Is there hope for unbelieving Britain?

Sep 11, 2017 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo:

The article that caught my eye this week in the Church Times (which I read every week) was a fascinating reflection by Philip North, the bishop of Burnley, on his visits over the summer to three different Christian ‘festivals’. He visited: the Keswick Convention, a bastion of conservative evangelical devotion, shaped by free church evangelicals more than Anglicans; New Wine, the charismatic evangelical event initially establish by St Andrew’s, Chorleywood under the leadership of David and Mary Pytches and influenced by the Vineyard movement; and the Shrine of Walsingham, Philip’s home territory at the heart of the Anglo-catholic movement in the Church of England.

[…]   What were we to learn from this exploration of strength-in-diversity? I hope we might learn from not just the content but the tone of what Philip wrote, marked as it was by a respectful acknowledgement of the positive virtues of traditions not our own, and a willingness to learn from them. I have a feeling that Philip wanted us to take more away than that, as suggested by his introduction:

It is an exquisite irony that black-scarf conservative Evangelicals, arm-waving Charismatics, myth-busting liberals, and incense-swinging Anglo-Catholics all claim to be faithful members of the same communion. To other denominations it is bizarre and inexplicable. To us Anglicans, despite the odd fallout and blow-up, it is a matter of delight.

But I think I took away some rather different insights. The first is that each of these three traditions sits in a slightly different relationship with the Anglican tradition. The seriousness—sometimes bordering on severity—of Keswick bears a rather striking resemblance to the ethos of the Church’s Book of Common Prayer, and you would find Anglicans who attend Keswick more than averagely fond of the BCP’s ethos as well as its theology. You might not guess it from exploring your average local C of E service, but C of E clergy still commit publicly to own this text, not as a mere historical artefact, but as the thing which defines Anglican belief.

Read here


Related Posts


Share This