today as i said i was off to lambeth palace. what a day!
the archbishop has a bunch of friends who get together to support his initiatives if there are things that need to be responded to quickly or just seem easier to keep slightly outside the central stuctures of the c of e. well the friends were given a presentation of the new c of e report mission shaped church by bishop graham cray and others from the working party. (graham is a hero - he has pioneered thinking about cultural engagement and mission for years and he was such a great person to chair this report - it was like all his life's thinking and theologising and dreaming condensed into one stunning challenge and opportunity for the church. i thank god for him.) then various stories of fresh expressions of church were told and shared. i was talking about alternative worship and grace for one of the slots (which seemed to create quite a buzz). there was discussion and questions. and then archbishop rowan shared his thoughts and presented a couple of his dreams for the church.
one of those, as is pretty public knowledge now, is passion for fresh ways of being church. to this end the friends were given a vision of financing a team to help encourage and resource this. they have all gone to think about it and respond. and there's another get together in two weeks.... so we wait to see what happens. but it seemed to me that the people there were excited and totally up for this new vision and investment.
while i was there i got to pop into the crypt which is beautiful. and i took a picture of an icon of christ down there.
rowan's spiel was fabulous - he is so relaxed about things and so trusting in God and so humble with it - it's amazing. i think the church is genuinely moving into some real shifts and changes. i feel like i need to hold my breath or something because this could truly be an historic moment in the direction of the church - it felt that important (not just today but the report, the acceptance by the bishops, the reaction today, it being presented to synod on 10 feb... etc etc.). the anglican church could break open a whole new culture of permission for missional church right in its midst... i'm kind of pinching myself about it just to check it was real. i'll get round to giving you some insights on the report at some point, but today was very encouraging.
ages back i jokingly rworked the quote form one of those mexican shoot out films of a line that said 'are you a mexi-can or a mexi-can't?' into 'are you an angli-can or an angli-can't?' well following this week's activity it has to be the former - bring on the angliCAN church...