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?