Anglicans Online banner More about the gryphon
Independent On the web since 1994 More than 250,000 readers More than 32,000 links Updated every Sunday
Will you help support
Anglicans Online?

The Paypal logotype

Noted This Week
Sites new to AO

News Centre
News archive

News flash: a summary of the top headlines
Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us by email
Be notified each week

Start here
Anglicans believe...
The Prayer Book
The Bible

Read letters to AO
Write to us

Resources A to Z

World Anglicanism
Anglican Communion
In full communion
Not in the Communion

Dioceses and Parishes
Hong Kong
New Zealand

South Africa
Sri Lanka

Vacancies Centre
List a vacancy
Check openings worldwide

Add a site or link to AO
Add a site to AO
Link to AO

About Anglicans Online
Back issues
About our logo
Our search engine


Hallo again to all.

Do you remember the Slow Food movement so prominent just a few years ago? It began formally in 1986 in Italy, where Carlo Petrini conceived of the need for a reaction against the cultures of production and consumption surrounding fast food.

Slow Food opposed farming monocultures, poor conditions for livestock, the use of most pesticides, and the eating of foods with uncertain origins. It did so—and, three decades on, still does so—by celebrating localism and regionalism in cuisine, by educating persons of all ages about the nutritional dangers of many modern foods, by encouraging consumers to buy directly from farmers or bakers or butchers or fishmongers where possible, by supporting the noble vocations of cooks and servers, by organizing symposia to promote ethical, sustainable, and good eating.

Slow Food began in part because of one individual’s bright and timely wisdom, but it also began because of extremes in the global food economy’s reliance on highly-processed substances, deracinated flavors, cheap labor, and patented seeds. The movement spurred a robust and widespread appreciation of food production and consumption as some of the most important human social activities. Its lessons about bringing organic food of high quality to large numbers of people have reached so far even in North America—the fons et origo of modern fast food—that one now can tell jokes about the United States of Arugula.

In broad strokes, the insights of Slow Food are these:

Smaller is better—in portions on plates, in the size of farms, and in the taking of wild harvests.

Nearer is better—for the economic use of fuel, for the fostering of relationships among those who grow and make and eat, and for the sustaining of agricultural traditions and networks.

Slower is better—for digestion, for conversation, for the reduction of stress, and for the careful preparation and enjoyment of food.

We wonder tonight if there is something for our churches to learn about the insights of Slowness thus sketched out.

It cannot be contested that we live in a time of Fast Anglicanism with paces of rapid change, instant communication, reactive decision-making rather than deliberative and prayerful reasoning, and confusion about the sources of our practices. We are poorer—as individuals, as families, as parishes, dioceses, provincial or national churches, and as a global communion—because of the emergence of Fast Anglicanism, which is as cheap, convenient and delicious as fast food and probably just as bad for us. We are a people whose words and hearts need to change if we are to be salty salt and unbusheled light.

What, then, might a Slow Anglicanism look like?

It would acknowledge above all the primacy of calm and song and prayer in our common life and its councils—across and within principled difference. It would continue to give great care to the value of the smallest units of Christian community and their local impact on the lives of those who hunger or mourn, who learn and grow or die. We would support cultures of education and formation that would not impoverish our spiritual leaders with debt. We would be Slow in our understanding that it is simple repetition of words and deeds—over decades, not days or weeks—that trains our hearts to give and receive love.

A Slow Anglicanism would look backward to one of our major spiritual treasures, the continuous monthly recitation of the Prayer Book Psalter; the psalms slow us down, measure our breath when we read them with others, and focus our minds when we live with them beyond modern lectionary excerpts.

A Slow Anglicanism would step back from weblog comment boxes and tweets, encouraging face to face conversation and the sharing of meals and song with those with whom we work, with whom we agree or disagree, whose common lives and concerns are ours.

A Slow Anglicanism would learn from the Slow Food movement that the celebration of sustenance—nutritional on the one hand, spiritual on the other—invigorates interest, involvement, learning, sharing, experimentation, creativity and connection in the kinds of nourishment necessary for human flourishing.

Slowing Anglicanism down is something well within our reach, and well worthwhile. Fine examples are ahead of us. Let us go then, you and I.

See you next week.

Our Signatures

Richard Mammana
All of us at Anglicans Online

5 June 2016


A thin blue line
This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©2015 Society of Archbishop Justus
. Please address all spam to