Sunday, 24 March 2013

Those were the days...

How times change!
I'm grateful to a friend and brother priest for this link to a short British Pathé newsreel featuring Dr C.A.H. Green, the first Bishop of Monmouth, consecrating a church in his diocese in 1926.
And they tell us now that traditional Anglo-Catholicism is essentially foreign to Anglicanism itself  and, like those who are unfashionable enough to profess it, has no place in the Welsh Church today..... perhaps that is really the future, but the history of the province and the words and actions of its 'founding fathers' would seem rather to agree with us....
Continuity and legitimacy depend upon more than simply occupying the same physical space.

Bishop (later Archbishop) Green, of course, in many ways can lay claim to having been the real founder of the disestablished Church in Wales, as evidenced by his work in framing much of the province's original constitution ( see his The Setting of the Constitution of the Church in Wales,  Sweet & Maxwell, 1937) 
As we've remarked before, it's only with hindsight that it becomes clear that the Constitution contains a fatal, though historically forgiveable and - perhaps - theologically unavoidable flaw (who could foresee in the 1920s Anglicanism's later headlong descent into liberal heresy?), the church life of the province being made wholly dependent for its own continued orthodoxy on the future appointment of orthodox, catholic bishops. 
As we can see, without that, 'things fall apart'..... 



  1. I hate to puncture the bubble (though it may be an act of charity during Holy Week...) but the church building at Abercarn has lain in ruins for four decades (since we were both in school). Why? Because it was too grandiose for the means of its parish, and it was built cheaply on inadequate foundations.

    It really isn't a helpful example to the argument.

    On a lighter note, I wonder how long it took to dry out that cope...

    1. Thanks for the act of charity - opportunities for mortification come about so rarely these days! But I'm not sure your point bursts any bubbles. Today our 'structures' (organisational rather than physical) are still far too grandiose for the scale of the operation, and that has nothing to do with the 'orthodoxy' or otherwise of those who run the show. Plus ça change...

  2. I can't argue with that.

    The vision of an all-encompassing church in Abercarn was overtaken (inevitably?) by an impossible structure.

    The same is certainly the case in the Church in Wales where the vision and purpose of the Church is still being overtaken by issues concerning structures both physical and organisational.

    Perhaps the cope is still wet through...


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