In London yesterday at this. - and it was such a good day!
Some fantastic input from Bishop Lindsay Urwin, on a topic guaranteed to be music to my ears
"Sacramental ministry in fresh expressions of church".
He's certainly someone who believes passionately in the power of the Sacraments in mission (I only wish he were able to acknowledge my Orders - he is firmly unconvinced of their validity or I might be beating a path to his door in search of jobs) and he was wonderfully engaging and inspiring.
Good panel discussion, too, -including well-turned words of wisdom from my favourite thinking blogger! (She looks quite at home here, don't you think?Maybe a vision for the future ;-)).
Great to go to London, meet up with a friend and be able to call it work!
I'll post more about the content of the day later. Meanwhile, Lambeth Palace was a great venue, saying so much to me about the inter-relationship of the riches of the past with the contemporary context which lies at the heart of fresh expressions of church.
So we sat (an interesting assortment, with a startling preponderance of clerical black) beneath the gaze of a whole host of departed Archbishops, each alike in their rochet and chimere, some famous, some all-but forgotten. The bewigged legions from the 18th century in particular looked almost identical - but doubtless had their own struggles of faith and doubt, and wrestled with their calling to live and proclaim the gospel in their day.
In the adjoining hall was a wonderful portrait of beloved Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of my childhood...those famous eyebrows sprung off the canvas and we smiled affectionately as we passed by.
Lambeth is an amazing building - the crypt chapel alone is almost reason enough to envy ++Rowan his official home, if not the job that goes with it. But it was in the courtyard outside that this fig tree, in all its gnarled complexity, recalled for me the harsh realities and tortuous connections of the Anglican Communion.
With something like that to tend and nurture, ++Rowan is surely entitled to all the prayerful spaces he can find.