Bishop Ian Grey’s Easter Letter
St Katherine’s Cathedral
My Dear Friends,
As I write to you, Easter is now fast approaching and our Lenten journey continues as we through prayer, fasting and meditation follow our Blessed Lord through his own journey of forty days and forty nights of tempting by the devil. His struggle is our struggle and His victory is one that we all share but we must be vigilant and not complacent.
The world is going through its own period of trial and testing just now and the picture for all Christians in many parts of the world is dark and bleak. The constant erosion of Christian values in our society affects each and every one of us especially those like ourselves who are holding true to the Truth handed down to us from Apostolic times.
Sadly, in Britain and Europe the decline in Christians attending Church is rapidly accelerating as we struggle to cope from State persecution and apathy by many who should and do know better. Some of our political leaders still claim that we are in Britain a Christian Nation, but by their actions they clearly do not understand what it is like to live your life as a Christian in this country where for the most part Christians have been to say the very least marginalised.
You could argue that the Church itself is to blame and in the case of the Church of England that accusation holds merit. They are guilty of following a secular, feminist liberal agenda over the last twenty years or more that has led too disastrous consequences for the well-being of the Church. Attendances continue to fall sharply as the turmoil from within has seen the departure of many of its members, a house divided within is certain in time to fall.
The so called Continuing Anglican Church has fared very badly during this period and is guilty certainly in the earliest days after standing against the prevailing tide of opinion within our case the Church of England, for allowing personal agenda’s to destroy much of the goodwill and enthusiasm of its founding members. The terrible tragedy of this time is that the Church in general turned within itself and failed to clearly articulate on and preach the Gospel message of Salvation and Redemption.
Thankfully today, the Traditional Anglican Church in Britain has left that turmoil behind, as a member of the largest Continuing Anglican Communion in the world today, we have stable governance and a clear sense of what and who we are. True, numbers are still small here in Britain but if anything they are starting to grow and in many parts of our Communion they are growing rapidly.
We have a most loyal house of laity supported by dedicated and gifted Clergy giving wonderful spiritual teaching, guidance and incredible pastoral care. A stable liturgy and a comprehensive set of Canons Classical Anglicanism is both alive and well. We have not turned the clock back but simply maintained the Anglican expression of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Today we are engaging with other authentic Continuing Churches both here at home and also in the United States of America and Canada. Since our Synod last October talks have continued with both the Nordic Catholic Church and its network of Oratories here in Britain and the Free Church of England.
I signed a Letter of Intent with Bishop Roald Flemestad of the Nordic Catholic Church which sets of our joint aspiration to achieve an Intercommunion Agreement with the hope that it may lead to Organic union in the future.
Regarding the Free Church of England, I signed a further Letter of Intent with Bishop John Fenwick in which we jointly declared our joint intention to work towards a Sacramental relationship. We are making excellent progress on both fronts and I hope to be able to have agreements in place to present to our next Synod in October.
To ensure full compliance with the Traditional Anglican Communion Concordat, I am keeping the College of Bishops informed of our progress and will make a formal submission to the College of Bishops (COB) Synod seeking their approval. The COB synod is to be held here in Lincoln during October 2016. The COB Synod will take place shortly after our Synod and after we have thoroughly debated the issues concerned. If Synod approves the measures then we will seek final approval from the COB.
The Traditional Anglican Communion is at the forefront of this present era of reconciliation and realignment within the Continuum. It is taking a proactive and constructive approach and by the dedication and hard work of many we are beginning to see the removal many of the obstacles that have endured for years. We have a duty to Almighty God to succeed in our task and like our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to prevail and secure the Victory for Him.
As we approach Easter Day, remember in your hearts that He came to save each and every one of us from the terrors and afflictions of Evil. He has lifted for us that veil of darkness that is so blinding the world in which we live. He has chosen each and every one of us to hold steadfast and maintain the Faith Apostolic and Catholic free from error and distortion. He has set before us the task in hand, the continued work in the Vine Yard to heal the world itself from its own errors.
We are under attack and persecution but in His strength we will prevail and succeed in our task as we each progress along our earthly pilgrimage. The work might be daunting and frustrating just now, but think of the the promised reward of bliss in paradise with our Blessed Lord and Saviour the Risen Jesus Christ.
Remain positive and Faithful in the knowledge that those like ourselves, who have endured persecution and ridicule in order to maintain the Truth as revealed in Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, will one day see that Glorious Light and enjoy that Peace that the world itself cannot give.
May you all have a Peaceful, Blessed and Holy Easter.
In Christ Jesus
The Priory Centre