Secularism & the Church of England: The Future For Orthodox Anglicans Committed to the Gospel and the Catholicity of the Church.

Apr 27, 2018 by

Gavin Ashenden’s paper at the Oxford Anglican Patrimony Conference:

‘The Gospel and Catholic Church’.

This conference has rightly set out to look both backwards and forwards. Back to the inspiration of Ramsey’s interpretations of the symbiotic mutuality of Gospel and Catholicity, and forward to discern how Gospel and Catholicity can be faithfully expressed in a culture that has begun to turn aggressively on both Gospel and tradition.

My own experience of both began when I grew up in the Cathedral precincts of Canterbury when Michael Ramsey was Archbishop. It was he who confirmed us in the mother Church of the Cathedral, and he who prowled around the precincts among us, not unlike an ancient benign Patriarch, blessing shyly whatever or whoever he came across.

Through a kind of peripatetic osmosis, I picked up something of a love of the Catholic Church from what he represented, and was later to respond to the gospel when I heard it at university in the mouth of the Anglican evangelist David Watson.

But there was one more formative experience Canterbury left me with. I had the habit of sitting next to the flagstones where Becket was assassinated, and found myself musing often on his own stand against the state and the secular culture  on behalf of the Church and the faith. Becket was and is a reminder, that the State can grow violently impatient with those who set out to challenge and transform it.

Later I was to train at a theological College that prided itself in its understanding of the Gospel. And by some clerical error, I was sent to spend vacations in a Greek Orthodox monastery where I learnt to marry my commitment to the ‘Evangelion’ with a love of the Church ‘Catholikos’ of the first  millennium.

And that brings us to today. For there has been a tumultuous change in our own culture over these last 40 or so years.

Read here


Related Posts


Share This