What does it mean to be the Church for England? An Anabaptist reflects on the quest for Anglican identity
The last twenty years have brought a series of fundamental changes in how we experience our world, now heightened and accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The only certainty is change itself.
In the United Kingdom, these pressures have brought about an existential crisis as to who we are in a postcolonial and post-Brexit world. At heart is the question of identity, specifically English identity.
For over 1600 years Christianity, and specifically the Church of England, has been at the heart of that narrative, defining the self-understanding and character of the English. With fewer than one million regular communicants, what claim does the C of E have to be the Church OF England? What hope for its renewal in reframing its missiological imperative as the church FOR England?
Reflecting on the emerging vision as a church for all people in all places, this seminar will bring a constructive and critical eye to the themes that are at its heart and informing the changes that are both contested and celebrated in the life of the church.
Raised an Irish Presbyterian in Belfast, the seeds of an Anabaptist peace theology were first sown in David’s thinking at theological college in London by Alan Kreider. Back in Belfast and now worshipping in a Baptist fellowship, a series of workshops by Jim Punton provided further stimulus which David developed through his research and teaching missiology at Belfast Bible College.
In the late 1980’s, bringing together his concern for the missiological challenge of the church in the midst of community conflict with his growing anabaptist convictions, David became the co-founder of ECONI, an evangelical peace building network in Northern Ireland.
After twenty 20 years of reconciliation ministry throughout the Irish peace process, he joined the team at Coventry Cathedral, where he was appointed Canon for Reconciliation in 2008. In 2013 Justin Welby invited David to set up his Archbishop of Canterbury’s reconciliation ministry out of Lambeth Palace, focusing on divisive issues in the church and supporting those parts of the Anglican Communion facing war and violent conflict. Since 2016 he has served as Chief of Staff to the Archbishop.
A joint event with Regent’s Park College featuring Malcolm Yarnell
More details to follow.
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