A delightful, if whirlwind, visit to the UK to participate in the consecration of Canon Gregory Cameron as the new Bishop of the Diocese of St. Asaph in the Church of Wales. I got to know Gregory well over the last decade in meetings of the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations which he ably served as Secretary.
Flew into London and was welcomed at St. Andrew’s House, the “new” home of the Anglican Communion offices. Stayed overnight there and joined Bishop John Patteson (President of the Anglican Consultative Council) and Canon Kenneth Kearon (Secretary General of the Anglican Communion) on a train ride to Cardiff in Wales.
Lunch with Bishop Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford, involved some great conversations about ecumenical relations in the Church of England. After that we joined some 30 other bishops from around the Communion in laying hands on Gregory after a fine sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury who, of course, is devoted to Gregory.
There were bishops from England, Africa, Scotland, Ireland, three of us from the US, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, representatives from the World Council of Churches, and a packed little cathederal, St. Llandaff’s, full of the faithful.
Stayed with Norman and Heather Doe Saturday evening. Norman is the canon lawyer who has been instrumental in the Covenant process as well as finding so much commonality between canons in the various Provinces of the Communion. I was welcomed at Palm Sunday services in their parish where Norman plays the organ and Heather (a pediatrician) sings beautifully in the small choir.
We processed around the small park outside the church singing (not boldly but ever so faithfully) “All Glory, Laud and Honor” just as in Anglican churches around the world! Sunday lunch at the Does’ was a typically British affair with parents, in-laws, and children — there were eleven of us in all!
A mad dash to the train station got be back to London, and Monday morning’s flight back to Chicago.
Just another example of how the “real” Anglican Communion functions…and always will.
That We All May Be One!