Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Archbishop opens English hearts to an African rhythm
TIMES ONLINE ^ | 11/30/05 | Ruth Gledhill

Posted on 11/30/2005 4:28:14 PM PST by Pikamax

Archbishop opens English hearts to an African rhythm By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent Dr John Sentamu's inauguration as Britain’s first black archbishop: read the sermon and the full Order of Service here

Dr John Sentamu outside York Minster (DAVID BEBBER)

BRITAIN’S first black archbishop beat the drums for a new Church of England yesterday — literally and metaphorically. Dr John Sentamu, or Sentamu Ebor, as the new Archbishop of York will sign his name, beat the bongo drums as his wife, Margaret, and two adult children showed a largely white congregation stiff with cold how to warm themselves up by dancing to African songs. Ebor comes from Eboracum, the Roman name for York.

The two-hour installation of the Archbishop at York Minster began with processions, formularies, articles and orderings, with all the pomp and ceremony synonymous with the traditional Church of England. But the arrival of a troupe of bare-chested Ugandan dancers from St Matthew’s Church in Stratford, East London, sporting ostrich plumes and leopardskin leotards brought a scent of the warm African air of change promised by the Archbishop.

Their Bwola dance of “rejoicing and thanksgiving”, complete with drums and ululations, warmed the souls of a congregation of 3,000 whose chilly condition was aptly evoked by the Gospel reading from St Matthew, “Lord save us, we are perishing”. In a bracing sermon, Dr Sentamu began his battle to put fire back into the belly of the established Church.

Members of the Church of England had become “consumers of religion” and not disciples of Jesus Christ, he said. The vital issue facing Church and nation was “the loss of this country’s tradition of Christian wisdom, which brought to birth the English nation.

“The Church in England must once again be a beacon by which the people can orient themselves in an unknown ocean by offering them the good news of God in Christ in a practical and relevant way. Having shed an empire and lost a missionary zeal, has this great nation, and mother of parliamentary democracy, also lost a noble vision for the future? We are getting richer and richer as a nation, but less and less happy. The Church must rediscover her self-confidence and self-esteem that united and energised the English people those many centuries ago when the disparate fighting groups embraced the Gospel.”

He said that throughout English history the Church had played a socialising and civilising role by uniting the people and conferring nationhood on them. Quoting Michael Ramsey, a former Archbishop of York and Canterbury, he said: “Why have we in England turned this glorious Gospel of life in the Spirit into a cumbersome organisation that repels, and whose people are dull and complacent?”

Christians should befriend Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, agnostics and atheists, not to convert them but to create understanding. Their missionary zeal should be directed instead at the 72 per cent of the population who in the last census said that they were Christian.

He said that his priority would be to be a “watchman for the North” and to take a lead by preaching, public address and by informal discussion in sharing the good news. Dr Sentamu’s appointment, radical and hugely popular, is seen as a sign of hope that the Church could at last be turning the corner after decades of decline.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events

1 posted on 11/30/2005 4:28:16 PM PST by Pikamax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ahadams2; Condor 63; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar, Huber and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 11/30/2005 4:35:56 PM PST by sionnsar (†† || To Libs: You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pikamax

This is a good thing. African Christians have an amazing spirituality to them, and as beautiful as the Western liturgy is, I don't think many youthful potential-churchgoers have the stomach for anything somber or contemplative.

Sad truth, but if you see the polls, the English don't go to church not so much because they don't believe anything but more because they find it boring. I'm not saying that rehauling the liturgy is a good idea, either. Going to church for entertainment or not going because it's not exciting enough is pathetic. With that said, I was in Ireland and saw how a group of African drummers and dancers could light up a Catholic service like nothing I've seen in a Catholic church.

3 posted on 11/30/2005 4:44:38 PM PST by CheyennePress
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson