Roland Walls again

I was intrigued by his description of the Scottish Episcopal Church .. ‘that almost its sole raison d’etre has been to be a non-Catholic form of sacramental Christianity …. through thick and thin they did preserve that sacramental tradition in the face of a highly non-sacramental church.’ That’s interesting as a statement of what we are for – a sacramental counter-balance to the Kirk. But of course there are other things that we seem to be for – a liberal expression of Christianity … a marker of the identity of a distinct cultural group. The danger is, of course, that if we are mainly defined in adversarial/over-against terms, we may never manage to be a church with a mission to the whole of society expressed through a living tradition which we value.

Meanwhile back at Bogstead, we are dealing with an issue to do with our septic tanks. Like Tutankhamun’s tomb, they consist of a number of interlinked chambers which need to be emptied and filled in a particular sequence. Should anything go amiss with that ordered sequence, terrible problems result. Of which more tomorrow ..


  1. Such a lot of interest in dear Roland Walls. He was/is one of the giants in my Christian life. I was blessed in having him as my New Testament tutor at Kelham – I have not seen many references to his time there. For me he made the Gospels vibrant and living. His quiet inner spirituality shone out. I was so privileged to have known him. Laus Deo!

  2. I wonder if congregationalism is a natural consequence of the process of secularisation. The institution, its labels and authority structure, become increasingly irrelevant and invisible. The only thing that registers is the presence of the local community of faith. I know that the labels do mean a lot to some people – but I think a sort of benign ecclesiastical consumerism is wiping out denominationalism. But I do believe that sacramental worship speaks more powerfully than any other – because something ‘happens.’ I note that I have used nine words of four syllables or above. Is this a record?

  3. Speaking for myself, I was very definitely looking for an Anglican Church, though knew it would have to be Episcopal.

    ‘Bogstead’ and septic tanks! Always good to read a bit of base humour!

  4. I guess Walls means non-Roman really. It is a dead end though to define oneself on what others are not, I agree. But the Kirk is sacramental,it seems to me, but its sacrament of communion is a ‘defining ordinance’ for the elect,set by its historic Calvinistic theology. In the SEC, being Anglican, our is ‘transforming’ by inviting community. Equally, is it of use to continue defining ourselves as Episcopal first and Anglican second? – people coming to our church rarely, I suggest, are looking for an episcopal but not firstly an Anglican church – they just look for somewhere where they are loved, welcomed and warmed by the Spirit. They ‘live’ with the outworkings of the theology there whether sacramental or not.

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