The London Day

Well, the goal that “we all may be one” was certainly not advanced by The Archbishop of the Sudan, Daniel, holding a press conference to suggest the resignation of the Bishop of New Hampshire! Talk about “meddling” in another church’s affairs/polity!

No one is surprised at that perspective and all of us expected to hear it and talk about the matter here at the Lambeth Conference. But such a studied, planned (no doubt, orchestrated) “bomb” done publically at a press conference in clear violation of the spirit of this “conversation called Lambeth” was discouraging to many of us. The whole point of the design is that we listen to each other first. He refuses to “listen” to Gene Robinson while famously claiming that there are no homosexuals in the Sudan.

Overall, the Conference design is still “holding.” Bible studies are rich and full, though sometimes difficult themselves, the Indaba discussion groups have begun to find their stride, and the self select sessions are mostly well attended and helpful.

Today we do “the London day” with a march through the city and an emphasis on the MDG’s and fighting povery, a visit to Lambeth, and tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace! Anyone see some contradictions there? 

Some of the wives are particularly incensed at having to go on the “march against poverty” decked out in their finest (including hats) for the Queen. The English press will probably have a field day with that! Obviously, the idea is to get all this done on one trip into London to save time and expense of as second trip. But, I’m not sure the whole thing will “play.” Obviously, for me, the tea party at Buckingham palance is anachronistic and unnecessary to say the least!

Ah well, I’m just a voice from “the colonies…”

And, this too will pass!

10 Responses to “The London Day”

  1. thomas bushnell, bsg Says:

    i see no contradictions there. what exactly are the contradictions supposed to be?

  2. FranIAm Says:

    Contradictions and irony are what I see. March against poverty while dressed in their finery and then off to see the Queen. Wow.

    Such are the ways of “efficiency.” I always have a hard time reconciling the Gospel and notions of efficiency however.

    Deep sigh and many prayers.

  3. Jamie Says:

    Bishop, you might be interested to know that I am spending this week in Charleston, WV along with 6,000 Free Will Baptists who are attending their national convention!

  4. Mary Clara Says:

    It may seem a bit ironic or contradictory — but I think there is something to be said for the march.

    In the UK there is not a lot of public witness by religious people; this is an opportunity for not only Anglicans but other religious leaders to make a common witness on behalf of the poor. It is a symbolic statement, one which must be followed up with other concrete actions, but it helps to publicize the MDGs and plant the idea that they are important and achievable and that we all should get together and work toward achieving them.

    It is also a public statement that the Anglican Communion has more on its mind than fighting about sex all the time.

    Having not only the gorgeous spectrum of WWAC bishops and spouses but other religious leaders marching together points to the fact that the campaign is nonsectarian and represents a way of working together without regard for ethnic, national or religious boundaries.

    There are worse things than having the rich, the powerful and the influential (people who own more than one decent suit of clothes and have access to Prime Ministers and Queens) standing up in public and declaring themselves committed to the MDGs — so long as they follow through afterwards! The MDGs don’t necessarily require the relatively well-off to give away their Sunday best and go everywhere in jeans and sweatshirts.

    I do think those awful hats could be sacrificed, though, and I sympathize with all found it uncomfortable to march in their best dresses (or hot cassocks). I hope the weather was good, and if anybody arrived at Buckingham Palace a bit rumpled or damp, I expect the Queen took it in stride.

  5. ecubishop Says:

    Mary Clara:

    You have said it all very well, and perhaps reply better than I to those notes above.

    The “poverty walk” was not near as bad as I imagined. Many people joined us with signs and plackards, many of our women were in native dress and not just “finery” which was wonderful. All in all, the ‘march’ was well done.

    Prime Minister Gordan Brown made as fine a speech as I have ever heard in support of the MDGs and the faith community’s role. (Maybe it will even make a contribution in propping up his teetering status politically since it was, otherwise, a slow news day here.

    I was happy to be part of this event and proud of the Anglican Communion today.

  6. FranIAm Says:

    thanks for the update about this!

  7. Linda McMillan Says:

    Well, it DOES seem odd to have a poverty march all dressed up as if for the queen. But doesn’t it also model, in a mundane yet crystal clear way, the vast tensions we are able to hold together for the greater good? We are people who care for the queen and for the poorest of the poor too. I rather like it. Good on you for marching around in your Sunday best!

  8. thomas bushnell, bsg Says:

    i think the supposed contradiction is easily understood. if one thinks that it is weird to “dress up fancy for the queen” and then talk about poverty, it is because one’s instinct is to think that one must pretend to be poor in order to stand up for the poor.

    this is a way of thinking which is exceedingly dangerous, and so i am glad the bishops did not, as a corporate body, fall into the trap.

  9. Lambeth Blog Round-Up #11 « Journeyman Says:

    […] the other side of the fence one blogging bishop complains about a violation of “this ‘conversation called Lambeth’” of […]

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