Bishop Colin Buchanan
Previously Principal of St John's College, Nottingham (1979-85), Bishop of Aston (1985-89) and Bishop of Woolwich (1996-2004), and now living in retirement in Leeds. He is the author or editor of a large number of books on liturgy and ecclesiology, stretching over 45 years.
Equipping the Saints:Ordination in Anglicanism Today.
Edited by Ronald L.Dowling and David R.Holeton
Publisher: Columba Press
Equippng the Saints
The International Anglican Liturgical Consultations began in 1985, and are convened at regular intervals to tackle liturgical matters of common interest across the worldwide Communion. The Sixth such ‘IALC', held in Berkeley, California, in 2001, addressed the theme of ordination, for which two interim conferences had prepared. The upshot was an agreed ‘Berkeley Statement' entitled ‘To Equip the Saints'. This symposium has contributions from 20 writers, and between them they cover issues about the theology of ordination and the liturgy of ordination. There are vignettes of Anglican practice in different parts of the world, not least in the thorny area of ecumenical relationships. There are also specific treatments of the ordination of women (and the retention of clergy and people who are opposed to the ordination of women ), of lay presidency at the eucharist, and the ordination of those in homosexual relationships. The Statement itself is no bland rubberstamp of historic practice; and there is a supplement to it which brings together ecumenical statements on ordination in which Anglicans have been involved.
Anglicans have always been over-inclined to define themselves by their ministerial orders (note the title in some parts of the world ‘The Episcopal Church'. The issues identifed and addressed here have occupied successive Lambeth Confereces and will undoubtedly be very much to the fore this Summer at the imminent Lambeth Conference of 2008. Bishops are, of course, regularly engaged in conferring orders, and are often short of informed liturgical guidance. It would be good if the Lambeth bishops were resourced with the Berkeley Statement and its flanking materials here.
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