Rector's Letter - July 2002 

It's a first, a historic event.  A Euro in the collection!

 With furrowed brows the Churchwardens poke and push it around the collection plate whilst debating what to do with it.  I think in the end we decide to leave it at the bottom of the safe in the hope it will one day either become useful or simply disappear.

 What other firsts might there be this month?  The first Archbishop of Canterbury from outside the Church of England, perhaps?  Will it be Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, making history?  Ruth Gledhill of the Times thinks so.  She is convinced that his will be the first name offered to the Prime Minister.  But we are still a way from any announcement yet.  The PM may decline either of the two names offered by the Crown Appointments Committee, which then have to reconvene and begin the whole process again. Of course, let's not ignore the fact that Dr Williams might be sorely tempted to say no.  And who could blame him!  The poor man is already being poked, prodded and peered at by a curious and frowning press not quite sure what to make of him.

 According to the editorial in the Church Times "Dr Williams always commiserates with new bishops in Wales, warning them they will invariably be thought a disappointment before many months have passed".  If he is indeed offered and accepts the See of Canterbury, he will do well to be reminded of these words.

 For my part, I've only met the man on one occasion, ten years ago.  He was taking part in a conference launching the Decade of Evangelism (remember that?).  My memory is of a quietly spoken man with an air of the scholarly monk about him.  He spoke on the priority of prayerfulness, and I think it's fair to say we were all duly impressed.

 Of course, to offer my unreserved opinion on him as a candidate on this basis would be just about as audacious as offering an opinion on the Euro because I once spent some on holiday.  However, if the post goes to any man prepared to say that one of the most important dimensions of the Christian life is prayerfulness, I for one shall not be disappointed.

 Jeff Cuttell,
 Rector.

 

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