From Canon Andy Hawes
The letters of Fr Alan Cooke and Canon David Burrows in recent editions have opened up a very important area for reflection, discussion and prayer for all those who have a care for the future of The Society and its place within the Church of England and English society. How Anglican is and should The Society be? Over the past twenty-five years the pages of New Directions have reflected a fairly broad church: contributions from Arthur Middleton on Anglican Patrimony, Gerry O’Brian and John Richardson out of the evangelical tradition are a few examples of this. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the first PEVs were thoroughly establishment Anglicans, many in Forward in Faith drifted into RITA (Rome is the answer). Rome did, of course, provide an answer in the form of the Ordinariate and ironically it proved to be the case that Pope Benedict valued Anglican Patrimony more than many of the Ritas!
If The Society is to avoid creating its own ghetto within the Church of England, with its own language and sub-culture, there is an urgent need for more ‘Young Tractarians’. It would appear that, at last, the institutional prejudice towards (and ignorance of) the Book of Common Prayer is breaking down in the Church. It is in valuing the Prayer Book Tradition, and using it in the same creative way as our forerunners in the Catholic Movement, that a bridgehead can be found into parishes and communities that do not at the moment recognise their church in the face of The Society, but who have a desperate need for the joy and strength of orthodoxy. I hope the time has come to be a little more aware of the limitations of Anglo- Papalism as a foundation for ministry and mission through the Church of England, and for The Society to lay claim to the Orthodoxy that is the heart of Anglican Patrimony.
The Revd. Canon Andrew Hawes SSC
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