can hear reasons for that from both sides…
And I can report from experiences of the CofE in France that things like the BBC (British Bordeaux Club) are far from unusual. Perhaps Brexit will thin out the hoards of Brits in Aquitaine and elsewhere!
So when I worshipped with the Church of England in Bordeaux a couple of Sundays ago, surrounded by people from Africa and China, as well as French-born natives, some Brits, and a couple from New Zealand, that was the British Bordeaux Club was it?
It does help if people who post comments are fully up-to-date with their first-hand knowledge of situations before resorting to outdated caricatures – especially when there’s a degree of point scoring involved!
How would you know if someone was up to date? I was a locum in Bordeaux less than five years ago. That parish was extremely small. There were visitors who had walked, and a main group of about 25. Meeting in a chapel by generosity of the nuns and RCC. And yes, the BBC was up and running! At the CofE parish nearest to me, 80% of the congregation is British. If the diocese becomes genuinely international that would be an extremely good thing in my view. It may happen if Brexit results in Brits numbers reducing. A lot depends… Read more »
The Diocese in Europe is brilliant. Their ordinands who train part time come to us (https://www.ermc.cam.ac.uk/) and enrich our community greatly. We hear what is really happening about e.g. the Greek financial crisis and our English students discover what a chaplaincy (rather than parish) model of Anglicanism looks like. The European chaplaincies are doing mission in the public square and the Bishop of Gibraltar is one of the few CofE bishops to offer theological reflection on Brexit. We currently have several ordinands who have joined a European chaplaincy on theological grounds, having ministered in other Churches in Europe.
Attention has shifted to the abuse debacles in the CofE. But just a footnote. The point-scoring started with a sharp remark about how well integrated the CofE is compared to the TEC convocation. I’d like to see the facts. As to Aquitaine. It is distinctive. Big area, lots of parishes. Why? Full of Brits and lots of retired clergy able to help/wanting to stay involved. In the bastide towns of the Dordogne, in summer esp, one can strain to hear any French spoken. Our local French friends can refer to hameaux that are almost entirely English populated. Bordeaux has been… Read more »
When someone takes to the blogosphere in anonymised guise, and makes tendentious claims that don’t reflect current reality (I’m not sure when I last saw migrants heading for the coast on Sundays from Bordeaux), it tells me all I need to know. I would like to see the facts, too.
My advice *Priest in Europe*? Stop digging.
You must not know very much about beach traffic headed to Archachon from Bordeaux on Sunday afternoons, then! So I’ll stick to what I know and not your rebarbative counsels. Grace on grace.