Tribute to ++Rowan, by Bishop Graham Kings

Visit of Holiness





Only God is holy,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


So any holiness we see,

and experience in anyone,

is God’s own holiness,

shining out in God’s own child.

Of what does it consist?

Humility, profundity and silence.


Humility comes from the ground,

from being earthed in ‘humus’;

from dust we come and

to dust we shall return.


But the earth is the Lord’s

and everything in it.

So even being earthed

is being rooted in God.


Humility is the pattern of Christ,

       the shape of the Spirit,

           the mould of God.


Humility is attractive, a focus of God.

We are drawn in, delighted:

our petty selves are drawn out, transformed.


Profundity comes from the sea:

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

It also comes from way-back, from afar,

from long-past vocations and foundations,

from the wisdom of God and language of learning.


Out of the depths of

Hebrew scriptures, Greek gospels,

Church fathers and mothers of all ages,

We cry to you, O Lord.


Silence echoes the stars

In returning and rest we are saved,

in quietness and trust is our strength.

For God alone our souls wait in silence.

We have calmed and quieted our selves

like a weaned child with its mother.


Silence brings

peace amidst chatter;

stillness amongst clatter;

essence at the end of incessence;

space for God’s eloquence.



Graham Kings

24 December 2003


 Posted by: Graham Kings  Sunday 30 December 2012 – 12:14pm
Today is Archbishop Rowan’s final Sunday as Archbishop of Canterbury. We have just published on Fulcrum a poem ‘Visit of Holiness’, which I wrote in December 2003 following his visit to St Mary Islington to preach and preside at our evening service of Holy Communion.

This is a lovely tribute to Archbishop Rowan Williams, written by Bishop Graham Kings, one of the contributors to the evangelical web-site ‘Fulcrum’.

Anyone who has met the current ABC, and shared Eucharistic ministry with him (as I had the privilege to do during his recent visit to Christchurch New Zealand during the ACC Meeting) could not but agree with Bishop Graham that the demeanour of our present Archbishop of Canterbury is distinguished by his humility, willingness to listen, and a profound love of Jesus in the Eucharist – the marks of a charismatic and truly spiritual Pastor Pastorum.

Thanks to Graham for this lovely tribute written on the occasion of the Archbishop’s parochial visitation to the parish of St. Mary’s Islington in 2003.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand


About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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