Photo Credit: All photos: ACNS
Staff at the London-based Anglican Communion Office held their annual St Andrew’s Day Eucharist last night (Monday) in the building’s chapel. The Office is based in St Andrew’s House – the former convent of the Community of St Andrew, an Anglican order of nuns which was founded to support the ministry of the deaconess movement. One of the Community’s last remaining members, Sister Hazel, joined guests who included the Primus of Scotland, Bishop Mark Strange.
The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, presided at the Eucharist before boarding a flight to Nigeria, where he is chairing a meeting of the Kaduna Peace Commission. The preacher was the Dean of London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, David Ison.
From L-R: The Provincial Secretary of the Church in Wales, Simon Lloyd; Dr Heather Payne, the CiW’s lay member of the Anglican Consultative Council; and Sister Hazel from the Community of St Andrew.
In his sermon, he spoke of the quiet behind-the-scenes role played by Saint Andrew. “He appears occasionally as someone who listens to other people and brings them along to meet Jesus, whether a bunch of Greeks or a boy with a few loaves and fishes”, he said. “A sort of go-between, a kind of a fixer behind the scenes. Simon was the upfront man, and Andy smoothed things over and cleared up any messes his brother left behind.”
He added: “It just goes to show: the quiet ones can be as important as the loud and upfront ones, because without them what you need might just not be able to happen.
“If Andrew hadn’t been following John the Baptist and listened to what he said; if Andrew hadn’t had the discernment to recognise that, in the person of Jesus he went to see, there was God’s Messiah; if Andrew hadn’t gone to get his brother and bring him along – things would have gone very differently.
“You may not be an upfront person, but you can still be vital to what God wants to do. Careful planning, prayerful discernment, and bringing people together behind the scenes, may be the kind of work God has for you to do, while others play the more obviously upfront roles – and without Andrew, where would Simon Peter have been?
“And at the end of the day, what you achieve for God isn’t counted by its size, but by your faithfulness. . .”
The Anglican Communion Office’s St Andrew’s Day Service, which is held annually on a date near St Andrew’s Day, is an opportunity for staff to thank supporters and volunteers who have assisted with the work of the office.