Bishop Henry Scriven, the Mission Director for Latin America at the Anglican mission agency CMS, will retire at the end of December, CMS has announced. Bishop Henry is a former suffragan Bishop in Europe, part of the Church of England; and an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, in the US-based Episcopal Church. He has devoted more than 40 years’ service to the Church since he was ordained in 1975. After serving a curacy in Wealdstone, north London, Scriven moved to northern Argentina with SAMS – the South American Missionary Society.
After a period serving the US-based Episcopal Church in Arkansas, Scriven moved to Spain where he spent time working with SAMS in the Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal Cómmunion Anglicana - the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church and then as Chaplain for the British Embassy Church in Madrid.
In March 1995, he was consecrated as the Suffragan Bishop in Europe, which he served until 2002 when he moved to the Diocese of Pittsburgh as Assistant Bishop, before moving to CMS – the Church Mission Society – in 2009 to take up his current role as Mission Director for Latin America as SAMS and Church Mission Society prepared to merge.
“For a long time missionary societies in the UK have been sending missionaries to South America with the belief that we, as westerners, had something to give them,” Bishop Henry said. “While CMS continues to send missionaries to the region, we do so now with the understanding that our people are going as facilitators, complementing the work of our local partners who are already based in South America.”
Throughout his career, Bishop Henry has focused on his ability to deal with people and build relationships, helping the Church to continue moving forward. He said: “My legacy is not one of sweeping visions and strategic gains, but rather one of sustainability, ensuring that relationships don’t fall apart, and people are cared for in a time of great change.”
Philip Mounstephen, Executive Leader of CMS said: “Bishop Henry Scriven has been a wonderful friend and colleague to us all in CMS, and will be sorely missed. He has overseen the very successful merger with SAMS with great skill and with his characteristic charm. He has set us a wonderful example of prayerful, joyful godliness and his servant-heartedness has been evident to all.”
Bishop Henry is married to Catherine, a teacher, and they have two children, Anna and Joel. Following his departure from CMS, Bishop Henry and Catherine are not going to put their feet up: the couple will travel to Thailand where he will spend six months as assistant chaplain at Christ Church in Bangkok, before returning to the UK for a well-earned rest.