Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Sober second thoughts

Last night ended with me sweltering in bed from the oppressively hot, humid air which had hung over Canterbury for several days. Suddenly, as I lay in the dark, the sound of thunder rumbled outside. There were flashes of lightning which lit up my room, and then a heavy rain came crashing down. The breeze floating through my open window turned suddenly cool and refreshing, and I drifted off to sleep, feeling a hitherto rather rare sense of calm and ease.

I awoke to read Bishop Michael's statement on the Windsor Continuing Group paper, and Steve's commentary, and realised that the sky was not the only place where the tension of the atmosphere had broken. The recommendations of the WCG discussion paper are not going to happen. Bishop Michael is not the only bishop present here for whom the suggestions are a non-starter. As a starting point for discussion, they represent perhaps an extreme position which will be "bargained down," but as a proposal for adoption they cannot stand.

Then this afternoon, we read Archbishop Rowan Williams' second presidential address, which is available here: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/daily/news.cfm/2008/7/29/ACNS4487. It offered hope and encouragement to many of us here that we are, indeed, being heard.

There is nothing like the clear, fresh air after a summer thunderstorm.

Neil Fernyhough

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