With our students

I was glad to be able to meet our students from the Scottish Episcopal Institute in Saturday. It’s all very new. We’ve moved on from TISEC to a new training institute with its emphasis on formation.


Well for me that means just about everything. It’s about how vocation is nurtured. It’s about the shaping of future clergy and Lay Readers in the spirituality on which they can draw as they face the demands of ministry. It’s about the skills which they need to offer pastoral care and leadership which is both authoritative and collegial. Ministry is a demanding calling and we owe it to those who make this commitment to give them the best training possible.

I went to talk about Mission and Evangelism with them – to learn as well as talk. I could have spent time on ‘what we do and how we do it’. But I reckon that that is for other people at other times. I think it’s important to help people to reflect on the nature of our church – its culture and context. Our future clergy need to understand that and to work with the grain of it if they are not to be disappointed and frustrated as they help our church to grow.

Ah well … more after tomorrow’s Chrism Mass


  1. According to the following correspondence Bishop Idowu-Fearon has clarified his position. I have yet been unable to locate links to support the correspondence but in an effort to be fair to him I include this information.

    From Thinking Anglicans: “Josiah Idowu-Fearon has indicated that, despite media reports, he does not support the criminalisation of LGBT people. Julie Gittens contacted him and shared the following response with the Episcopal Women’s Caucus: Julie Gittens Episcopal Women’s Caucus Friends, Yesterday, I emailed Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon. I congratulated him on his new appointment. I asked him to work on his LGBT relations. This was his reply. Dear Julie, I believe it is right for me to take up your offer and contact you. Firstly, permit me to thank you for your mail and congratulatory message, I feel encouraged and hopeful. I have been very frightened of this opportunity to serve our Communion, your letter is a part of the Lord assuring me that He will provide for my enablement. Julie, I do not support the law in my country that criminalises homosexuality as a Christian, that has been my position and it has not changed. The church must always critique any government policy that is discriminatory, that is why the church is there! When any government enacts or passes any law that is wrong, the church must and should provide an alternative. I hope my clear and unapologetic position will make it possible for us of the same Anglican Family to talk with rather than at each other. I have spent over 40 years working on the culture of respect for differences among Christians and Muslims in Nigeria and Africa, this is what I believe the Lord has called me to spend the rest of my life and ministry doing now within our own Family: the Communion. I look forward to our learning from each other and using our differences to work for the Lord. Blessings. Josiah”

    Given the great sensitivities around the media reports it is regrettable that the Anglican Communion did not offer clarification and reassurance in its announcement of the General Secretary’s appointment.

  2. Dr Idowu-Fearon

    Please join me in praying for the Anglican Church, as well as expressing sorrow at the appointment of Dr Idowu-Fearon by the Anglican Communion and the despair I feel that someone with such homophobic views should be allowed to take such an important post.

  3. +David, that sign-off should read “both regret and anger”, autocorrect caught me out. If you’re able to edit I’d be grateful. Eric

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