Myth and reality
I recently hosted a little dinner party. Why am I mentioning this on 7WD? Our guests of honor were Philip Chester and Giles Goddard, two good friends of mine from London. They’re both priests in the Church of England, and I’ve been working with them for some time now in Inclusive Church.
Philip and Giles had been on a friend-raising tour in the US. Here are some of their reflections:
Contrary to popular perception the Episcopal Church is in good heart, and maintaining a significant position in the USA as a church which is both broad and welcoming; which covers a wide churchmanship with big differences of opinion and yet is determined to stay together. Given the sort of coverage the secessionist dioceses and parishes get in the UK, it’s a remarkable thing to learn that out of around 7,200 congregations across the country less than 100 have sought to leave. And out of around 110 domestic Dioceses, only 2 are likely to seek to secede. We’re talking very small numbers, less than 2%. Many of the other parishes which might previously have wanted to leave are now recognising that to be part of a greater whole is valid and important, and real efforts are being made to develop understanding between those of different positions.
Read the rest, over on my old stomping ground, the Inclusive Church blog. This is helpful, because neither the national media nor the blogosphere seems to reflect the reality of the Episcopal Church as most people experience it. Two gents from England have managed to give us Americans some good perspective.