Canon Ian Gray’s October Newsletter
My Dear Friends,
As I write this, my last newsletter to you as your Vicar General (VG) I have been thinking about some of the people who are now departed who for me personally played such an important part in working with me over my period of time in office as Vicar General. It is always sad to recall those to mind whom we hold precious and dear who have passed over and moved to that greater shore.
Here in Lincoln for example, we have lost several members of our worshipping community, people who had so enriched our worship and outreach, who did not live long enough to see the restoration project completed. However we have been very blessed indeed to have also welcomed new folk into our fold who are walking now in the foot steps of those who have gone before us.
I would also like to thank those who have also held senior appointments in the Church under my time as VG for their continued support. In particular, my profound thanks go out to our Former Episcopal Visitor Bishop David Moyer who worked tirelessly with me in bringing good order to the Church.
We have also seen our communion emerge after several years of uncertainty, stronger and more focussed than ever before. Around the globe, the Traditional Anglican Communion, of which we are an integral part, continues to grow and develop faster than ever before. We are a united Communion of Continuing Traditional Anglicans, proclaiming the Gospel message of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
There have been of course some moments of quiet satisfaction as the Church has consolidated itself here in Britain, but also moments of deep sadness over past divisions and departures. I for one get little comfort from those periods where chaos and uncertainty seemed to be the order of the day. I am not suggesting that everything is as we all want it to be, but we can only resolve issues by working and praying together as we journey forward united and guided by His Holy Spirit.
The Anglican Church in this country, indeed Christianity in the UK is under threat and in severe decline. We face together over the coming months and years a Herculean task in trying to restore the credibility, especially in our case of the Continuing Traditional Anglican Church. All of our combined efforts need to be directed in that cause and direction and not spent brooding over past matters of division, discord and protocol.
Some have asked apparently what if any vision do I have for the Traditional Anglican Church here in the UK. Well to those of you who may have asked the question I have this to say. I have been writing my monthly news letter for 19 years and have spelt out on very many occasions my thoughts on the matter. Either they have not been read by some or possibly understood.
So let me be very clear on the subject, we need to proclaim the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ as loudly and as clearly as we can to believer and unbeliever alike. Each and every one of us has a part to play in the process. St Paul in his letter to Timothy wrote, “Be thou an example of believers in the word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity, for in so doing this, you shalt save yourself and them that hear thee.”
I want the Traditional Anglican Church develop and grow within this country. To make our appeal irresistible to all who seek a better way of understanding their own mortality and destiny. To see emerge in part by our success a more just society at ease and at peace with itself. A society based once again on the foundations of Christian principles, Love and tolerance.
The late Andrew Underwood wrote the following prayer which I commend we adopt as our Diocesan prayer.
O GOD, WHO, BY THY SON JESUS CHRIST.
Didst charge thine apostles to preach the gospel to every creature,
Prosper we pray thee, the congregations of
The Traditional Anglican Church.
Send forth labourers into thy vineyard,
And bestow upon them, all things needful for their work.
Grant them wisdom in all difficulties,
Help in trouble,
The sense of thy presence in loneliness,
And, if it be thy will, visible success after labour,
That thy Holy Name may be glorified:
Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord
Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
Every one God, world without end. Amen.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as is possible on both the 17th and 18th of October in Lincoln. Please remember, that many members of our College of Bishops will be with us including our Archbishop during this time. It is a real opportunity to get to meet with them and hear of the work of our Communion throughout the world.
May Almighty God Bless You all
Yours in Christ Jesus