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Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

Pilgrim’s Proces: Baptism Depths of Meaning by Peter Sanlon

In my last column we looked at the Lord’s Supper.  Today, we take a look at the other sign our Lord Jesus instituted among us.  These signs, or sacraments, which God gives his people are both simple and profound. In their simplicity, God’s grace is powerfully pictured. In their profundity, there is polyvalent meaning. So baptism clearly and compellingly speaks to us of God’s grace in washing us clean of our sin. The imagery of water  used to wash is universal and timeless. So as pilgrims journeying to heaven we are reassured that God has washed us, as baptised people, from the sin that would hold us back.

Since God is infinite in wisdom, his communications to us are profound and have delightful depths. So baptism feeds and equips us for our pilgrimage in many ways: Baptism is linked with God washing away the idols that soften beguile and seduce us. ‘From all your idols I will cleanse you.’ (Ezk. 36:25) Baptism is not a once for all magical automatic removal of idols – for baptism is linked with ongoing teaching and discipleship. 

So Jesus said, “Make disciples of all nations, baptising them and teaching them to observe all that I commanded.” (Mt. 28:19-20) Baptism looks back not only to the death of Jesus but also reassures us of our certain future resurrection (Rom. 6:4-5). Baptism is the shared mark of membership that belongs to all God’s people – as a result our valuing of baptism is one way we cultivate unity. There is ‘one baptism.’ (Eph. 4:5)

Whether we were baptised recently or decades ago, all pilgrims need sometimes to be reminded of their baptism. We ponder it not to prize a fossilised tradition, nor to repeat endlessly a simple lesson that is clear to all. Rather we appreciate more and more the depths of meaning and encouragement God gives us in his visual word to us. Sin, disunity, idols, and ignorance beset us in many ways and at varied times. Our shared baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit directs our hearts to God’s grace, teaching and the gift of one another, which helps us along.

Our Lord Jesus was himself baptised – it surprised John that his Lord would humble himself to that. One reason he did this was to alert us to the fact that baptism is one of the gifts God gives his people, that we are to cherish, value and celebrate. The benefits for all of our earthly pilgrimage are manifold. So wonderful are they – that we are not to keep them to ourselves. A baptised people is a missionary people. So Jesus said, ‘Make disciples of all nations, baptising them…”

Rev. Dr. Peter Sanlon is rector of Emmanuel Anglican Church, Tunbridge Wells: www.emmanuelanglican.uk

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