Thursday, June 20, 2002

The Next Archbishop of Canterbury

There is no guarantee that this report is true. If it is then someone has broken the rules of secrecy and it is a serious offence!
Until the official statement is made from the Prime Minister's Office we do not know. --PT,,2-332465,00.html

June 20, 2002

Church turns to Wales for Archbishop
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Rowan Williams is first choice to succeed Carey at Canterbury

THE Church of England has chosen the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Rowan Williams, to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

The appointment, which is due to be ratified by the Prime Minister within the next few weeks, will end months of speculation over the successor to Dr George Carey as 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Williams was selected as the first choice of the Crown Appointments Commission after a two-day meeting in Woking, Surrey last week.

The Times has learned that Dr Williams was the first of two names in order of preference which are being submitted to Tony Blair.

Although Mr Blair will be at liberty to choose the second name, or refer both names back, neither of these options is considered likely.

“He is very impressed by Rowan and thinks he is a terrific theologian,” said a Labour Party source. “There is huge enthusiasm both in the Parliamentary Labour Party and in Downing Street. Virtually every Labour MP with a Christian interest wants Rowan.”

The Prime Minister’s choice will be approved by the Queen before a formal announcement is made, probably in the second half of July.

A supporter of women priests and homosexuals, Dr Williams was felt to have the charisma and the catholicity necessary to lead the Church of England in the 21st century.

He was also considered to have the spiritual presence necessary to act as primus inter pares, or “first among equals”, of the primates of the Anglican Communion in an increasingly secular age.

As someone who will work well with the Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, Dr Williams will also provide a liberal balance to the 11-year incumbency of an evangelical at Lambeth.

He is understood to have made a favourable impression when he preached before the Queen at Bangor Cathedral last Tuesday during her visit to Wales as part of her jubilee celebrations. He spoke of the years of peace and devoted service that had characterised her reign, and the “gratitude of kingdom and Commonwealth” that she had earned.

Dr Williams, who is married with two children and who celebrated his 52nd birthday last week, will be eligible to remain in office until he is 70. He will be the first Archbishop appointed from outside the Church of England since the Reformation.

The support for Dr Williams at almost every level of the Church and society has been almost unprecedented, with the bookmakers William Hill making him joint 9-4 favourite with the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali.

Dr Williams, born in Swansea and from a Welsh-speaking family, is revered throughout Wales where the Anglican Church in Wales has received an international profile under his leadership.

Some of the opposition to his selection came from church members in Wales who did not want to lose their archbishop to England. Dr Williams was also opposed by evangelicals who fear that his positive stance towards the ordination of homosexuals could herald conflict and even splits in the worldwide church.

The arcane process to select the new Archbishop, in which members of the commission are sworn to secrecy and must pledge not even to tell their wives of when or where they are meeting, began with a meeting of the Privy Council in January this year. At that meeting, the Queen declared the See of Canterbury vacant from October 31, the date of Dr Carey’s retirement.

Mr Blair selected Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss to chair the commission, which was made up of 13 voting members including Dr Hope and the Bishop of Leicester, the Right Rev Timothy Stevens.

Members had to reach a two-thirds majority to make their selection from a list of a dozen names. Other names considered included Dr Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Rev James Jones, and the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres.

Contentious issues that the new Archbishop will have to tackle include the ordination of women bishops, the gay rights issue and the next Lambeth Conference, due to meet at Canterbury in 2008.

On a practical level, he will have to develop a strategy to help a church with increasingly perilous finances cope with dwindling congregations and a rising pensions bill.

Many of these issues require a leader who can inspire confidence. Dr Williams, with his air of mystical spirituality and his ability to deliver inspired and intellectually authoritative speeches, was thought to be a man who could inspire such confidence both nationally and internationally.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Archbishop Calls for Anglican Unity

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has appealed to Anglicans in a Canadian diocese to continue to work together over a dispute involving the blessing of same sex unions.

Dr Carey was responding to an appeal from the Revd Dr Trevor Walters, a priest on the Anglican diocese of New Westminster following a decision by his diocese to provide a liturgical form for the blessing of same sex unions.

Some clergy opposed to this move walked out of the Synod meeting and have called on Dr Carey and other Anglican Primates to intervene.

In his open letter of reply, Dr Carey acknowledges the pain and distress involved – but counsels them against breaking away, urging them to stay involved in the debate. He also states his intention of raising the matter with the Anglican Consultative Council in September and with the Primates’ standing committee.


Lambeth Palace press office: Tel: 0207 898 1280
Fax: 0207 261 1765

The full text of Dr Carey’s letter:

Open letter in reply to
The Revd Trevor Walters
Vancouver, BC

Dear Trevor,

Thank you for your letter, sent to me ahead of the Synod meeting at the weekend. I did not judge it right that I should comment on it prior to the debate.

As I understand it, the Synod’s decision has been to introduce a liturgical form for blessing same-sex unions, for use in those parishes where this forms an important part of their ministry; and a system of extended episcopal oversight to provide for those clergy who in all conscience fundamentally reject this development in the life of the diocese.

My own position in relation to same-sex relationships is well known. I stand firmly by the resolution passed at the Lambeth Conference. For this, I have been criticised as homophobic. I am not. But I do not accept that homosexual relationships can be treated as being on a par with the man-woman ideal portrayed in Holy Scripture.

It saddens me deeply that any diocese should be following a course at odds with the Lambeth Conference resolution 1.10(e); and I fully understand the dismay this causes to those in the diocese who disapprove of this departure from the Anglican moral tradition and the views of the majority of their fellow believers throughout the Anglican Communion.

At the same time, I am sorry to learn that some walked out of the Synod debate following the result and I am alarmed by the statements of those who appear to be determined to look elsewhere for episcopal oversight in place of the extended episcopal support which Bishop Ingham has offered.

As I understand it, there is much detail still to be worked out in relation to the arrangements outlined in last weekend’s resolutions. For example, the extent and limitations of the pastoral care that is being offered is far from clear; as is the timetable for implementing these proposals. There is a need for certainty about what these proposals amount to, both constitutionally and liturgically.

Let us make no mistake, these are difficult and painful issues – both for those who hold strong views on each side of the argument, and for those who remain undecided. I believe firmly that we should ‘speak the truth in love’ to each other, on these and many other issues – but I believe that we do so most effectively by standing our ground in continuing dialogue and ongoing fellowship with each other, not by walking away.

As you indicate in your letter, this matter has implications far beyond the boundaries of the Diocese of New Westminster. I have no doubt that the unity of the Communion is threatened by your Synod’s decision. You ask me to intervene, in accordance with Resolution 3.6(b) of the Lambeth Conference 1998. Although I have my doubts as to whether that resolution is directly relevant to the problems you face, I shall seek to ensure that the matter is brought up at the forthcoming Anglican Consultative Council meeting and the Primates’ Standing Committee.

With prayers and best wishes at this time,

Yours in Christ

+George Cantuar

Notes for editors:

The resolutions of the Lambeth Conference 1998 cited above read as follows:

1.10 (e)

[This conference]
cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions

3.6 (b)

[This conference]
asks that the Primates’ Meeting, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, include among its responsibilities positive encouragement to mission, intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution in provinces, and giving of guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity in submission to the sovereign authority of Holy Scripture and in loyalty to our Anglican tradition and formularies.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Thirteen Anglican Bishops Respond to the Motion of the Diocese of New Westminster in Vancouver to Bless Same-Sex Unions

June 17, 2002

We regret the decision of the Diocese of New Westminster to move independently toward the blessing of same-sex unions.

We believe the decision of the Diocese of New Westminster to be in conflict with the moral teaching of Holy Scripture and the tradition of the universal Church. We uphold the 1997 statement of the Canadian House of Bishops to be a balanced position which allows for the widest possible pastoral latitude in ministry to gay and lesbian people. It is consistent with the global position of the Lambeth Conference 1998, representing an overwhelming consensus of all Anglican Bishops, meeting from every diocese in the world.

Matters of moral teaching and Church order and discipline are beyond the jurisdiction of a single diocese acting alone. Against the New Westminster decision, the discipline and teaching of the rest of the Anglican Church, nationally and globally remain unchanged.

It can only cause confusion for a local expression of the Church to purport to bless that which Anglicans globally and nationally have decided they cannot bless.

We call on the Diocese of New Westminster to withhold implementation.

We call on all Anglicans to be loyal to Scripture, and to work patiently for reconciliation, and the due order and discipline of the Church.

List of signatories: (Office telephone numbers will be included for press contact and confirmation purposes.)

The Rt. Rev. William Anderson, Bishop of Caledonia, 250-624-6013
The Rt. Rev. Charles Arthurson, Suffragan Bishop of Saskatchewan
The Rt. Rev. Andrew Atagotaaluk, Co-Adjutor Bishop of Arctic, 819-255-8106
The Rt. Rev. Terrence Buckle, Bishop of Yukon
The Rt. Rev. Anthony Burton, Bishop of Saskatchewan, 306-763-2455
The Rt. Rev. John Clarke, Bishop of Athabasca, 780-624-2767
The Rt. Rev. Ronald Ferris, Bishop of Algoma, 705-256-5061
The Rt. Rev. Donald Harvey, Bishop of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador, 709-576-6697
The Rt. Rev. William Hockin, Bishop of Fredericton, 506-460-0525
The Rt. Rev. Paul Idlout, Regional Bishop of Nunavut
The Rt. Rev. Larry Robertson, Regional Bishop of Mackenzie & Kitikmeot, 867-777-2229
The Rt. Rev. Leonard Whitten, Bishop of Western Newfoundland, 709-639-8712
The Rt. Rev. Christopher Williams, Bishop of Arctic

(Comment -- virtually all these Bishops have allowed the sexual revolution of divorce and remarriage in church to occur in their dioceses and voice no major public protest against it; this lessens the moral power of this protest, I fear.!)

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

Anglican Primate to other Primates on sexual innovation w/ Afterword by Peter Toon
Message goes out from Archbishop Michael Peers, Primate of the Anglican
Church of Canada, to Primates in the Anglican Communion

The Office of the Primate Anglican Church of Canada
June 16, 2002

To the Primates of the Anglican Communion

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am writing to convey news of developments in the Diocese of New Westminster (Vancouver, British Columbia). At their Synod Friday and Saturday, June 14-15, the members of that synod approved the development of a rite of blessing for committed same-sex unions. In the two previous synods, the clergy and laity had voted in favour of such a development, but the Bishop, the Right Reverend Michael Ingham, had withheld his consent.

Bishop Ingham has, in the intervening two years, initiated a "listening process" in the diocese, encouraging those of different minds on this issue to enter into dialogue. He has consulted with the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, and the diocese has sought a legal opinion as to its authority, under the canons of the Anglican Church of Canada, to proceed with the development of such a rite. In particular, I draw your attention to the provision for an Episcopal Visitor to serve the pastoral needs of those parishes who desire it. I believe that Bishop Ingham and the Diocese of New Westminster have acted responsibly in this matter.

At the same time, I recognize that this development will create tension within the diocese, the province, and the communion. All the same, I recognize, and ask you to respect, the authority of the bishop and synod within the Diocese of New Westminster.

During our recent meeting in Canterbury, we explored a number of principles common to our canon law across the Anglican Communion. Among those principles was the understanding that a bishop has no authority to intervene in the life of a diocese other than his or her own, unless the bishop of that diocese has given permission to do so.

I would welcome your prayers for the Bishop, Synod, and Diocese of New Westminster, along with the House of Bishops, the General Synod, and the Anglican Church of Canada.

Finally, I think it important that you see Bishop Ingham's proposal, which the synod adopted in "Motion 7". That text is appended to this letter.

Your fellow servant in Christ,
Michael G. Peers, Archbishop and Primate

[Remember that the Anglican Communion is made up of 38 autonomous provinces and that this means there can be no interference that is worth anything practically speaking. Thus while we may get letters of protest (as we have already) from evangelical primates and others the probability is that this move to the acceptance of human rights for sexual innovation - in preference to what are seen as dated patriarchal & heterosexual standards -- will contine unabated in the West or North ( as did the still going on revolution in sexuality allowing divorced persons to be remarried in church, ordained in church etc etc. To allow the divorce revolution and to protest against the lesbigay one is not being either logical or biblical, but the modern Church has lost "the Christian Mind" in most areas] Peter Toon

Saturday, June 15, 2002

British Columbia & Blessing of Same-Sex Unions

See below for report of the acceptance of the new sexual morality in the Anglican Church of Canada.

It has been on the horizon for a while and now has drawn near and has been much assisted sociologically since divorce & remarriage is a major reality in the Anglican Church of Canada. I fear that Anglicanism of the North/West will continue to absorb the new morality until it realizes that it has made a gigantic mistake...other parts of Canada, Australia and Britain watch out -- for there is much more of this to come all over the place and soon.

It is interesting to me that the Bishop who has approved the same-sex blessings vote, is the one who was chosen to commend in print the Canadian Book of Alternative Services of 1985. (Some will think that I am out of line in stating this but I state it...)

Regrettably, few Canadian Evangelicals recognized that the BAS and the (unorthodox) trial services which followed it ( cf, the USA with the 79 prayer book and the new rites that have followed it) were undermining the Faith and opening the doors for innovation in worship, doctrine, discipline and morals. In my criticism of Bp Ingham's commendation of the BAS and later rites etc I was myself criticized by Canadian Evangelicals for resisting good change! Many thought that the BAS was great.... and that I was out of touch. Further, there has been a general acceptance of the divorce culture by Canadian evangelicals and the adoption of the lesbigay agenda is, as we learn from sociological studies, really only the next step of "progress" in sexual rights and freedoms.

Yet I MUCH sympathize with the evangelicals in Vancouver & BC for they have now met the new face of the Northern secularist expression of Anglicanism, which is more controlled by rights' doctrine than that of the Creed. When prayer changes so does morality; regrettably they can expect little or no official help from the Anglican Communion, for Canada is an autonomous province as is the ECUSA and as are the other 36.

In my view they need to absorb what has happened prayerfully and not rush into any decisions or actions for as long as possible. Going into schism will not help and spending money going East in search of Archbishops to lay hand on one of then will not solve the problems. Joining the AMiA or imitating it will not be work well in the former British territory.

They may simply have to stand firm and resist the entrance of the new morality and the bishop into their parishes and do so as long as it takes and in a spirit of humility and graciousness.Meanwhile they should declare days of prayer and fasting topray for the conversion of their Bishop to historic, orthodox Christianity.

Let us pray for the whole diocese, for those who have innovated and those who resist it. Worse problems have faced the Church in the past and She has come through by grace. These parishes have not yet been put out of business or silenced...if they humble thesmelves under the mighty hand of God, who knows what that HAND will do through them and for them! Let them use this opportunity to make sure that they are truly biblical and anglican in their worship, doctrine, discipline and morality and that especially in sexuality they adorn the gospel by commending chastity, holy matrimony and not supporting the divorce culture. Maybe the Lord is speaking to them via this innovation in the diocese... He that hath ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
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

June 15, 2002: Synod D-Day 2
1:15 EST, 9:15 PST

NEW WESTMINSTER DISASTER-- of 371 eligible, 344 voted: 215 yea (63% of votes cast), 126 nay for Motion 7 (previously #s 9-4) in favour of same-sex blessings for the Diocese of New Westminster. MOTION PASSED, episcopal assent immediately given.

When the vote was announced, Rev. Trevor Walters stood up, swiftly withdrew Motion 6 (request for a new diocese) on behalf of the Essentials Parishes, and invited delegates and churches to calmly leave Synod, and to affiliate with world Anglicanism, since Synod had separated schismatically from Anglicanism by this unauthorized action. He asked for the prayers of Synod, and then many people left en masse.

Further to previous claims by Bp. Ingham during the debate to influence the delegates, he asserted that there were already fully and officially authorized same-sex blessings in ECUSA-- this new act in New Westmister would be nothing new. Not exactly. ECUSA same-sex blessings are in one sense unauthorized, nationally-- not via General Convention permission. Those bishops and priests who so act are acting in a canonical/constitutional limbo.

He also claimed that military chaplains under Abp. Andrew Hutchinson (+Montreal) had authorized and carried out same-sex blessings with the authorization of the House of Bishops (HOB). A current member of the Canadian House of Bishops has just advised us that the claim by Michael Ingham that the blessing of same-sex unions by the armed-forces military chaplains under Bp. Hutchinson was done with the full support of the Canadian HOB is in fact "blatantly untrue". The Canadian HOB had no motion or discussion on this matter, but planned to discuss it later.

The New West Essentials Anglicans are even now convening at an area church. As we spoke to two of them one was weeping, one was in shock, but filled with grim determination, in a pastorally agonizing time for thousands of people in New Westminster, across Canada, and around the world in the face of this unprecedented first-time-ever vote to officially bless same sex unions in the Anglican Communion.

Their initial response (subject to revision) may be found here in a prepared Press Release.

Christ have mercy.


A Press Release ....


In accordance with our obedience to the authority of scripture, the moral tradition of the catholic Church, the teaching of the Anglican communion, and the dictate of our conscience, we, the synod delegates of the undersigned parishes, dissent from the resolution of the synod of the diocese of New Westminster in its authorization of the blessing of same-sex unions. We cannot support the synod and its bishop in their defiance of those values of the Church we uphold.

We abhor the disunity which this schismatic act of synod has created. We regret the severing of pastoral relationships which it entails. We have, therefore, appealed to the leaders of the Anglican communion to provide us with alternative episcopal oversight so that we might abide in the church which we love. We appeal to the faithful in our diocese to support us "in contending for the faith once delivered to the saints." We believe that under a new pattern of leadership God will use this current diocesan crisis to enable us to minister more effectively and to continue faithfully to lift high the Cross of Jesus Christ the Lord.

Christ Church, Hope
Church of Emmanuel, Richmond
Church of the Good Shepherd, Vancouver
Saint Andrew's, Pender Harbour
Saint John's, Shaughnessy, Vancouver
Saint Martin's, North Vancouver
Saint Matthias and Saint Luke, Vancouver
Saint Matthew's, Abbotsford
Saint Simon's, North Vancouver


The Revd Mr Ed Hird has asked that anyone in the Anglican Communion who wishes to
contact him to support the faithful parishes can contact him at:


Friday, June 14, 2002


By Dr L. R. Tarsitano-Saint Andrew's Church, Savannah

The Third Sunday after Trinity-June 16, 2002

Father's Day

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you" (1 Peter 5:10).

My literature students read a poem called "Those Winter Sundays," by Robert Hayden. It's short enough to quote to you here:

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

I'd like to tell you on this Father's Day that these lines move my students to tears, or at least to some sort of paternal piety or reminiscence, but they mostly treat them like a message in code from another universe. After all, the poem was written in 1962, and that's ancient history.

The one line that stands out for them concerns "the chronic angers of that house." Too many of them have known angry households, or are living in them still. They can identify with anger and disorder, but almost no one notices that the father has polished his son's good shoes on that Sunday morning so that they can go to church together. Fewer still are capable of considering that whatever that father brings home from church "of love's austere and lonely offices" may be the one frayed ligament holding that family together.

A sociologist could probably provide a list of books to explain the general blankness that greets this poem. We would read of "cultural movements," "generations," "gaps," and "the redefinition of the nuclear family," all in the cause of explaining a new sort of person naïve enough to believe that heat comes from thermostats, money comes from plastic cards, food comes from microwaves, and love comes from individual self-fulfillment. The real reason, however, is both simpler and more dire. Not very many young people today have encountered an ordinary, faithful, fallible, struggling Christian father.

To be a husband and a father is the first vocation. If it were not for sin and the complications of a fallen world, it would be the only vocation (other than the complementary vocation to be a wife and a mother). But Adam was first, and his calling from the beginning was to be a walking, talking, personal demonstration of the goodness of divine Providence. The Father in heaven made human fathers on earth to represent him, not as tin gods, but as flesh and blood extensions of his own love and care for every one of us.

The high calling of fatherhood continues today. This responsibility continues today, but as God warned Adam when he expelled him from the Garden of Eden for his sin, it is now a responsibility that must he exercised "in the sweat of thy face" (Gen. 3:19). This warning applies to every man and boy in this congregation, to every man and boy in the world.

To be a man is to be born with the obligation of earning our livings and supporting our families in the sweat of our faces. To be a man under God is to labor with our bodies, minds, souls, and hearts for others and to learn from Jesus Christ the duties of "love's austere and lonely offices." We are to provide, not merely the material things of this world that pass away, but more importantly, we men are commanded to offer the things of the spirit that last forever, as God will give us the grace and power so to do. This is what we vow at baptism, at confirmation, in matrimony, and in holy orders, wherever and however God calls us to his service as men.

Can such a life be possible? It isn't, if we surrender to the same false doctrines of self-esteem and self-regard that have befuddled my students and so many like them, depriving them of the example and presence of godly men. It isn't, if we waste our lives living to please and to amuse ourselves. It isn't, if we are waiting to be thanked or honored in this world for doing our duty. But a life of genuine manhood is possible, if we look to the source and perfect image of all manly virtue, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ hanging on the cross.

Pontius Pilate said, "Behold the man," and for once he was right (John 19:5). Our Lord is a man as the Father intends a man to be. He is strong enough to bear the burdens of the whole world. He is brave enough to face down the terrors of death, trusting in his heavenly Father to give him victory even over death. And now that our Lord has won his victory, he will share it with anyone who is man enough to take up the crosses of this life and to follow after him.

The first step is humility. As St. Peter writes this morning: "be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:5-7). Our Lord humbled himself before his Father and achieved the salvation of the world. Our achievements as men will follow from the same courage to be humble and to trust in God for ourselves, for our families, and for all that we love.

Humility is courage in action. It is the courage to be known as a Christian on the job and on the street, and not just in private. It is the courage to teach and to live the difference between right and wrong. It is the courage to act as God's representative within the home, to be a man of God, knowing that at times we will fail and need to ask forgiveness both of God and of those we love. It is the courage to be imperfect and yet to seek perfection in Jesus Christ. It is the courage to commit the sweat of our faces to the commandments of grace.

Given the hard work that it takes to be a Christian man, it isn't surprising that around the world this morning perpetual boys are thronging the golf courses, sleeping-off Saturday night, or otherwise occupied than worshipping their God in his Church. They may even feel like "he-men" for doing so, but they're not. They're leaving a hole in their families, where a grown-up Christian man is supposed to be. They're leaving a hole in the churches, where boys are meant to learn how to be Christian men from the society of Christian men, and where girls are meant to learn from observation the difference between a godly man and a slob.

Like it or not, a man never makes a decision just for himself, but always for his family and dependents, for his society, and for the world. God offers all Christians, but men in particular, a challenge and a promise in today's Epistle: "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."

The challenge is to dedicate our lives to the glory of God, including a ceaseless witness to the perfect Fatherhood of the Father in heaven. The price is to suffer a while-to gain and to provide in Jesus Christ what is eternal at the cost of self-discipline and self-sacrifice in the here and now. The promise is to build with God-to build a family of blood and spirit for God to make perfect in grace, for God to establish in his power, for God to make strong by the Holy Ghost, and for God to settle forever in his own kingdom.

Every family has a Father in heaven, but every family does not have a father on earth. It is the essence of God-given manhood to be an earthly father in God's Name, both after the flesh and after the spirit. The call to be a father, and a father to the fatherless, is the great, too-infrequently-tapped resource of Christianity for reform, for the protection of the innocent, and for the spread of God's kingdom. The world around us bleeds for the lack of an army of responsible Christian men.

We honor our fathers today, and we should. But we will honor them best if demand of ourselves and of each other that we be Christian men as they were. The very best of them have shown us the way-to walk, day by day, in the footsteps of the Man Jesus Christ, bearing the burdens of others, building the kingdom of God, and sharing the fellowship of "love's austere and lonely offices" until we are called home by our Father in heaven. Happy Father's Day, gentlemen in Jesus Christ.


An interview with Dr. James I. Packer
By David W. Virtue

Dr. James I. Packer is unquestionably the world's most distinguished Anglican scholar and theologian.

At 75 he clearly merits the title and status of patriarch. The number of books, publications, articles, monographs and chapters in symposia he has penned over the years reaches to well over 300. He has spent more than half a century in Christian ministry as a priest, theologian, teacher, author, lecturer and definer of Anglicanism to its contemporary followers.

He is one of the most quoted Anglicans in the world, and rarely is a major article or book written on Anglicanism that does not have a quote or is foot-noted from one of his numerous writings. His volumes include commentaries on the Bible; studies in Puritan theology; spirituality; devotionals and a series of "Knowing" books that are quintessentially English. The accusation that English Christians have a tendency to live in their heads, open to the charge of rationalism, cannot be laid at the feet of this man. He combines both head and heart. The title of one of his books cutely exposes the culture: "Hot Tub Religion: Christian living in a Materialistic World." While he has spent years in the academic world of the theological 'ivory tower' James Packer has a pastor's heart.

In 1979, after teaching and preaching for 27 years in England, where he served as warden of Latimer House, Oxford and principal of Tyndale House, he became Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Regent College, and in 1989 he was installed as the first Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology. In 1996 he became Board of Governors' Professor of Theology. Packer has a pastor's heart and he has written a number of volumes for those in the pastoral ministry. He has grappled with contemporary culture in books like the "Post-Christian Mind: Exposing its Destructive Agenda" and while he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the past he is also current on contemporary issues that affect all Christians, particularly Anglicans. He draws heavily from his years of learning and lecturing on Puritanism and sits comfortably in both worlds. Two books of his that stand out are "Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God" and "Fundamentalism and the Word of God". He is eminently approachable, he puts on no airs, does not stand on his dignity, and his vast knowledge does not make you feel small in his presence. He radiates a genuine humility and, despite his enormous wealth of knowledge and learning, one has the distinct sense that one is in the presence of Christ when talking to him.

As well as being perhaps the most preeminent evangelical theologian of our time, Packer also serves as a Senior Editor and Visiting Scholar of Christianity Today and contributes to a variety of theological journals. Dr. Packer is married with three children and enjoys avocationally listening to classical jazz.

I have known James Packer for more than 30 years, having first heard him speak in the UK, later in Vancouver, Canada and then at various conferences in his peripatetic travels around the world. Despite his many books, and those he has contributed too, (there are some 113 listed at Amazon. Com) he is just as careful in the spoken word as he is in the written. He is a little frailer now with the passage of time but his mind is still razor sharp despite a heart attack two years ago.

In the extensive interview that follows he was not above putting in his own punctuation in answers to my questions. That is unique, if not a little quirky in the world of journalism.

I was privileged to interview Dr. Packer at the Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry (TESM) in Ambridge, PA recently where he was one of the speakers at Truthful Speech and the Power of God: Evangelicals and Liturgical Revision, put on by the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC-USA).

VIRTUOSITY: Dr. Packer, what are you working on now?

PACKER: I am writing a flurry of articles, and I hope to produce a large catechetical survey on the faith of the Bible within the next two or three years. It will be published by Tyndale House in the US and Inter Varsity Press in UK.

VIRTUOSITY: I understood you are working on a three-volume Doctrine of God commentary.

PACKER: Yes, but it will only be a two volume work. I'm 75 but I have a five-year plan to accomplish these tasks.

VIRTUOSITY: What is your present working status?

PACKER: I am retired from Regent College as Professor of Theology but I still have an office there and teach occasionally.

VIRTUOSITY: The Primates of the Anglican Communion met recently in Canterbury. How did you read what happened there?

PACKER: I don't know enough to talk about it officially. But what I do see is that the Anglican Communion is beginning to crack and what the Primates are engaged in is attempted damage control.

VIRTUOSITY: Why was it necessary for a group of men who already say they know and believe in who God is to write a Doctrine of God statement? How important was it to write a statement about the Doctrine of God when in fact these men are supposed to be affirming this week by week in their preaching?

PACKER: The Doctrine of God statement was part of the damage control and it is to be welcomed. We need to be clear that we are worshipping the same God. Doubting first principles has become acceptable. They declared what they believed in these first principles.

VIRTUOSITY: What do you see as the essential issue here?

PACKER: The problem is epistemological. What has come to possess a large number of minds in the West is some form of the idea that theology and liturgy and all Christian utterances across the board including Christian utterances of NT writers is what people like Bultmann verbalized in terms of the culture of the times. If you are going to use revelation - the activity of God, which gives them the sense of culture - they have to be clothed in cultural forms. These are ideas that have possessed the western liberal mind, the majority of theological colleges, and become the center of liberal development in the past few years.

VIRTUOSITY: Would you say that the two men who most exemplified the polarities in the Anglican Communion would be US Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and Peter Carnley, Primate of Australia, an upholder of something called Progressive Christianity?

PACKER: These two men reflect the liberal process. It would be true to say that their leadership in the Anglican Communion represents the extreme liberal form.

VIRTUOSITY: Would you give me your reading on the Anglican Mission in America (AMIA) and why it should exist? I notice in your lecture that you acknowledged the presence of John Rodgers and addressed him as a bishop. By doing so you tacitly acknowledged his orders and recognized the AMIA.

PACKER: I think the AMIA is a tragic but necessary response to a tragic and irreformable situation in the ECUSA, the situation in which all sorts of attempts are being made to enforce liberal pluralism as a norm, the norm is that there is no norm. Everyone has the freedom to reconceive God, Christ and Christian existence in the way that seems good to them, and any attempt to establish a norm of belief is frowned upon and inhibited in various ways. That is what made AMIA necessary. I hope the leaders of AMIA are clear that their existence is a tragic reality and are hoping for the day when the separate existence of the AMIA is no longer necessary. I would like to hear them say that more clearly than yet they have done.

VIRTUOSITY: What would the ECUSA need to do to recognize the AMIA?

PACKER: The ECUSA would have to acknowledge the reality of revealed truth. The normativity of historical Anglican faith and the reality of limits to permissible speculation.

VIRTUOSITY: Do you see any let up by ECUSA?

PACKER: As long as the present emergency continues, AMIA will only grow stronger, and I see no signs of a let up on that.

VIRTUOSITY: What good can come out of the AMIA? Can the AMIA recall world Anglicanism to orthodoxy and unity?

PACKER: It must always make clear that the AMIA is an emergency response to an emergency situation. Separation involved was never desired and AMIA hopes a change in Anglican policies in specific respects that will make it possible for churches currently in AMIA to return to the larger Anglican unit from which they withdrew.

VIRTUOSITY: Can you give a directive/prescriptive in procedural institutional terms about how the AMIA can work?

PACKER: AMIA inherits the mantle of Anglican orthodoxy as this has been understood for centuries. AMIA must constantly insist that its adherents to this orthodoxy is integral to its being and that this orthodoxy is the standard on which and we hope and pray that the Anglicanism of tomorrow will converge again.

VIRTUOSITY: What is your view of the recent Covenant put together by the American House of Bishops?

PACKER: The Covenant is open textured and unfocused. It cannot be a very meaningful gesture.

VIRTUOSITY: Would a new jurisdiction solve all the problems in First world countries with orthodox priests at odds with liberal and ultra-liberal bishops?

PACKER: In the short term it would ease the problem. The real problem is the divergence of theologies within the English speaking Anglican world. Now that the restraining effect of liturgical uniformity no longer operates in the Anglican west, the focus of unity must be directly theological or there can be no unity.

VIRTUOSITY: Women's ordination is probably the single major bone of contention among traditionalist and evangelical Anglicans. Where do you stand on that issue? Are you for or against it?

PACKER: I do not find the arguments to the effect that Scripture forbids the church to make women presbyters compelling. While I think the church may do it, I think it is folly for the church to do it.


PACKER: Scripture makes clear that God having made the two sexes different and He wants them to remain different, and to turn the presbyterate which in the NT is defined clearly as a man's job, into a unisex role is a departure from that wisdom.

VIRTUOSITY: Is this personal for you?

PACKER: I do not hold the church's mistake here against any individual woman clergyman, but I make plain to anyone who asks that I accept women presbyters as such under protest. I think the Church ought not to have accepted women's ordination to the presbyterate.

VIRTUOSITY: Allow me to press the issue...

PACKER: You always do...(laughter)

VIRTUOSITY: Many evangelicals accept the reality of women's ordination because they find nothing specifically in Scripture that forbids it. The president of this seminary, for example, believes in the ordination of women and has written in support of it.

PACKER: God made the two sexes different. God made males for leadership and women for support; males for the maintenance of standards and women for the nurturing to their fellows.

VIRTUOSITY: Homosexuality or the issue of Pansexuality has become the lightning rod issue for The Episcopal Church and increasingly for the whole Anglican Communion. This includes the ordination of avowed homosexuals and the marriage of people of the same sex. How defining is this issue?

PACKER: Since to believe that such behavior is contrary to God's explicitly prescriptive standards for sexual conduct, and since I believe that presbyters are to be models and examples of godliness to their flock, according to the Anglican Ordinal, I cannot approve of the licensing of active homosexual clergy to any form of parochial or local church leadership and that includes bishops licensing or appointing such clergy.

VIRTUOSITY: The sinner not the sin argument?

PACKER: We tolerate this as a sinner who needs to repent, and such persons should not be given leadership roles.

You used the word 'pansexuality' in your question. That is not quite accurate as that applies to all sexualities including heterosexuality. I would stick to the word homosexuality.

VIRTUOSITY: How serious a deviation is the belief that homosexual behavior under certain circumstance can be good, approved, and offered to God for blessing, whether informally or in a liturgical rite for that purpose?

PACKER: I think it is a very serious deviation, though I well understand the personal and emotional factors that lead individuals to embrace it. But it seems to me that this view implies that homosexual behavior can be one aspect of human perfection and holiness; and that implies that Jesus himself was either homosexual or at least bisexual in his personal orientation, since He is the supreme embodiment of the perfection and holiness of human beings. Surely this conclusion is unacceptable to all sober and thoughtful Christians.

VIRTUOSITY: Is the church dealing adequately with post-modernism as a worldview in its preaching?

PACKER: I think not. Post modernism is the backdoor into pluralism which is the affirmation of every persons' views, whatever their foundation or lack of it. It is saying that any persons' view is as good as anyone else's views on any subject without parameters.

VIRTUOSITY: Our Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold is very fond of pluralism and calls himself a pluriformist. What do you think of that?

PACKER: Pluralism sounds the deathknell of revealed truth and agreed truth and united faith among God's people. In other words, pluralism must lead to the dissolution of the church, except as a club for religious free thinkers.

The appropriate counter to post modernism is a vigorous apologetic showing that unbelief of the historic faith to be as unreasonable as Christians for nearly two millennia have thought it to be. It is as unreasonable is infidelity.

VIRTUOSITY: The rise of Islam is causing consternation to many Christians. Are or should we be waging reconciliation as the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA says we should?

PACKER: Islam in my view, as an historic Christian, is a wayward child. Our first task when confronted by Muslims is friendship and affirmation of all the truth about God that Islam maintains. Within that relational frame, our goal must be, as the second stage in our relationship, is to share the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the redeeming love of God to sinners of which Islam knows nothing. But it would be a total mistake to assume that because Islam is partially wrong as well as partially right, therefore it should be treated as if it were totally wrong, and Muslims be treated as if they were persons with no knowledge of the Oneness of God the creator, and many of his moral standards.

VIRTUOSITY: If the next Archbishop of Canterbury should happen to be Bishop James Jones of Liverpool, what would be your response to that?

PACKER: If James Jones wins it will be good for evangelism, good for the re-tooling of the Church of England to face the 21st Century. He would certainly be able to give leadership to the bishops of the Southern Cone (global south) on all the matters on which they are currently showing concern.

VIRTUOSITY: Thank you Dr. Packer.


NOTE: This interview will appear in the October issue of TOUCHSTONE magazine, a journal of Mere Christianity. I commend this magazine most highly. You may go to their website at and sign up.

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

Thursday, June 13, 2002


a discussion starter

The difference between "Thee/thou" and "you/your" is not only the difference between singular and plural in number. As a consequence of that difference, it is also the difference between intimacy and familiarity, and corresponds to the difference between relation (a permanent ordering) and relationship (a temporal even ephemeral ordering) in modern usage. In both instances modern culture obscures and dilutes the distinction between the respective terms, and seeks to displace the former with the latter. In both cases the former term points to a deeper reality, while the latter term stays on the surface. Mere familiarity is much more superficial than genuine intimacy, and thus in fact the more truly distant.

Also, in terms of right relation in the divine order, intimacy is possible between intrinsic different levels of being, but familiarity generally is not. God is our Father; one has an intimate relation to and with Him, just as one has an intimate relation to and with one's earthly father; but in neither case does one have a familiar relation, which is intrinsically casual. It may be said that intimacy entails reverence, whereas mere familiarity cannot. A proper man reveres (honors) his parents; a husband and wife revere (honor and cherish) one another. Mere familiarity fundamentally lacks this dimension; for precisely that reason, mere familiarity can never even remotely approach the much more profound and enduring bond of intimacy, any more than a casual friendship can approach the relation that binds a child to his parents, or a husband and wife to one another.

The seeming distance that some people today claim to feel in using "Thee/thou" rather than "you/your" in addressing God is in fact that profound dimension of due reverence, and honor, that intimacy possesses but familiarity lacks. If sincere, believing people embrace the "Thee/thou" form in their public prayer and personal devotions, they will most probably come to learn and experience over time that this practice will deepen the character of their relation (note, not relationship!) to God in a way that the merely familiar "you/your" form never can.

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

Vancouver BC Calls for Help

(Because of the autonomy of each province there is little, as we have found over the last decade, that the A of C and the Primates can do...even if they so wished..., thus I see no remedy in sight for the minority in BC; but they can claim all the promises in the Good BOOK given to those who faithfully wait upon the Lord in tribulation... and in so doing they will prosper in tribulation.)

Vancouver, BC Canada

June 2002

An Open Appeal to George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury
And the Primates of the Anglican Communion

Dear Archbishops,

We greet you in the name of the Father, the Son and the
Holy Spirit.

We, as clergy of the diocese of New Westminster in the
ecclesiastical province of British Columbia (part of the Anglican Church
of Canada), are appealing to you for the provision of alternative
episcopal oversight as per the provisions of Lambeth (1998) for
intervention in cases of pastoral emergency which cannot be addressed
within a province.

We make our appeal for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ that we believe and have been entrusted with. As pastors and
shepherds of God's flock we are being pressured to conform on matters
that we believe compromise the Gospel message and we cannot in
conscience agree. We appeal to you also on behalf of our flocks whom we
have been entrusted to shepherd; in the words of our ordering as
priests, we have been called to be "messengers, watchmen, and stewards
of the Lord." As such we appeal to you to aid us in the "defense and
confirmation of the Gospel" (Philippians 1:7).

Our diocesan bishop, Michael Ingham, has presented us with
a proposal. He tells us that he intends to give his consent to a motion
recently passed by our diocesan synod that calls for the blessing of
same-sex couples and another motion that calls for the drawing up an
Anglican rite for the use of clergy in services of the same.

He has offered those of "traditional conscience" a "conscience clause"
which would (for the time-being) protect conservatives from having
personally to be involved in these blessings. He has also offered us a
temporary form of Episcopal oversight which would be completely at his
discretion and subject to removal at will.

Bishop Michael has also told the delegates to the up-coming
synod on 14-15 June 2002 that he is making these proposals with the
support of both our Archbishop, David Crawley, and with the support of
Michael Peers, the Primate of the Canadian Church. (To date, neither
Archbishop Crawley nor Archbishop Peers have disputed this public

We have consulted with a number of Canadian bishops who are
dismayed at these events and have followed their advice.
Representatives of a number of orthodox clergy in this diocese have met
with Archbishop Crawley to discuss the pastoral emergency, with no
substantial results. We have reasoned with our bishop not to so
proceed, but to no avail.

Our bishop has threatened to withdraw the licenses of those
clergy unable to live with these innovations in Anglican moral
teaching. We thus find ourselves in an impossible position in regards
to our diocesan, our Archbishop and our Primate. We appeal to you to
intervene to protect the clergy and congregations in this diocese who
want to maintain the doctrines and discipline of the Anglican Communion
as we have received them and to respect the resolutions of the 1998
Lambeth Conference.

For the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and those
committed to our charge, we would request that you intervene in this
situation in accordance with the Lambeth Resolution which foresaw such
an event. Attached please find a document entitled "Background and
Commentary on the Appeal to the Archbishops" that provides documentation
concerning these matters.

Yours in Christ,


The Revd. Dr. Trevor Walters

cc. Michael Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada
David Crawley, Archbishop of British Columbia
Michael Ingham, Bishop of New Westminster

Background and Commentary on the Appeal to the Archbishops

The Diocese of New Westminster, within the Anglican Church of Canada,
faces an imminent crisis where actions by the Bishop, Michael Ingham,
will have not just a Diocesan or national effect, but will present major
consequences for the world-wide Anglican Communion. The following is a
brief statement of the nature and development of the crisis and an
urgent appeal for international assistance according to the
responsibilities given to the Primates' Committee by Resolution III 6 b,
for Episcopal 'intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are
incapable of internal resolution within Provinces.' (Lambeth 98
Resolution III. 6. b)

The Diocese of New Westminster, after several years of controversy,
dialogue, and lobbying regarding the blessing of homosexual unions finds
itself in irresoluble division on the issue, as its Synod approaches the
hour of decision, 13 - 15 June, 2002. Conservatives have attempted to
recall the Diocese to the Scriptural teachings and traditions of the
Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church as reaffirmed clearly in the
Lambeth 1998 meeting of Bishops. Revisionists, with the full support of
the Bishop and Diocesan resources, have obtained bare majorities for
their cause in the past two Synods, the largest margin being 56.5%. The
Bishop withheld his consent to wait for a larger consensus, which he
specified as 60%, while also counselling the conservatives to adjust to
their minority status and to count on his provision of fair treatment.

With Synod approaching, and with controversial Motions in place
regarding homosexual blessings and Alternative Episcopal Oversight
(Appendix I), conservative clergy sought the counsel of Canadian
Bishops, who advised discussing the provision of Alternative Episcopal
Oversight with our Metropolitan, Archbishop David Crawley. A Petition
was prepared setting out our case (Appendix II) and presented to the
Metropolitan on 23 May.
On the same day Bishop Michael presented 'A Proposal To Address
Pastoral Needs Within the Diocese of New Westminster' to a meeting with
conservative clergy (Appendix III), which conveyed the Bishop's decision
to give consent to a rite for the blessing of homosexual unions, to
operate at the local option of parishes and their incumbents. He also
offered a conscience clause to protect laity and clergy who opposed this
innovation, and a temporary Episcopal Visitor under his appointment and
authority with functions limited to the provision of pastoral care to
those parishes and clergy who desired and voted for it. The Bishop
suggested that his proposal would end the need for Synod to address the
controversial motions, both for homosexual blessings and Alternative
Episcopal Oversight. Clergy who could not comply with the new regime
were warned in the Bishop's proposal that they could lose their
licenses. The conservative clergy were required by the Bishop to respond
by 6 June.

Conservative clergy and laity concluded that this innovation was so
offensive to Scripture and Anglican tradition as to be beyond the remedy
of a conscience clause (Appendix IV). Also, they found the minimalist
nature of the Bishop's proposed Episcopal Visitor to hold no attraction.
Accordingly they responded to the Bishop in a meeting on 6 June
(Appendix V), where their opposition was explained again, together with
their resolve to remain loyally within the Anglican Communion according
to the vows they had undertaken. They also advised the Bishop that they
found his threat to remove licenses unacceptable and that if he gave his
consent to the implementation of rites for homosexual unions they would
find themselves in a state of impaired communion, being forced to appeal
to Anglican Primates for external Episcopal intervention under Lambeth
98 Resolution III. 6. b.

The Bishop gave no accommodation in the meeting but rather treated the
conservative clergy as mutinous, threatened they would all lose their
licenses if they persisted, and advised that he would implement the
homosexual rite even failing the previously specified 60% Synod
majority. Indeed, even before awaiting the response from the clergy he
had required by 6 June, the Bishop had on 4 June written to all Synod
delegates outlining his proposal of 23 May, suggesting this was an
acceptable means of surmounting the Diocesan impasse and dispensing with
the controversial resolutions, while warning against other unofficial
proposals calling for the partition of the diocese along theological
lines (Appendix VI). Refusing to countenance what he termed 'the
balkanization of the diocese,' or 'the weakening of the episcopate in
Canada,' the Bishop claimed to have discussed his proposal 'with both
the Primate [Michael Peers] and the Metropolitan, and have their support
in bringing it forward.'

In light of the impasse in this Diocese, and the desire of its many
conservative laity, priests, and parishes to remain as loyal members of
the Anglican Communion, subscribing fully to the tenets of our
Scriptural teaching and Episcopal tradition, we would petition faithful
and Godly Primates to assist us in our hour of need according to the
pattern set out in Lambeth 98 Resolution III. 6. b. Failing such remedy,
we are likely to see our Chinese Parishes and others join a new Anglican
Mission in Canada.

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

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Cultural divide for Common Prayer?

Is "The Book of Common Prayer"(1662) out of date and unsuitable for use in
public worship in the new millennium?

In a variety of ways it appears to be out of date. Here are some examples:

It reflects social conditions of the 16th & 17th centuries.

It reflects political conditions of the 16th & 17th centuries.

It reflects religious ideas of the 16th & 17th centuries.

It reflects biblical exegesis and interpretation of the16th & 17th centuries.

It has an English idiom, grammar and syntax created in the sixteenth century.

It is not influenced by the great modernising power of the Enlightenment of the 18th century.

It does not contain any signs of the doctrine of rights that are central to modern life - natural rights, human rights, civil rights and so on.

It has no conception of modern democracy and of multi-culturalism and the like.

Thus in the Prayers for the monarch & parliament, in the delineation of human duties and responsibilities in society as a Christian, in the evaluation of Jewish and Muslim religion, in terms of marriage and family relations and in other areas, it is as if there had been no reforms in British society since the reign of the Charles II.

Certainly, editions of The Book of Common Prayer since 1662 in places like the USA and Canada do contain some acknowledgement of changing times and conditions but only minimally.

So the question remains: In a modern society, be it in Canada, the USA or Great Britain, how can a congregation, which is seeking to serve God in the modern [or post-modern] world, use a form of worship and prayer that is so obviously from a different social, political and economic context and truly in so doing be engaged in genuine worship?

Before we begin to answer this question, it may be helpful to note that even when the Bible is translated into the most contemporary forms of English it still is a Book whose contents were written millennia ago and thus reflect vastly different social, political and economic situations than we know today in the West. Yet the Church finds the Word of God in and through the Bible despite the ancient cultural context from which it comes.

So a congregation in using the public liturgies - Morning and Evening Prayer, the Litany & the Order for Holy Communion - can find in these texts/rites an appropriate, even an excellent, form of words and arrangement of biblically-based themes which have the effect of making worship of Almighty God spiritually and moral meaningful. This happens when there is a disposition and readiness to try out these services in sincerity and when the meaning of the text through familiarity with it rings true in the experience of those so doing. Thus worship in spirit and in truth is possible and is found to be more efficiently attained than with services which reflect their 20th or 21st century origins. (It is after all more appropriate to approach God as a humbled sinner seeking pardon than as a free person insisting on his rights before man and God!)

In this situation, the older idiom of English and the clarity of the presentation of the character of God, the identity and saving work of the Lord Jesus, human sin and redemption all contribute to the sense of awe and reverence before God as well as of spiritual reality and true doctrine. And where occasionally the received form of words reflects a political and social order that no longer exists (e.g., in references to the monarch and the high court of parliament), the congregation simply imagines that which has succeeded to it and prays accordingly.

In fact, through constant use of these familiar texts/rites, the congregation is able to approach God freed from the pressing culture of modernity and post-modernity and finds that texts wherein there is no doctrine of human rights makes one more aware of human responsibility and gratitude before God for his mercies. This reflects a state of being in the world but not of the world; a state of seeking to be holy as God is holy.

And it should be added that fine music from organ and choir and sound, clear speaking by the Ministers can add a dimension of credibility to the liturgical experience so that it is as if one is in another world for the duration of the service!

For most people, the acceptance that an older liturgy has the power to lead them to the Holy Trinity in faith, hope and love can only be achieved through tasting and seeing and experiencing. Merely reading the text is not usually sufficient, but listening to a CD can usually help.

In contrast to public liturgies, the use of occasional liturgies and services - e.g., Matrimony - even with fine music do raise particular problems in terms of their immediately applicability to modern conditions. Parts of the marriage service obviously reflect marriage law and customs of the 17th century and earlier, and need to be explained to most people in order to make full sense. Yet it is possible for people to say to
themselves: "if this is what it meant then in those conditions, I can see what it means now in different conditions" and it can serve as a worthy and memorable means for those who wish to have a truly Christian marriage to begin in the right way.

Of course, liturgies in contemporary forms of English and containing sound doctrine are also means used by God to edify us and glorify his own Name. This is what those whose primary liturgies are in Latin and Greek seek to provide via their translations. Here the problem faced by modern liturgists is that in the putting of this traditional exercise of worship into a modern idiom (where the tradition has been a classical language or older English) there is a great temptation to include within the rendering also some of the ethos of modern self-centered human experience. But that is another story..

June 12, 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

The Next Archbishop

Let us talk sensibly about the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

God willing by January 1st 2003 the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury will be in place. We do not know (now in June 2002) who he will be.

In the church press which is read by less than 1% of the church-attending British population, there is speculation from time to time as to the identity of the next Archbishop. Very few people actually care who it will be. Those who are engaged in the choice (about 20 people in all), and especially the Prime Minister and the Queen, are not going to tell anything until the telling is the actual appointment, for all involved are bound to confidentiality.

Some people have claimed that "the choice of the next Archbishop could make or break the Anglican Communion." Such a claim is based either on ignorance or is deliberate exaggeration.

In fact, whoever the next Archbishop is, his hands will be tied in so many ways that the freedom left to influence things and events by his own particular convictions will be rather small and very restricted.

Consider that first of the Archbishop is the Bishop of a diocese and there are certain responsibilities and restraints imposed by this office; secondly, he is archbishop of a province (half of England) and has certain duties fixed by law and custom in relation to other dioceses; thirdly, the Church of England has a General Synod, which he chairs, and which devours a lot of his time and imposes upon him all kinds of restraints and duties; fourthly, he is the first citizen of the nation and has to observe all kinds of protocol and rules in relation to the traditions and laws of Great Britain and be available for many civic receptions and duties as well as for all kinds of inter-faith activities (of a social kind); fifthly, he inherits major ancient buildings (needing maintenance and management) an office with staff (including advisers and lawyers) and ways of doing things, which fashion how work is done (at least to begin with); sixthly, in relation to the Anglican Communion he has to relate to the permanent staff in the Communion Office and to the membership of the Anglican Consultative Council and further he has to respect the autonomy of each of the other 37 provinces of the Communion; and seventhly, in these days when the Church of England is short of money he has to watch the expenditure very seriously. And so on.

And consider just one of these areas..By the acts and working commissions of the General Synod, the Archbishop is bound by all kinds of rules and restrictions - e.g., he is in ecumenical relations with Lutherans in Northern Europe and in Germany, and with Methodists in the UK; he is engaged in a serious consideration of the doctrine of marriage and revision of the laws for the marriage of divorced persons; he is waiting for the findings of a commission of women in the episcopate while he (or a deputy) ordains women in his own diocese..and so on.

Taking all this (and more) into account it is easy to see that whatever be his theological convictions these can only influence decisively a small part of his overall work, duties and responsibilities and can only give a flavour to the rest, the majority, of his work.

Thus to claim that there could be a making or breaking of the Anglican Communion by this appointment is way off the mark. Though he is a primary "instrument of unity" of the Communion he is so by consent and custom and history, not by canon law and there are many other factors - e.g., American innovations in doctrine, discipline and worship -- that influence the making and breaking of the Communion.

Let us pray for the One who shall be the 104th Archbishop whose name God alone (at this time) knows.

June 12, 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

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

The Future of "Anglicanism"

A discussion starter by Peter Toon (D.Phil. Oxon)

What is reasonably clear, I think, is that for most "Anglicans" in most of the 38 autonomous Churches ( provinces) which are loosely associated in what is called the Anglican Communion, the idea of belonging to this Communion rarely enters their conscious mind and their conversation. And exceedingly few Anglicans (and this is supremely so in the UK) are really and permanently concerned about the identity of the present or the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Interest in 2002 in the Anglican Communion of Churches, and its so-called "instruments of unity" that attempt to hold this amazing diversity together, is very much a minority and a professional interest. Most local Anglicans would (at least in the short term) not miss out on anything much or see any great changes if their Church (one of the 38) were to live wholly according to its legal, autonomous nature and secede from the Communion. (After all we have a variety of Anglican Churches around the world that are outside the Communion and that seem nevertheless to continue and maintain a basic orthodoxy and growth - e.g., the C of E in S Africa and the American Continuing Churches, including the new AMiA.)

In fact, one wonders just how much pressure there would be from the laity of most Churches (provinces) to maintain other than genial and friendly contacts with other Anglican-type Churches if the laity alone decided these things. It seems to be primarily bishops, some presbyters and a few laity who push the agenda of being an active part of the Communion and thus attending all meetings to foster close fellowship. It seems to be a few church leaders who want to minimize the autonomy of each province and to make each province responsible to the whole in basic areas of doctrine, discipline and worship. And it is certainly only a few who push the idea that the identity of the next Archbishop is critical to the future of Anglicanism! Apparently most Anglicans in each and all of the 38 provinces are content to be within an autonomous province that maintains some kind of minimal ties with other Churches of like mind and history and heritage. For most of the time, local parochial issues and their own salvation are their primary concern. Yet perhaps at the very back of the mind belonging to a world-wide "family" is comforting in a general sense.

For the minority who wish to bring the provinces closer together and to maximise the effects of the instruments of unity (including the newest one - canon law) there seem to be tremendous problems to overcome. For example --- Despite the doctrine of reception (Eames Reports) divisions over the ordaining of women both to the presbyterate and the episcopate remain and harden; and despite many attempts to create dialogue and understanding, the issue of sexuality deeply divides dioceses and provinces - indeed for some the presence of same-sex partnerships and actively homosexual clergy is absolutely a non-starter. Further, divisions (economic, cultural, racial
etc.) between "North" and "South" are there just beneath the surface ready to erupt and become real divisions on the ground.

If there is truly a "good" for all Anglicans within the 38 Churches (and in the other Anglican bodies) in actually belonging to a Communion that is being steered towards a closer fellowship, thereby minimizing the autonomy of each and every part and maximizing that authority which belongs to central agencies ("the instruments of unity"), then that "good" surely needs to be spelled out and proclaimed soon and effeiciently to the whole of the 75 millions of this 38 member alliance.

The "good" (benefits for the kingdom of heaven, for the churches involved, for the world and for each member therein) needs to be stated in clear terms, explained and propagated far and wide. If this is done - and it would be a miracle for there to be wide agreement as to what is this good -- there may be a great strength available to find ways to overcome those apparently insuperable problems of women's ordination, sexuality and North/South tensions (together with others that are there and will be there) and to go forward as an active and faithful jurisdiction of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to proclaim the Gospel and edify God's people.

The Roman Church is far better organized on the ground than is the Anglican Communion. In fact the Anglican worldwide family as an international body is (from management strategy) hopelessly and inefficiently organized and managed and yet it stumbles along. Put simply, for "Anglicanism" to have a future as a united movement in the next decade in the modern world and to be a plausible, united jurisdiction of the Church of God will require a tremendous effort by a large number of Anglicans from every province. The possibility that we shall see the development of a fragmented Anglicanism as the internal doctrinal and moral arguments become too intense to handle is very real. Centrifugal forces usually overcome centripetal ones in a world tainted by original sin. The Anglican experience in the USA already provides a powerful model of the way in which centrifugal forces in modern culture are dominant within Anglicanism.

To close. I am an Anglican; I belong to the Anglican Way of Christianity and seek to propagate it. Yet I cannot be optimistic about the workings of the Anglican Communion, even though I would like to be!

June 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

Sunday, June 09, 2002

A Babel of Prayers and our great High Priest

Think of it. Every moment petitions, thanksgivings, confessions and prayers of many kinds are being offered to the Father in a variety of languages, dialects and idioms, using all kinds of good and bad syntax, grammar and vocabulary. And each and every prayer must take one route and one route only, it must go through the One Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to reach the Father.

For Jesus, the great High Priest, receives, understands, purifies and perfects each and every prayer (for he knows by the Spirit the intention of those who pray) before he joins it to his own constant Prayer to the Father in the eternal Spirit.

It is only because He is Man (perfected and glorified Man) as well being God (of one substance with the Father and the Spirit) and is One Person, made known in two natures, that Jesus is able to be the heavenly High Priest to receive, interpret, purify and perfect the continuing prayers of His people from all around the globe and from many diverse cultures and language groups.

For wherever we are and whatever we are, we pray as Christians only in one basic way - to the Father through the Incarnate Son and with the Holy Spirit.

This agreed and stated, a case can be made for saying that therefore any kind of praying and any kind of public worship is fine as long as it is sincere and rightly intended. Surely, it can be argued, such prayer will be perfected and purified by Jesus our Mediator and High Priest, and so why bother with seeking for perfection here below? Let us be user-friendly and easy going and just have a good time with the Lord!

Yet, the great merits of our exalted Prophet, Priest and King, the Lord Jesus Christ, should be no excuse for our offering the very best to the Father in His Name.

This means that from our hearts, as purified by the Spirit, should arise godly motions and determinations; and from our lips should come forth the very best form of words that we are capable of uttering to the One who is our Creator, Redeemer and Judge.

The language we use should be dignified and appropriate (obviously from within our culture and language) for the address of a sinner to his eternal Judge, a scholar to his heavenly Master, an adorer to the Adorable Infinite & Eternal One, a creature to his eternal Creator, a human being before the LORD God, the Holy Trinity.

And, further, we need to distinguish between what is acceptable and appropriate as common prayer (in the congregational assembly) and private prayer. In the former the language has to be such as to become the prayer of all present and thus has to be of the very best quality to serve as such.

The reason why millions use in common prayer in the assembly either ancient languages for the Divine Liturgy or classical older forms of living languages for public worship is that they judge these to serve best in terms of an excellent liturgy offered to the Trinity that seeks to do true honor to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, one God.

Private prayer, as inspired and energized by the indwelling Spirit of Christ, is not governed by the same principles as public prayer for it is a movement of the soul directly to the Lord Jesus and so can be without form and grammatical structure. Obviously, private prayer should never be used as a model for public prayer or vice versa. Yet in praying with others - in the family, in the Bible study group - there is a very good case to be made for using a public form of prayer - e.g. the Litany or the Daily Office or Compline.

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

Rector of Large Parish to Become AMiA CEO

AMiA (Anglican Mission in America) Communique

Tim Smith to Join Anglican Mission Staff Team

In our lead announcement today, and something you may have heard unofficially, The Rev. Tim Smith, Rector of Christ Anglican Church, Mobile, will be moving into the role of AMiA's Executive Officer sometime over the summer. Harry Griffith, who has served the Anglican Mission valiantly in this role for the last two years, will be returning to Florida to be closer to family and friends. Harry will continue in the vital Development area with AMiA, something he has begun to pursue intensively over the last couple
of months.

Rev. Smith said that this move represents a "God-ordered set of circumstances, that neither +Chuck nor I anticipated. Everybody has responded that it just seems right. It's a good fit". Dr. Smith (he holds a D.Min from Fuller Theological Seminary) began serving as rector of Christ Episcopal Church in 1992, leading that group into the
Anglican Mission last year. Lay leaders of the congregation said it's a stable time for the church, and a good time for Smith to pursue God's call in this opportunity. A search committee has been established to seek Christ Anglican Church's next rector.

As Chairman of AMiA, Bishop Chuck Murphy is pleased Tim Smith feels called to the work. "He has vast experience in administration, as well as spiritual leadership of a congregation. Like Harry, Tim's training as a lawyer will be invaluable to our movement, not to mention his broad understanding of our whole network, dating back to the First Promise meetings. I'm excited that God is working this out".

The Rev. Smith will be traveling to Rwanda in the next few weeks, with a possible relocation schedule to Pawley's Island, SC, sometime in August. Tim attended the University of Mississippi for his undergraduate and law degrees, Seabury-Western and Fuller Theological Seminaries.

Please take a few moments to welcome Tim aboard, as well as expressing your thanks to Harry Griffith for his tireless and invaluable efforts on behalf of AMiA the last couple of years.


Saturday, June 08, 2002

Vancouver follows the ECUSA way....

June 6, 2002: Synod -8 days


IN THE HIT MOVIE 'The Sum of All Fears', terrorists deliberately set off a nuclear weapon to try to start a greater conflagration. This is not a movie. It has now been confirmed by our network that Bp. Michael Ingham intends to APPROVE MOTION 9 [Motion 4] at the June Synod in New Westminster, giving permission for the blessing of same-sex unions in his Diocese, possibly with a conscience clause and an Episcopal visitor operating under his authority. We also have it on good authority that there will be no '60%' needed for the motion; thus it to all appearances +Bp. Ingham has refused any and all conciliation with Essentials and classical Anglican clergy and parishes who have spent endless hours and prayers trying to seek pastoral care and compromise from him. Remember: "For those of a 'traditional conscience', I believe this means being respected for their honestly-held conscience, traditional conscience, backed by centuries of Christian teaching. I believe it means they should be free from coercion or imposition to change their conscience, and that they should be protected and affirmed in their right to hold to their historic beliefs." Documentation below ....

THE TOP-SECRET PROPOSAL which +Bp. Ingham offered to Essentials Clergy on May 23rd; their counter-proposal (rejected by +Bp. Ingham today, June 6th); and the brand new +Ingham letter to NewWest Synod Delegates on all these matters (dated June 4th, apparently, 2 days before the deadline proposed to keep things private with the Essentials clergy). Note: "I have discussed this [pastoral proposal] with both the Primate [Michael Peers] and the Metropolitan [David Crawley], and have their support in bringing it forward." Did you get that little tidbit? The copy of the actual official letter needs Adobe Acrobat to be read (and it's a big file; 2.8 MB). A handier web-page version may be found here. No matter what happens now or at Synod, this is but Act I of a 3-act drama. And God has the last word ....

PRAY MORE for the Diocese of New Westminster, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Anglican Communion ....

- END -

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
(I received this and pass it on...the Anglican Way is in crisis in Canada as well as the USA)

Dear Peter+

The Essentials clergy in our diocese have put forward a motion (click here) regarding Alternative Episcopal Oversight, as well as a petition (click here) delivered recently to Archbishop David Crawley of the Ecclesiastical Province of BC & Yukon. On Tuesday May 28th at 7:30pm, there was an Essentials gathering for prayer and encouragement of around 500 parishioners from across our diocese at St. John's Shaughnessy. Your prayers are requested for what looks like a very rough ride ahead. Any influence that you might be able to bring to bear would be appreciated.

Yours in Christ, Ed Hird+
Rector, St. Simon's Anglican Church,
North Vancouver BC Canada
ARM Canada Missioner & Former National Chair

p.s. from Ed+: The most up-to-date information on this situation can be found at
Kind readers and especially those who use the BCP, take part if you have time in the forum mentioned below -- P.T.

Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2002 11:15 PM
Subject: Church Times website discussion forum

The BCP thread on the Church Times website discussion forum ( has proved very popular, having now passed its hundredth message. You might like to encourage those on your mailing list who have not already done so, to visit and contribute!

Prudence Dailey

Friday, June 07, 2002

Getting the Latin Translation RIGHT

A Discussion Starter for Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic friends and correspondents concerning the priesthood of the Church in the Celebrating of the Holy Eucharist/Mass.

"Your sacrifice and mine" not "My sacrifice and yours" and not "Our sacrifice"

In the Eucharist of the Western Church (medieval and Roman Catholic, followed by some Anglican Churches) the Bishop or Priest as Celebrant says these words before beginning the Eucharistic Prayer:

"Orate fratres ut meum ac vestrum sacrificium acceptabile fiat apud Deum Patrem omnipotentem"

And this has been rendered into English for use by modern Roman Catholics as:

"Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father."

Obviously this is not a translation of the Latin but a paraphrase, that is influenced by the modern emphasis upon the priesthood of the whole assembly, which, it is held, offers sacrifice to the Father in the Name of the Son with the Holy Spirit. [Note that this is the only instance in the Order of the Mass where the priestly role of the laity is expressly mentioned and placed in an equal and inseparable relation with that of the presbyter or bishop. Thus it is a very important statement and response.]

The Latin does not say "our sacrifice" for, if it did, it would have "sacrificium nostrum."

What it has is, "meum ac vestrum sacrificium" with the adjectives before the noun, thus giving the possessives a force they rarely have. Now it would be improper to translate this as " my sacrifice and yours" because, just as the order of pronominal adjectives is in Latin first person, second person and third, so in English usual courtesy puts the second or third person before the first. Further, the conjunction used is not "et" but "ac", and thus the two possessive adjectives are most closely bound together, giving the sense "the sacrifice which is yours no less than mine."

To translate as "our sacrifice" is to lose not only the meaning of the Latin words, but also of the theology of the total union of the priesthood of the people of God with that of the ministerial priesthood of the ordained clergy in the act of eucharistic sacrifice.

Thus the translation should be "Pray, brethren, that your sacrifice and mine." where the Celebrant puts a little vocal stress on "your" and to which the assembly replies, "May the Lord receive the sacrifice from your hands", as it recognizes the unique role of the ordained minister within the priesthood of the whole Church.

Translations in use by Anglo-Catholics (e.g., in the Anglican Missal, or as added to BCP or Modern Anglican Orders for Holy Communion) improperly provide "my sacrifice and yours" which loses the English courtesy while adopting the Latin form of courtesy.

The doctrine of the priesthood of the Church surely merits a good translation and rendering!

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

Monday, June 03, 2002


The trial date for the lawsuit against the Church of St. James the Less by the Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia and Bp. Charles Bennison is tentatively set to begin the day after Labor Day, September 3, 2002. Fr. David Ousley, the rector, has composed the following set of intercessory prayers (from the Book of Common Prayer and the Missal) to be used on behalf of the parish in private devotions. The versicle and response (V. and R.) symbols are who those who are able to use these intercessions in groups (church services, Bible studies, etc.) as well as privately as individuals. The asterisk * in the middle of a line indicates a very brief pause in the recitation, for purposes of phrasing.

Prayer In Time Of Litigation

V. O God, make speed to save us.
R. O Lord, make haste to help us.

V. GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost;
R. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.

V. O SAVIOUR of the world, who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us;
R. Save us and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.

[Psalm 43. Judica me, Deus]

V. GIVE sentence with me, O God, and defend my cause against the ungodly people; *
O deliver me from the deceitful and wicked man.
R. For thou art the God of my strength; why hast thou put me from thee? *
And why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
V. O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me, *
and bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy dwelling.
R. And that I may go unto the altar of God, even unto the God of my joy and gladness; *
and upon the harp will I give thanks unto thee, O God, my God.
V. Why art thou so heavy, O my soul? *
and why art thou so disquieted within me?
R. O put thy trust in God; *
for I will yet give him thanks, which is the help of my countenance, and my God.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost;
R. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.

V. O SAVIOUR of the world, who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us;
R. Save us and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.

V. From our enemies defend us, O Christ.
R. Graciously look upon our afflictions.

V. Let us pray.

O GOD, merciful Father, who despisest not the sighing of a contrite heart, nor the desire of such as are sorrowful; Mercifully assist our prayers which we make before thee in all our troubles and adversities, whensoever they oppress us; and graciously hear us, that those evils which the craft and subtilty of the devil or man worketh against us, may, by thy good providence, be brought to nought; that we thy servants, being hurt by no persecutions, may evermore give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

V. THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore.
R. Amen.

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

Sunday, June 02, 2002

News concerning the most important Book ever published in the English Language!

and God save the Queen

A NEWLY DESIGNED EDITION OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE TO COINCIDE WITH THE QUEEN'S GOLDEN JUBILEE, IN CLASSIC ROYAL BLUE BINDING AND FEATURING THE OFFICIAL GOLDEN JUBILEE LOGO is being promoted by one of the largest UK daily newspapers, The Daily Telegraph, which had a whole page on the origins of this Bible in the edition of Saturday June lst

The cost is half price plus postage; thus

£12.50 ($18.00) for book and £2.99 ($5.00 post) for postage
Credit cards accepted

0870 155 7222 fax 0870 155 7225 (any time)
(phones open from 9.a.m to 7 p.m. British time)

From USA call 01144 870 155 7222 or 01144 870 155 7225 remembering that east coast time is 5 hours behind the UK.

Or order by post from
Daily Telegraph Books Direct,
Units 5 & 6, Industrial Estate,
Brecon, Powys, LD3 8LA
Great Britain
(giving credit card number with expiry date) Today, June 2nd, Church bells will be rung all over the UK to commemorate the Jubilee.

Regrettably the World Cup Soccer match in Japan between England & Sweden is on TV at the very hour of the morning when Church services normally occur. The Queen will not be watching for there is a special service at Windsor Castle at 11.a.m when the game is being televised, and George Carey will be there, which means (that despite the advice he gave to the churches to adjust the time of their worship to fit into the football schedule) that he will not see the game live!

In my parish we begin at 10.30 at the Methodist Chapel and process via the Village center to the other Methodist Chapel and from there to the C of E, Christ Church for the formal service of Thanksgiving at 11.15.a.m., followed by a "pot-luck luncheon" in the church hall.

God save the Queen!

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

Saturday, June 01, 2002

Encyclical on Eucharist to Recapitulate Key Topics of Pontificate

Work on New Document Is in Initial Stages

VATICAN CITY, MAY 29, 2002 ( John Paul II is planning to write an encyclical on the Eucharist, a topic that Vatican sources say profoundly links his other papal writings.

ZENIT confirmed with the Vatican that the writing of the encyclical, announced on Italian public television RAI 2, is still in its initial phases.

The Holy Father sees in Christ's real presence in the Eucharist a profound link with all the writings of his pontificate, which began with the encyclical "Redemptor Hominis" (Redeemer of Man) in March 1979, Vatican sources explained.

At the same time, the new encyclical is expected to give the opportunity to bring together in a circular way -- a trait common in John Paul II's thought -- the ideas of this pontificate, one of the most prolific in history.

John Paul II has published 13 encyclicals, the last of which was "Fides et Ratio" (Faith and Reason), signed on Sept. 14, 1998.

In recent years, the Pontiff has given much attention to Sunday Mass, to the point that he dedicated an apostolic letter to it, "Dies Domini" (The Lord's Day), signed on May 31, 1998.

In his 2001 apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte" (At the Beginning of the New Millennium), No. 36, he wrote: "In many regions Christians are, or are becoming, a "little flock" (Luke 12:32). This presents them with the challenge, often in isolated and difficult situations, to bear stronger witness to the distinguishing elements of their own identity. The duty to take part in the Eucharist every Sunday is one of these. The Sunday Eucharist which every week gathers Christians together as God's family round the table of the Word and the Bread of Life, is also the most natural antidote to dispersion."

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