[ACNS, by Amelia Brown] Earlier today (Tuesday) the Anglican Communion Office in London welcomed 31 Anglican seminarians and recently ordained clergy from across the world to learn more about the Communion and to network with each other. The group represents 18 countries, and a variety of cultures and languages.
For Jason Leung, a seminarian from Hong Kong, this diversity will play a role in his future ministry. “It is a very good for me to be here, to explore different cultures, the different ministries in the different parts of the Anglican Communion. I think it will enrich my future ministry as a priest in my own city, in Hong Kong. I’m very happy to be here and to meet many new friends from around the world.”
The diverse nature of the group was valued by many participants.
Matt Koovisk, a priest from the Anglican Church of Canada shared: “so far this has been an amazing experience working with people from all different cultures. We may come from different cultures and different experiences but we all are part of the Body of Christ.”
Daniso Muchicwa, a new priest from Zimbabwe, said, “I’m happy to have come to the home of Anglicanism and to share this unity in diversity. We come from different cultural backgrounds, but here we are all a family.”
Son Issah Ali, a priest from Malawi explained that this experience has given him a greater understanding of what it means to be Anglican. “I thank the Church for sending me here, and also for the welcome received here at the Anglican Communion Office,” he said. “Indeed, we are one. This shows our oneness.
“Had I not been here, I would have said ‘no, the Church is not one.’ But I am seeing the oneness, as we share developments in the Church, as we share smiles, and as we shared the Holy Table in the chapel earlier, as we share lunch now, together. This is really Communion.”
The group of seminarians and clergy gathered in Canterbury on Sunday 1 June for two weeks spent in Bible study, worship, and fellowship. Marcea Paul, a priest in the US-based Episcopal Church, described the time as wonderful. “It’s a beautiful holy space to be in and I’ve met some wonderful, wonderful people from all over the Communion,” she said. “Yes, it’s just been wonderful.”
They will depart Canterbury on Friday 15 June. This two week gathering happens every year, with the intention of building connections between difference – in terms of distance and culture – parts of the Communion, and to equip seminarians for ordained ministry.