By: Margaret Brown
ANY INSTITUTION comes in for criticism, senior executives make the decisions and the rest of us must work within those boundaries. So it is with the Anglican Church as a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, an affiliation having full communion with the Church of England, in which all rites conducted in one Church are recognised by the rest.
So far, so good and, because the Church is catholic, it is for all people everywhere. Not a club run by Christians, who consider themselves eligible or for others chosen for their suitability, but launched 2,000 years ago when Christ told his apostles to “go and make disciples of all nations and baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
Because we are fallible human beings, sometimes our Bishops struggle to maintain order and peace within their Diocese. Being at grass roots level, whenever trouble breaks out, it follows that parish Priests have a harder job than most, in that they act as shepherd, counsellor, peacemaker and also spiritual guide and comforter when there are disagreements, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Once a congregation is divided by gossip and rumour, it is in no state to carry out the essential work of outreach, especially among young people, without which, the body of the Church will age and die.
And so, St. Vincent’s Anglican Church in the Algarve welcomes its new Pastor and his young family, who will come from Canada to Luz in April. Until then, we have Father John Wilson as our guide and teacher, who has done so much to heal and unite that which was broken.