By ACNS staff
The Anglican Communion has gone from a concept to a reality thanks to a two-week course for new clergy and seminarians run by Canterbury Cathedral.
The course is one part of the Canterbury Scholars’ programme which “provides opportunities for Anglican/Episcopalian Christians from around the Anglican Communion to pray, study and live together.”1
This year’s group comprises 29 men and women from countries including Sri Lanka, Ghana, Hong Kong, the USA, India and England2.
It is this national diversity that has, according to South African priest Claudia Coustas, brought the Anglican Communion alive for her.
“For those of us who do not have day-to-day experience of it, the Communion is largely a concept. After these two weeks, the Anglican Communion is no longer an academic exercise,” she said. The Revd Coustas added that a better understanding of global Anglicanism would help her when she returned home to her parish comprising congregants from many African nations.
The two-week programme at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge included sessions on such topics as ‘What is Anglicanism?’, ‘Vocation, called and accepted’, ‘Preaching the Word’, ‘Being formed in the likeness of Christ’, and the ‘Ministry of Reconciliation’.
Tanzanian Amon Kabyesiza said he had enjoyed the course and particularly valued the chance to learn and share solutions to the challenges of parish ministry with men and women doing a similar job in different contexts.
The programme included a pilgrimage to St Augustine’s Cross, St Martin’s and to St Augustine’s Monastery. There was also a trip to London to visit the Anglican Communion Office (ACO), the Secretariat for the Instruments of Communion3.
The international visitors were welcomed by the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Canon Kenneth Kearon. They heard about how Anglican Communion Office staff members support the Communion and work to promote the bonds of affection between Anglicans and Episcopalians around the globe.
During their time with ACO staff, the visitors identified a host of things to celebrate as common to all Anglicans/Episcopalians. These included a "supple approach to tradition"; "the chanting of the psalms"; "the Book of Common prayer"; "the centrality of the Bible"; "the sense of the sacred in the symbolism and the worship of services"; "the extraordinary reach of Anglican work and mission"; and "intercessory prayer for Anglicans around the world".
2. Course delegates attended from Canada, India, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Kenya, Korea, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, USA, Zimbabwe.
3. See http://aco.org/communion/index.cfm