8 to 15 August 2004
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AM INTERESTED IN YOUR COMMENTS that 'Holy Orders
are indelible -- as Anglicans believe'. (Front-page
letter, 8 August) I am hard-pressed to find (as usual) where such statements
of absolute belief are defined for Anglicans. At best such
'beliefs' might be inferred, but I don't think that you have
to go very far to get a spirited discussion on that topic.
And indeed Anglicans of catholic persuasion might have quite
a different view from those of an evangelical persuasion.
What is of interest
to me is that, in these days when the disciplining of clergy has increasingly
reached the point where priest and bishops might be 'deposed' (I think
this is the correct term rather than ... 'defrocked') is whether that
action actually removes the orders. It seems to me that it might, a
person would no longer BE a priest or bishop or deacon.
Parish of Coromandel Valley, Diocese of Adelaide
Blackwood, Adelaide, South Australia
9 August 2004
are generally considered by Anglicans as one of the 'sacramental acts',
if not a dominical sacrament itself. As the sacrament of baptism is
not 'reversable', we do not see how Orders can be. But we do see
how this can be a spirited discussion.
But where would
you have it tattooed?
A PRIEST, I HAVE NEVER REALLY CONSIDERED
IT PROPER to have a tattoo. Having seen the one
of the Lord Jesus on last
week's front page, I have changed
my mind. Where can I get one like that?
Feeling Wild in Yorkville
Good Shepherd, York
York, South Carolina
12 August 2004
around and let you know, Feeling Wild.
weighing in from New Zealand
AM A LITTLE BELATED IN REPLYING to your 'Anglican
Heroes' question, but as two of them are bishops, it works
with your discussion of bishops this week!
My heroes: Archbishop
Rowan Williams, Bishop Tom Wright, and my parish priest, the Reverend
Frank Nelson. Archbishop Rowan is a hero because he writes luminous
poetry and prose that deepens my journey towards God (sometimes even
when I don't want to), that is strengthened and grounded in a rich
theology. His gentleness and love for God are evident in every word
he writes and in everything he says. He takes seriously the ministry
of words -- co-operating with God in creating life. He inspires me.
Bishop Tom Wright
is a hero because he managed to unravel the intricacies of St Paul's
theology for me, and in the process, he showed me that theology could
become poetry and poetry theology, without losing the depth of either.
Frank Nelson (currently Vicar of St James' Lower Hutt, and Dean-elect
of the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul) is my last-but-definitely-not-least
hero. Frank's clear preaching, passionate and profound celebration
of the sacraments, pastoral heart, and passion for the church local
and universal have inspired me. He would be the first to say that he's
no hero, but he has shown me what it is to be Anglican more than anyone
else has, and for that I salute him.
St James' Lower Hutt
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
11 August 2004
And from Nigeria
HERO IS the Archbishop, Metropolitan, and Primate
of all Nigeria, the Most Reverend Peter Jasper Akinola, DD.
For standing against that, which do not conform to the teaching
of Christ. (The issue of homosexualism in the church). May
God continue to strengthen him the more for his service.
St Cyprian's Anglican Church. Niger Delta Diocese
Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
9 August 200
Another hero from
ANGLICAN HEROES: Dare I add Brian, Cynthia, and
the others who toil to bring us Anglicans Online?
D. C. Toedt
St John the Divine
Houston, Texas, USA
9 August 2004
INVITATION TO SUBMIT written pieces about Anglican
Heroes followed a reference to heroes of the Anglo-Catholic
revival, so I am sending you a short account of Father John
Hope, Rector of Sydney's Christ Church St Laurence from 1926
until 1964. I am sure many who know Christ Church and who can
recall Father John Hope will agree with me that he stands firmly
in the tradition of the great parish priests who, in the words
of Desmond Morse-Boycott, 'shone like stars' in the Anglican
firmament and by their devoted pastoral labours won a place
for Anglo Catholicism in the Anglican Communion.
showed early in his career as a priest that he was not frightened to
risk unpopularity by taking a stand on his principles. In his first
and only appointment before coming to Christ Church he served as rector
of a small country town in Queensland where he found the division between
Roman Catholics and Protestants (generally tense in those days) to
be exceptionally bitter. His first attempts to bridge this social division,
together with his church practices, led to his own flock boycotting
him as a 'Jesuit in disguise'. Noting that horse racing seemed to be
the only thing that interested everybody in the town, he decided that
the local racetrack was the place to win their mutual confidence. He
purchased a horse and, riding it himself, took out the main race on
one of the town's chief racing days -- the St Patrick's Day Meeting.
so often later at Christ Church, his varied skills and readiness to
act with daring in support of his principles misfired making him as
many enemies as friends. By winning on 'Flying Angel' he became the
darling of his Anglican parishioners but alienated for ever the Roman
Catholics who never forgot how 'the Protestant devil', as they dubbed
him, had beaten their favourite, the publican's horse, on what was
after all their special day.
The parish of
St Laurence, to which Father Hope came in 1926 had become one of the
inner city area's poorest neighbourhoods and a place where commercial
development was relentlessly reducing the residential population. The
story of the transformation of a local church, that might have been
heading for closure, into a vibrant centre of faith, worship and social
welfare (something that happened frequently in England under the heroes
of the Catholic revival) is parallelled at Christ Church St Laurence
under Father John Hope. Before long Christ Church had become a flagship
for the Catholic revival, known throughout the country and beyond.
Within a few
years of Father John's arrival at Christ Church the Great Depression
was beginning to bite and, under his inspiration, the parish established
a number of welfare agencies, the best known of which was the bureau
for helping young men (a thousand of them a year) to acquire the clothes,
personal dignity and skills to find jobs. Other projects assisted children,
families, students and young aboriginal men from the country. All sprang
from Father John Hope's commitment to the principles of Catholicism
as a religion of the Incarnation ie to the principle that all aspects
of life were to be valued because the Son of God had assumed human
form and that, accordingly, one could not serve Him in the sanctuary
without serving Him in the bodies of the needy.
If the incarnational
approach inspired Father John so greatly in his approach to welfare
, for many he was to an even greater extent a spiritual giant. He was
no academic and his sermons, like his faith, were basically simple
but his deep spiritual wisdom and commitment shone through them. Like
some of the other great priests of the revival he was more of an evangelical
than many of those who criticized him.
of witness were held regularly through the streets of the parish to
strategic points like the central Sydney Markets where Father John
would speak undeterred by heckling and by direct hits from the odd
Like other priests
pioneering Anglo-Catholic teaching and practice in their parishes,
Father Hope faced opposition that was often public, vociferous and
punitive. Speakers at diocesan synod and writers of letters to Sydney
newspapers fulminated against Christ Church and its Rector. During
the depression years the synod persistently blocked interest on trust
funds held by the diocese for the parish so that there were occasions
when, being unable to pay electricity or gas bills, the church had
to hold its evening services by makeshift lighting. Christ Church School
was forced to close and to dismay
all the trust funds were transferred by the synod to other church schools
in the diocese, most of them already wealthy. Christ Church became
increasingly isolated in the diocese and it was a particular source
of sorrow to Father Hope that he and his church were excluded from
the small and diminishing group of moderate and liberal clergy who
seemed to fear the consequences of being associated with him in a diocese
that was growing not only more evangelical but more intolerant of diversity.
It was not until
the last years of his time at Christ Church that Father Hope received
the recognition from the diocesan authorities that many felt he had
long deserved. His great influence which extended far beyond the parish
could no longer be ignored. Archbishops of Sydney, and others who acknowledged
that their churchmanship was diametrically opposite to his, now praised
him in public for his social ministry at Christ Church and especially
for his pioneering work in the church’s healing ministry,
in which he had acquired a great reputation.
John Hope’s forty years as Rector of Christ Church St
Laurence he lost count of the number of young men from the parish who were
ordained. A recent writer gives an estimate of two hundred. Many
of them, like myself, lived for periods in the parish rectory with Father
John. There were usually at least half a dozen officially resident with
one never knew how many transients of all kinds. It was a place where everyone
was welcome. One of Sydney’s best known eccentrics, the vagrant,
free-thinking, free-acting Beatrice Miles had a spot in the doorway where
she slept regularly. I will finish by giving her the last word which was
how many people on the streets of Sydney saw Father John.
Miles walking in one of the parish street processions, a bystander
called out 'Hey Bea, what are marching for? You’re
not a Christian'. 'No', Bea replied, 'I’m
not, but I’m
marching for the only man in this bloody city who is'.
St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
13 August 2004
ADMIRATION OF THE CAREFUL ANALYSIS that you undertook
in classifying Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) as 'not in
communion', in spite of its sponsorship by the Anglican provinces
of Singapore and Rwanda, I am wondering whether a similar analysis
might be forthcoming for the so-called American Anglican Council
that appears to have been grafted onto the Anglican province
of the Southern Cone.
St David's Episcopal Church
San Antonio, Texas, USA
11 August 2004
We launched our 'Letters to
AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our letters are in our