FIRST LETTER FROM THE Rt Revd IAN GRAY AS BISHOP ORDINARY
My Dear Friends,
May I start by thanking each and every one of you for your love, support and prayers in the period leading up to my consecration as your first Bishop Ordinary.
The task ahead is truly enormous, but by God’s Grace we will succeed in our mission to restore to this nation of ours the Anglican Church of our spiritual Fathers.
This edition of the ‘Clarion’ carries a small photographic record of the events that took place here in Lincoln on the Feast Day of St Luke. It will give you all a glimpse of the history of our Traditional Anglican Church in the making.
For the future, I intend to make the necessary changes to our publicity material which will ensure that we are as visual as we can be through all the avenues at our disposal. It is essential that we reach every eye and ear with the Good News of the Gospel message.
The ‘Clarion’ will be published on a quarterly basis and will contain more about our contact details, as well as events and news from the Diocese and international news from the TAC. As the ‘Inspired’ will now cease publication with immediate effect, I want to take this opportunity to thank our editor of nineteen years’ service, Mr Geoffrey Fairweather, for doing such a wonderful job.
I am delighted to announce that Christopher Houghton, as well as carrying out his duties as our Diocesan Treasurer, has agreed to act as my Secretary. He is based full time at the Priory Centre here in Lincoln, which houses our Diocesan Office, and can be contacted on 01522 579490 Monday – Friday 9.30 am to 4.30 pm or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org Our Diocesan Secretary and webmaster Michael Wilson works in conjunction with Christopher and can also be contacted at the Priory Centre, but please ensure that you ask for Christopher in the first instance when calling the Diocesan Office. Michael is constantly updating our website and would welcome any suggestions that might improve it. In future the site will include an active events page and carry the Bishop’s Diary.
As I said a little earlier, the task ahead is to change the perception held by many of the TACB in particular, and ‘Continuing Anglicans’ in general. We need to shake off the image held by many that we are a Church in disarray with little or no future.
The foundations have been very carefully laid over the last few years to enable us to go forward now with renewed confidence and the sense of purpose brought by unity, peace and love. We are united in fellowship and resolve, ready to face and meet the challenges head on.
I have called a meeting of the Area Deans, which will take place this January in Oxford, to discuss my plans for the future growth and evangelism of the Diocese. Also the Bishop’s Advisory Council is to be re-established with immediate effect, a complete revision of the Canons of the Church high on its list of urgent matters to be dealt with. Additionally, I would very much welcome invitations to visit your Parishes and isolated Members of the Church over the coming months; please contact Christopher about this at the Diocesan Office.
Over the coming weeks, months and years, I hope to dedicate myself to the service of Almighty God, and to you His faithful servants here within our blessed Communion, as we seek to work together, and hopefully with the support of other like-minded Christians, to restore the ‘Faith of our Fathers’. Together we can and shall build that ‘New Jerusalem’ here in this land of ours, and reclaim for Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ His Anglican, Apostolic and Catholic Church.
So let us begin the process today by committing ourselves to the task ahead. In His strength everything is possible. We are a Church at prayer and guided in all matters by the Holy Spirit. Only Christ can open the ears of the unbeliever, but we can do our part by taking the word out to every community.
Blessed Paul wrote in his first Letter to Timothy (ch. 4) ‘Be thou an example of believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity … for in doing this, thou shalt save thyself and them that hear thee.’
As you prepare for Advent my thoughts and prayers are with you. I send to all of you my Love and Blessings.