Hot, hot day today in the Synod Office as the Church in Society Committee dealt with grants. It’s one of the remarkable things about the SEC that it gives quite significant amounts of support to places where the church is engaged in community. I keep wanting to explore the strand of tradition which links catholic tradition to work in areas of social and economic deprivation – the East End of London being only the most obvious.
Meanwhile back at Blogstead, another mild celebration as Trevor Williams is elected Bishop of Limerick. His diocese includes the sacred spot on the Dingle Peninsula where the tent blew away on our honeymoon. Trevor is an old friend – former leader of the Corrymeela Community, he then returned to parish life in the place where I started. I rang him up this evening. No complicated Canon 4 stuff for him – the phone just rang ‘out of the blue.’ Does the Spirit work like that? Surely it must need more help?
Martin – thanks for that. I have suggested to our Church in Society Committee that they are the keepers of this particular flame. And it’s potentially one of the strongest ways in which our church can engage with wider society while being true to some of the best elements of our tradition.
There are probably a few good places in Scotland to look for the link between catholic tradition and social concern. How about Dundee – during bishop Forbes’ time especially – Christ Church in the East End of Glasgow, Old St Paul’s in Edinburgh, St Margaret’s in Aberdeen. I’m sure there are others. A good social history of the SEC is Rowan Strong’s “Episcopalianism in Nineteenth Century Scotland” published by OUP 2002 (ISBN 0-19-924922-9). I’m sure Gavin White’s history also covers this territory. Happy hunting!
Great news about Trevor! – We look forward to welcoming him to our diocese. Re the work of the Spirit – in my experience it continually wrecks my head 🙂 But thank God for it! I think this is one appointment where the above had a good blow! 😉
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