Twentieth anniversary and the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury

It’s not long now until Rowan Williams comes to help us celebrate 20 years of Springfield Church. Springfield has gone from strength to strength and I have to admit that I love being the  Minister here. Rowan’s visit does a number of things. Firstly, it says publicly and clearly that churches such as Springfield are now part of the weave and weft of the Church of England. Secondly, it is a wonderful affirmation that the Archbishop clearly recognises that Fresh Expression churches have been around a good time (and preceding the original report that coined the term) and our 20th anniversary celebration says that we are not a “flash in the pan”.

There is already a note on his website about the Archbishop’s visit to us that you can read here.

The organisation of it is well under way and the draft order of service has been sent off and discussed with the Archbishop’s chaplain.

We are expecting +Rowan to arrive about 9.30am to meet up with our youth for a youth breakfast with the opportunity for a Q&A with him. Then its downstairs for the main service. We have a few changes from normal. We will change the way we face to enable more people to get into the service (and allow the use of the balcony). There is also a little more liturgy (to make it legal!) and I will be robing.

The children will be coming in to join us for communion just before the Peace and they will be brought to the entrance hall for parents to pick up.

The service will include an interview with +Rowan and he will be preaching about prayer (I don’t know he has survived without having a deep prayer life); the service is a great opportunity for us to celebrate the faithfulness of God towards Springfield over the past twenty years and into the future; secure that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).

Rowan is, contrary to the media reports, a very good preacher and a humble man. I heard him at Holy Trinity Brompton preach on the fire of the spirit and he was the best speaker on the day.

We are an invitational church and I really do recommend inviting friends and family who are outside or on the fringe of church to come along and hear him. Please don’t just invite people from other churches to come – this is a great opportunity for those who don’t have a faith or unsure to come along and be with us and experience our community.

Invitations will be available from Sunday at both services.

One other thing. +Rowan will be having a conversation with Richard Dawkins in Oxford this afternoon. You can listen to it on the Archbishop’s site from 4pm – 5.30pm. This is likely to be quite academic but if you are able to listen then I am sure that it will be worth listening to. Also do pray for +Rowan – Dawkins can be quite aggressive which doesn’t help a good debate.

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2 comments on “Twentieth anniversary and the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury

  1. Steve_Bz
    February 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Hi Will, Very good news to hear about Williams. If I haven’t congratulated you before, I do so now. I hope your day goes well and you all leave feeling enriched by the experience.

    Secondly Dawkins. I tried to read his book. It is, as you say he is, combative. I couldn’t get past the second chapter. The thrust of his whole argument seemed to be, let’s ridicule certain practices specific to certain religions (easy indeed), and there, the whole unknown disappears in a puff of rhetoric. I wish it were so simple.

    Lots of love.

    Steve.

  2. Will Cookson
    February 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    Yes, we are looking forward to his coming (even if I do have to robe!). I am ambivalent about Dawkins. I think that a lot of the attacks on Christianity are really surrogate attacks on Islamic fundamentalism (interesting that Dawkins et al came to prominence after 9/11). However, the reality is that his doggedness means that faith is now so much more available to be discussed (even if some have an initial hostility). So ambivalence reigns – good CofE!!

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