I failed to mark properly the 300th anniversary of Charles Wesley’s birth yesterday. He wrote Hark the Herald – and my favourite ‘Forth in thy name I go’ Which is a favourite partly because of the words but more, I think, because it demonstrates my belief that the best stuff is written in monosyllables. Today we also brought the new diocesan website out from behind its veil. It’s very much work in progress but at least it’s up to date. And finally I provided some words for the Carol Service run by Perth Action for Churches Together in the Concert Hall. The words were closer than usual to the script – reflecting my continuing nostalgia for the days when I used to read Shirley Hughes’ ‘Lucy and Tom’s Christmas’ to our children.
4th of Advent: Hello Bishop David, I remain ever hopeful. A late and dear friend of mine was Bishop Charles Renfrew, Auxiliary RC Bishop of Glasgow and former Principal at Blairs College, Aberdeen. He said that all RCs have it taught that we do not belong to a Church as we are heretics. Nonetheless, he said that one day we will all be re-united, but not in his day. He was right. An RC priest said to me, after I didn’t go up for HC that next time I visited he’d expect me to receive HC ‘as the revolution has already occurred – but don’t tell my Archbishop that!’ I think the C of E ( and even perhaps the C of I ) may have more difficulties as they still declare that they are Protestant. Any ‘coming together in ecumenism’ will have a breakaway branch, as has happened in the Episcopal Church ( of the USA). I still feel that the herarchies of our Churches have major problems. There is more hope in grassroots’ activities which ignore the condemnations of Archbishops etc.
I have a blogspot for my own, personal spiritual thoughts and feelings – http://graemeofopthaidh.blogspot.com which you can reach via a free google mail account.
Have a happy and holy Christmas.
Well Graeme – I think you may have taken the opposite meaning to what I intended from what I wrote. I remain a committed ecumenist. On the level of everyday friendship among the people of the churches, things are immeasurably better than they used to be. But on the formal level – mutual recognition of ministries; sharing the eucharist – I see little progress and little hope of it. I can live with that most of the time – but now and again I get really upset that people seem simply to feel that all this is indefinitely acceptable and understandable.
Hello Bishop David. I’m Secretary to the Vestry @ St Aidan’s, Clarkston, Glasgow, and am interested in your perhaps fanciful yet hopeful sense of reconciliation with the Roman Church. As a member of a Catholic, albeit reformed Episcopal Church my experience is that all RCs are brought up to know us as heretics. Ecumenism is really so long as we give up our beliefs and all become RCs. You only have to view the Vatican website and to read Cardinal Kasper’s views to realise this. I join friends at the midday Angelus @ Glasgow University RC Chaplaincy but have to exit before the Mass – a painful experience – as Catholics forbid Christians to receive Holy Communion. The ARCIC doc ‘Baptism, Eucharist & Ministry’ has never been accepted by the RC Church. What a sadness and travesty, as we have much in common with our Roman friends – the Daily Offices, the 1982 Scottish Liturgy is almost word for word that of the Scottish Mass Liturgy. I do not believe ecumenism will occur from the RC hierarchy ( they’d all be out of a job!). It will come from the laity and from local priests, as happened in Eire last year on the west coast. Regards ( in Anticipation of…). Graeme.
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