Monday, December 04, 2006

The most significant ecumenical event of 2006? Not that it got any press time...

Yesterday, I spent some time with a friend of mine from England, John Fenwick, who happened to be in Houston for a conference. On July 29, 2006, John was consecrated bishop of the Northern Diocese of the Free Church of England, (an Anglican jurisdiction founded in 1843 in which I served for four years). Also consecrated that day was a former colleague of mine in the Southern Diocese, Paul Hunt, who is now an assistant bishop in the Southern Diocese of the Free Church of England.

Before entering the ministry of the Free Church of England, John Fenwick served in the Church of England, most notably as the Ecumenical Officer for the Archbishop of Canterbury. Obviously, this post provided John with many interesting contacts worldwide. John is also the author of The Free Church of England: An Introduction to an Anglican Tradition (2004).

Of course, I had known about John's consecration for some time, but I had not known the full significance of it until recently. Among the participants pictured above (who actually took part in the laying on of hands!) are bishops from the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, the Malabar Independent Church, the Moravian Church, and the Reformed Episcopal Church. Also present were a Catholic chorepiscopus, and a representative of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion.

It would seem that the FCE has finally answered Apostolicae Curae. But could this meeting of East and West actually have been the most significant ecumenical event of the year?


wyclif said...

Mar Thoma + Lady Selena's Connexion?

Cognitive dissonance...I think I need a stiff drink.

Anonymous said...

It is an interesting gathering of bishops. From the American perspective, the participation of the Mar Thoma bishop and the Moravian bishop, churches with which The Episcopal Church has some established level of communion sharing, is interesting.

axegrinder said...

Dr. DD,

Any idea who the REC representative was?

Jason Kranzusch

lexorandi2 said...

Bishops Grote and Sutton represented the REC. Sutton is on the far left in red chimere. Grote is right smack in the middle, standing in the back row. You can only see his head. Immediately in front of him is Bp. John Fenwick on the left, and FCE Primus, Ken Powell, on the right. Bp. Paul Hunt is standing next him to the right.

I forgot to mention that the preacher was another acquaintance of mine, the Very Rev. Richard Fenwick (no relation to John), who is the Dean of Monmouth Cathedral (CoE), making this a very ecumenical occasion indeed.

And yes, I admit it, I am exaggerating a bit in suggesting that this was the ecumenical event of the year, what with the Pope in Turkey and all. But it's still rather impressive.

Anonymous said...

I think I met the Mar Thoma bishop a while ago. I played at a college retreat or something. I love those guys.

Anonymous said...

Do I see BS+ and RUG+?