The Bishops of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and of Hertford were consecrated at Westminster Abbey on Ascension Day. Rowan Williams preached the sermon.
Thanks to ‘Thinking Anglicans’ web-site for this delightful Ascension Day Sermon by former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, on the occasion of the Episcopal Ordination of 2 new bishops in the Church of England.
Addressing the episcopal candidates, he reminded them that they – and all Christians – are called to be Good News, in our representation of the Christ who calls us to minister in His Name. However, being human, we are only conduits of the Good News – who is Jesus Christ himself.
Rowan’s reflection that even bishops can sometimes be Bad News, rather than Good News, in the way we interpret what the Gospel means in the different circumstances we meet along the road, reminded me – and no doubt all of his listeners in the Abbey on this occasion – that he recognises that some of his own ministry has sometimes been hampered by the Bad News of mistakes made. However, with confession of our weaknesses, and the determination to try to ‘do better’ – acknowledging our total dependence on the Holy Spirit to lead us in the right way – we may rely on God to bring us back into line with the Gospel.
This was a very heartening address, which no doubt the new bishops will take seriously to heart as they launch out into the deep waters of leadership in the Church of England. May God richly bless them in their future ministry.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch New Zealand