Xeverie write from Canterbury, England:
It is a privilege to be here at Canterbury, the Holy See of the Anglican Church, Canterbury Cathedral has been a major pilgrimage destination for many centuries and it was the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170 and his subsequent canonisation in 1173 that made Canterbury Cathedral the third most important site of Christian pilgrimage in the world, after Jerusalem and Rome. Last week the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby visited our classroom to address us. I has the opportunity to shake his hands and talk to him a little about St Andrews Brighton, how passionate I feel about our church.
This seminar has opened my eyes to other countries and nations within our Anglican communion, it is interesting listening to their challenges and concerns within their countries, some countries does not even have clean running water and others practise female circumcision that cause permanent irreversible damage to girls. It saddens my heart.
The CoE General Synod is on this week and it is interesting listening to the debates on Both sides regarding LGBTQI+ matters- a topic I am passionate about. Last week, the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral Dean David gave a moving sermon at the 11am main service, he spoke about culture and addressed the LGBTQI+ people and their challenges, including his own, It is thought provoking listening to his experience, I posted the sermon on my Face Book page.
Also, last week we had the rare opportunity to attend the consecration of Bishops that sparked some controversies the following is taken from Canterbury’s social media page "the new bishops of Hertford and Kingston were ordained, along with the new PEV bishop of Ebbsfleet, who is to be a bishop for those churches who do not think women should hold leadership and significant teaching roles in churches. At the point of their consecration, the bishops of Kingston and Hertford , one man and one woman, were surrounded by all the bishops present, to join in laying hands on them – though a few bishops did not lay hands on the Bishop of Hertford, the woman. When it came to the new bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Bishop of London (Bishop Sarah), the most senior bishop there after the Archbishop of Canterbury, and one of the three chief consecrators, stepped back so that she did not lay hands on him. Both she and the third principal consecrating bishop were replaced by two others No other bishops, either male or female, shared in that moment of consecration".
This inadvertently some ruffled some feathers with some female priests from other countries such as Africa and India. They asked me how is like for me in Melbourne and in my parish and I told them I felt supported, loved and nurtured in St Andrews. My experience with parish ministry in St Andrews is nothing but positive.
This is my last week in Canterbury, next Monday I will be waking up in Rome. I am planning to visit Rome, Florence and Assisi. I am looking forward to see you all and share my experience and stories.