What’s really going on here?
The right-wing media would like you to believe that people are just about to pack their bags and head home. Instead, most of us are packing our things to head to London tomorrow for a walk to highlight awareness of the poor and of the Millennium Development Goals, followed by lunch at Lambeth Palace. Then people are headed over to Buckingham Palace for a Garden Party with the Queen and 2,000 of her best friends. I’ll be photographing the walk. For the Lambeth Palace portion of the trip, I’m to be atop Morton’s Tower to photograph approaching and rallying bishops. Then I get to shed my photo equipment, don a cassock, and attend the party at Buckingham Palace. But I have digressed into my preview of tomorrow.
Back to the right-wing media. They want you to think that the Anglican Communion is in meltdown. I have personally not heard any hint of this from any bishop. Today I spoke with a number of bishops, including some from provinces that we are told should be eager to stir things up. Instead, they actually seem to be trying to let the Holy Spirit into this process (though the process does have its frustrations!). Of course, this does not fit the script of media, so they need to invent wild stories and provoke controversy.
Bishop Alan (the blogging Bishop of Buckingham) gets the mood right, I think:
The press is sometimes making the news as much as reporting it, sometimes in the tradition of journalists who used to give out stones to Northern Ireland youths to provide pictures for the evening news. Shame on them. What is actually going on in here is generally delightful, global in scale, light of touch, with a lot of laughter, prayer and joy in one another. Journalists are naturally drawn to the extremes to make a story, but there is far more energy around the great unacknowledged centre.
Let’s pray that this spirit continues. Maybe a public action in support of MDGs couple with cucumber sandwiches on the Queen’s lawn will be a good break for these bishops, who have been working very hard.