Comments: Reform, Anglican Mainstream and the Society of St Augustine

Why has Reform failed? Because it is entirely out of step and out of sympathy with the Church of England. It took a stance which was to a large extent rejected by the real reformers of the 16th and 17th centuries, who rejected the extreme reforms of Calvin and Zwingli and who framed a settlement and a set of Articles and a book of liturgy which hedged that about with checks and balances. The via media which the huge majority of the English people loved so well tolerated such extreme at its edges, it never wanted to embrace it as the norm. And even the edges in past times were less extreme than Reform. Many of the leaders of Reform came from other denominations and they used the expression, 'a good boat to fish from' about the Church of England. Reform is a cuckoo in the nest and it's a shame the eggs weren't pitched out before they hatched. I hope Richardson is correct, but I fear we have not heard the last of Reform yet, more's the pity.

Posted by junius at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 6:04pm BST

Nice to see St Augustine wearing mitre and chasuble.

Posted by Perry Butler at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 7:12pm BST

Er, a Tiffany window that resides in Florida.

Posted by susan hedges at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 7:17pm BST

If you look at the graphic on the holding page of the St Augustine Society, it's more likely to be St Augustine of Hippo, as he does not have a pallium or a model of Canterbury Cathedral, the usual symbols surrounding 'our' St Augustine.

It could be that 'hippo' is a deliberate choice though ...

Posted by Jonathan Jennings at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 7:22pm BST

The Canon Dr naming his society for the man who brought the Church of Rome to Albion's shore?

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 7:27pm BST

Grant me Resolutions A, B and C, but not yet?

Posted by chenier1 at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 9:42pm BST

I hope the St. Augustine Society is as successful as the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans - about which, since the hullabaloo of its launch, we have heard nothing.

Posted by Laurence C. at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 11:23pm BST

John Richardson's understanding of the 'Reform' movement in the C.of E. as not cognisant of the importance of episcopsl oversight - in favour of leadership within the local congregation - can only be described as outright *Congregationalism* This would go well with the current Sydney diocesan thinking on the use of deacons as able to preside at the Eucharistic Celebration.

If Reform indeed sees it's mission as similar to that of Archbishop Jensen of Sydney, which seems to disregard the traditional understanding of sacerdotal ministry and espicope, then its adherents might better be employed in mission under a name which is different from that of main-line Anglicanism.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 17 October 2010 at 12:30am BST

"Ed Tomlinson said...

"I would rather boil my own head than live under this dire Code of Practice.

For that reason I am out

Roll on the Ordinariate."

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 17 October 2010 at 2:08am BST

It is obviously St Augustine of Canterbury as he is wearing a pallium. Mitres in that style were not around when St Augustine of Hippo was around.

He is not your St Augustine... he was a fervent Romanist!

Sugden does not believe in the real presence, the sacrifice of the Mass,baptismal regeneration, prayers for the dead, intercession of the Saints, the Papacy etc.. St Augustine believed in all of did St Augustine of Hippo.

What an impertinence to take a Catholic Saint to represent an Evangelical Anglican group who do not hide their Protestantism and glory in Cranmer.
Cranmer who destroyed much of what Augustine set up!

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Sunday, 17 October 2010 at 6:56am BST

Junius' comment at the top gets to the heart of the matter. Over the centuries what we might now call the very conservative evangelical stream, with a broadly Calvinistic stance has placed its understanding of the nature of the Church of England as being on the way to a more clearly protestant ordering. You can see this in the antics of the Church Association and Lord Shaftesbury in the 19thC. These days they talk in terms of 1552 being the defining pinnacle of Anglicanism and talk wistfully about what Cranmer might have done if he lived.

However, history is against them. Non episcopal puritansim could have been established in 1558, 1603, 1660 or 1689 but wasn't. It was in the 1640s but was rejected. At each opportunity the CofE has chosen NOT to be like this - that is why Reform has failed.

Posted by Wilf at Sunday, 17 October 2010 at 9:18am BST

'mitres in that style were not around ...'

No, but they were when the window was made; we do not know what the artist had in mind.

It may indeed be a pallium (I was wrong), but that proves nothing conclusively. And by the time the window was made, chasubles would have been so decorated.

The weightier evidence is that the searches for images and Ikons of Augustine of Hippo have him almost invariably reading a book (as in Confessions) or some other of his texts, whereas images of Augustine of Canterbury almost invariably have him with Canterbury Cathedral.

And he is 'ours' in the sense that we Anglicans owe our eccelesial origins to his mission to England. (And he's ours in the sense that my parish church is dedicated to him.) No-one's saying that he isn't therefore anyone else's ...

Posted by Jonathan Jennings at Sunday, 17 October 2010 at 3:44pm BST

The image comes from the Lightner Museum in St Augustine, Florida.

The weight of internet evidence suggests that this place was named, by Spanish settlers, after St Augustine of Hippo.

The local RC diocese of the same name seems to think so, anyway.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Sunday, 17 October 2010 at 6:44pm BST

Reading the Ugley vicar (and 'Cranmer's Curate') it is hard to believe Evangelicals are in such disarray and can agree on so little --apart from being agin gays (but even there they are not of one mind).

I also read the FiF and SWSSH have fallen out. I cannot understand why such co-religionists cannot agree and pull together, in accord with their deepest convictions. Seems sad.

Btw Why not pronounce SWSSH "Soosh" as in Rwanda ("Roo-anda") and many Welsh words wrth gwrs / of course, where the letter 'w' is often vowellic, either long or short 'oo' / 'u' sound, as also in famous place names, e.g Betws y Coed ("Betus u koid", Cwm ("koom" Rhondda. And road signs: 'Dim cwn' (dim koon)- 'No dogs'. Oh I nearly over-looked 'eglwys'! Could even slip into being pronounced " Shoosh" !

Forgive this not wholly irrelevant diversion.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 18 October 2010 at 8:25pm BST
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.