(As the Press and the e mail circuits continue to raise this and that probelm about Dr Rowan Williams I write the following after being in touch with him)
May I suggest that the way forward with regard to the probable appointment of Rowan Williams as the next Archbishop of Canterbury is:
NOT TO MOAN
NOT TO CRITICIZE THE MAN OR HIS VIEWS OF THE SYSTEM THAT APPOINTED HIM
NOT TO PROPHESY THE BREAK- UP OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION OVER HIS VIEWS
NOT TO SPECULATE AS TO WHAT HE WILL BE OR NOT BE OF WHAT HE WILL DO OR NOT DO
NOT TO THINK EVIL OF HIM
NOT TO ENCOURAGE ALL THE SPECULATION ABOUT HIM AND HIS VIEWS
TO GATHER FOR PRAYER
TO SET ASIDE DAYS OR HALF DAYS FOR PRAYER
TO ASK THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO MINISTER TO ROWAN THAT HE WILL ENTER THE SEE IF THAT BE GOD'S SOVEREIGN WILL FILLED WITH THE GRACE AND WISDOM OF GOD THE HOLY TRINITY
I recall being told when I was a boy and living amongst the old-time Methodists in the Yorkshire Coalfield that if they heard that the Methodist Conference was sending to them a weak or liberal-minded Circuit Minister then they would go to prayer and not stop praying until the Spirit witnessed with their spirits that their prayers were heard on high! Then they got a Gospel man!
Rowan has asked me to ask those of us (and he includes me) who disagree with him to pray for him that he will be God's man, one that pleases the Lord and does His will.
I ask you therefore to PRAY without ceasing for him and for the See of Canterbury.
Let us join out prayers and offer them in the Name of the Lord Jesus, the High Priest, in and through whom, they will be purifed and heard by His Father, whom we also by grace call "Our Father..."
July 20, 2002
The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon
Minister of Christ Church, Biddulph Moor,
England & Vice-President and Emissary-at-Large
of The Prayer Book Society of America