What a gloomy time to be alive! We are living through the worst recession since the Thirties. There is a prospect of the Church of England turning its back on the last vestiges its Catholic dowry and disinheriting us. False dawns are common and unfulfilled rumours of green shoots (both economic and ecclesiastical) add to the misery. It seems all too much.
Au contraire. It is an exciting time to be alive. It is a particularly exciting time to be an Anglo-Catholic. We are living through events in the Church of England which are the crux of its history. Not only that, by active membership of Forward in Faith we are making that history.
Not for us the heady triumphalism of the Anglo-Catholic Congresses. Nor the succeeding years of the assured place of the Anglo-Catholic ‘wing’ in an irenic Broad Church. God obviously had other things in store for us. And what a privilege to be part of it; that we should be thought capable of this daunting task.
Daunting – yes! But what great progress we have made. Few would realistically expect that at this stage we would exist at all, let alone be in our current robust state. This should be cause for renewed effort now we have reached crisis point.
Now is the time when all will be won or lost. The final push.
Push! Push! Lobby your diocesan bishops. Lobby your General Synod representatives. Raise awareness of the issues for us in every conceivable arena. Organise for elections at all levels (PCC, Deanery, Diocese). Strengthen, encourage and support each other – especially where opposition is formidable or there are few us ‘on the side of the angels’.
And, most of all, pray! Pray earnestly. Not desperately. Earnestly. But at the centre of this let the praise of God’s glory be the joy of our lives. We are caught up in the survival of authentic salvation. This is not putting it too highly. Ultimately that is what we are about. The next few years will decide the issue.