Ipswich reflections

From the Bishop of St Edmundsbury

It was sad that Geoffrey Kirk’s reflection in response to the murders in Suffolk failed to mention the extraordinary ministry of Fr Haley Dossor at St Mary-at-the-Elms, a C parish in the centre of Ipswich, within the episcopal ministry of our PEV Bishop Keith.

At the height of the drama Fr Haley appeared almost daily on local television, providing a calm and authoritative presence, which was a great comfort and reassurance to many people. Fr Haley’s vicarage is right next door to the main police station and he has been a Police Chaplain in central Ipswich for a number of years and is liked and respected by all who know him. He is also able to speak in the name of the Christian churches in Ipswich of all denominations who will miss him now that he is retiring.

Geoffrey Kirk also failed to register Archbishop Rowan’s excellent and timely words on national BBC radio at a critical moment in the crisis. The Archbishop caught the mood precisely and was able to offer a focus which was subsequently taken up during a moving few moments of prayer at Portman Road before the Ipswich-Leeds match on the Saturday before the arrests were made.

It is rather too early for snap reflections on what is still a long haul. Bodies have not yet been released for funerals and there will be a huge media focus on any trial. Meanwhile the Christian churches in Suffolk do what they have always done, which is to minister to people quietly and effectively. To say, as Geoffrey Kirk says in his article, that ‘Christianity has been confined to Angela Tilby on Thought for the Day is a reflection on what he may think, but it has nothing to do with what is actually happening in Ipswich.

+Richard Lewis
The Bishop’s House, 4 Park Road,
Ipswich IP 13ST

Come on over!

From Mr John Bayley

I felt I had to write to you as a tour guide with County Wexford Tourism, regarding the lovely piece on St Giles church, Cheadle, and its architect August Welby Northmore Pugin.

For those readers who have never been to Wexford, they would really enjoy a visit to our lovely county. We are very proud of the lovely churches we have in

the Diocese of Ferns. We have seven in County Wexford that Pugin designed, and these include St Aidans Cathedral in Enniscorthy, St Michael’s Gorey, St Mary’s Tagoat, St James Ramsgrange, St Alphon-sus Barntown, Bree Catholic Church and St Peter’s College in Wexford.

In Ireland most of Pugin’s works are concentrated in the south east, particularly in County Wexford, to where Pugin was drawn through family connections of his patron the Earl of Shrewsbury. A crucial influence on his architectural style resulted from his visits to Dunbrody Abbey in south County Wexford, near New Ross.

I look forward to welcoming any reader of New Directions to Wexford to visit our Pugin churches and for a restful holiday.

John R. Bayley
26 Bloomfield, Clonard, Wexford

Visions of Mary

From Fr Donald Bird

Mr Clive Scowen [Letters Feb] makes a vital point that is conveniently overlooked by most Anglicans – that when two or three Anglicans are gathered together there is controversy. The example he quotes is typical. There are those who accept only what is found in the New Testament regarding Mary, and those who, starting from there and after many years of contemplation and meditation, realize there is much more -hence the growth of Marian devotion. Vast numbers find this devotion deepens their faith; they live ‘as those who believe in the Communion of Saints.’

Were the findings of ARCIC accepted – Mary and all – no one would be bound to subscribe to any new teaching, but there would be a much larger playing field in which to make known our ideas. The ultimate truth must be allowed to evolve and not be stifled. This is the truth which alone will set us free.

Donald Bird
18 Park Place, Hellifield, N. Yorks

Be nice to waverers

From Dr Christopher Wilkinson

I feel quite strongly about you bashing Carl Cooper [30Days Feb]. What about all the other Cafe Catholics who have scented a venerable life sitting comfortably on cathedral stall (or throne) and have, therefore, changed their ‘theological’ position? We have an abundance of them in this Province.

Christopher Wilkinson

Not so warm

From Mr Terence Lee

Alan Edwards [ND Feb] is wrong if he thinks that lack of heat produced the medieval age of faith. Global-warming scaremongers have misled him by concealing the fact that it was, in fact, warmer in the Middle Ages than today. Why did Vikings call an island they discovered ‘Greenland’? Why did vineyards flourish in England as far north as Lines.?

Regular fluctuations in climate are part of the inexorable divine order.

Terence Lee

Meadow Cottage, Arundel Road,

Littlehampton BN17 7BF

Books in heaven

From Mr Ian Wetmore

In his piece on Thomas Ken’s Manual of Prayers [Feb.] Canon Middleton notes that said Manual is out of print. Can I point out, however, that it is available in cyberspace at , thanks to Mr Richard Mamanna and others behind Project Canterbury.

Ian Wetmore

Southern anger

From the Venerable Stewart Lane

Bp John Broadhurst comments in the February ND that few liberals are troubled by the connection between liberal theology and church decline. Is anyone surprised?

It is difficult not to gather from the talk and actions of our fundamentalist liberals (most especially in the finger flicked at most of the Communion in the election of a person as Presiding Bishop of TEC who would patently not be qualified for the post even if she were male) that the well-being of their liberal agendas and dogmas has a higher priority than the well-being of the Anglican Church.

For all fundamentalists, correct dogma and praxis takes precedence over anything else, and fundamentalist liberals are often the most fundamentalist of all.

Stewart Lane
P O Box 354, Derdepark 0035, RSA