Sunday, 27 July 2008

Time for Worship

Sanctuary of St.Martin Church Canterbury

standing in the doorway of St. Martin's church Canterbury

Saturday night we were invited by a coalition of 17 groups working in conjunction with Inclusive Church to an event called 'Strangers to Friends' an inclusive Eucharist and Party. The Eucharist was celebrated by Archbishop Carlos Touché-Porter, the Primate of Mexico. It was an interesting service in a lecture theatre, with wonderful graphics projected on the wall which related to the various segments of the service. Music was provided by a keyboard and a cantor with a bell like soprano voice, who led us through the responses and a couple of new hymns. Simply done and simply powerful. The preacher was The Rev. Canon Lucy Winkett the canon precentor at St. Pauls Cathedral, London. She spoke movingly about the power of faith to address the greed and pain of the world. Archbishop Carlos presided in a wonderfully gentle way with a palpably loving authority.

Following the reception and the book launch of Inclusive Church's most recent book [whose title I will pass on as soon as I remember it] Chris, Ron, Niel and I went looking for dinner. We had been on duty at the display till just before the service. We found a lovely restaurant called the Weaver's Inn on the High Street, beside the 'river' Stour. Several Bishops happened to be there and Bp. Colin Johnson of Toronto came over to speak to us. He shared that His Indaba Group was making good progress and sharing well. He is hopeful for the process this week which is supposed to end with a statement around the Windsor Report and the Covenant.

Sunday [being he Lord's day after all] is a day off for the Lambeth participants, so we of the marketplace also have a free day. Chris and I decided to visit St. Martin's parish, which, you may have noticed from earlier comments, is the oldest continuous parish in England. It was a lovely said service, quiet and meditative, and the people of the congregation were wonderfully welcoming. The rector Noelle invited the visiting primate of the Korean Church to come forward for an interview during the sermon time. He had a Korean Nun, Sister Catherine, to interpret for him. It became a gentle reflection on the church bells which rang at St. Martin's and the way he was drawn into the church in Korea because of the Bells which attracted an 11 year old boy, curious about what was happening in that building. There were 6 bishops at the service including Jim Cowan and his wife from Victoria. All in all a delightful and blessed space to reconnect with the presence of Christ.

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