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Evangelism in Our Pockets
The Living Church Foundation ^ | 7/24/2005 | Steven R. Ford

Posted on 07/25/2005 6:39:06 PM PDT by sionnsar

An article in TLC last year titled “Going Postal” both grabbed and sustained my interest. Anglican-themed stamps — how fascinating! It got me thinking. As a frequent and passionate traveler to the far ends of the earth, my own weakness isn’t so much stamps as it is coins and banknotes. In fact, I’ve lugged home at least one of each and every denomination of both coins and bills that I could find from every country I’ve ever visited. Obsessive-compulsive, perhaps.

But no matter. I spent a weekend recently sifting through boxes of change and negotiable notes, looking for bits of Anglican evangelism that I’ve carried in my pocket. To be sure, the coin department proved sparse. All I found were a few Coronation Jubilee commemoratives featuring Westminster Abbey, a Manx 1- pound showing the Chapel of St. John, and an Anguilla 50c depicting St. Mary’s Parish Church in The Valley. Slim pickings indeed, for picking through thousands of coins.

Banknotes, however, are quite another matter. Here there’s a virtual mother lode of Anglican stuff, ranging from a 1991 UK 50 pounds featuring both a print and a floor plan of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, to the current Bank of England 20 pounds showing Worcester Cathedral, to the ancient Parish Church of St. Helier on the current 1-pound note of The States of Jersey. There’s also a depiction of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Hamilton, on the now-obsolete 1988 $1 note of Bermuda. As I looked at these I began to reminisce about the banknote-featured places where I’ve been — in a way, I suspect, that a grandmother does when she looks at pictures of her grandchildren.

The $100 note of the Bank of Guyana displays St. George’s Cathedral in Georgetown, which, along with Kaiteur Falls, is the most recognizable symbol of that impoverished yet beautiful country. Begun in 1892 and consecrated two years later, this, by some accounts, is the largest wooden structure in the world. By others it is merely the tallest. The Offices and Eucharist are offered daily, and three Masses, Sung Matins, and Solemn Evensong are celebrated every Sunday.

All current banknotes of the Falkland Islands picture Christ Church Cathedral in Port Stanley. Consecrated in 1892, it was originally the see church for nearly all of South America. The diocese today consists only of the cathedral parish, under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Episcopal functions are generally delegated either to the dean of Windsor (who happens also to be Bishop to the UK Armed Forces) or to the Bishop of Chile.

The $10 bill of Belize depicts St. John’s, Belize City — the oldest Anglican cathedral in Central America. Built in 1812 entirely by slave labor, it is constructed of ballast stones from countless European ships. It is also the only Anglican cathedral to have been the venue for a royal coronation — that of George Frederic Augustus I, King of the Mosquito Nation, in January of 1816.

Another Anglican St. John’s, the Royal Chapel of the Isle of Man, graces the 1-pound note of this Irish Sea territory. Adjoining Tynwald Hill, the meeting place for the past 1,025 years of the oldest parliament in the world, the chapel is the place in which state prayers are offered at the time of its annual assembly. HM Queen Elizabeth II, in her role as Lord of Man, personally presided over the 1,000th Tynwald in 1979. She presided again in 2003 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of her coronation.

Finally, the sheer number of Anglican places of worship pictured puts the States of Guernsey in first place with regard to banknote evangelism. The Town Church in St. Peter Port, the capitol, received its first historical mention in 1048 and appears on the 5-pound note. St. Sampson’s Church, on the 20-pound note, is reputed to be the oldest in the bailiwick, the site being a place of Christian worship since at least 550. And St. Andrew’s, on the 50-pound note, is the bailiwick’s smallest Anglican parish church. It dates “only” from the middle of the 12th century.

Christian churches are a common theme on the world’s banknotes, and Anglican places of worship represent a surprisingly high proportion of these. What a wonderful opportunity for evangelism these notes give to us when we travel. Whenever we get one from or give one to a vendor, there’s nothing to stop us from pointing out that this is an Anglican church and that we ourselves are Anglicans. We might even invite the vendor to join us for worship at the place pictured.

The Rev. Steven R. Ford is interim rector at St. Mark’s Church, Mesa, Ariz.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 07/25/2005 6:39:07 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Fractal Trader; LonePalm; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; ...
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2 posted on 07/25/2005 6:41:18 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Kyoto: Split Atoms, not Wood)
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