...I can’t resist saying just this. I hope you will take with you the memory of our northern saints as you learn what it means to inhabit this office. In Durham, you are the direct successor of Aidan, founder of our diocese, and of Cuthbert in whose shrine in the Cathedral you have often prayed. In a blog earlier this year I compared Rowan Williams with Cuthbert as ‘off-beat’ bishops. I wanted to say that a Christian leader needs to be a bit elusive, not always saying or doing the expected thing, not afraid of being surprising and keeping people guessing.
Already the public wants to pigeon-hole you: evangelical rather than catholic, pro this and against that. You are bigger than that, as anyone who knows you will confirm. You know that it needs great self-awareness to resist these easy either-ors. It also takes resilience and courage to be your own man in leadership. It depends on keeping the spiritual garden watered by long and regular spells of solitariness, meditation and prayer. I know how important this is to you, to go to the heart of faith and keep it alive and fresh. I hope the pressures of high office drive you more and more in the contemplative direction which is the source of wisdom. I believe they will because your personal authenticity is so important to you. And I believe that you will surprise, inspire and delight us too.
When Donald Coggan was installed as archbishop, his secretary mis-typed ‘enthronement as ‘enthornment’....
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet
Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm
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