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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 Process

Pilgrim’s Process

Believers are pilgrims journeying to heaven. The image of a believer navigating through this world on the way to the Celestial City was immortalised in the famous English allegory – Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress.’ First published in 1678 the book remains readable and evocative. 

During last year’s lockdown my church hosted an online reading group to study Pilgrim’s Progress. Discussing its Biblical imagery, I was struck afresh how fundamental to healthy Christian experience, is the sense of being a pilgrim. We are on a journey towards heaven, but too easily forget and put down roots in this world. We prefer the comfortable armchair to the challenging cross. Content in our little part of the world, we lose the feeling of journeying towards our real home — heaven. 

This regular column recognises that to ‘progress’ as pilgrims, we must ‘process.’ That is, we must think about the world around us and navigate its terrain with wisdom. Pilgrims process the times. We do so together, in the power of the Spirit, with renewed minds, regenerate hearts, and with scripture as our map. As pilgrims who process the world facing us today, we need to have our emotions and attitudes honed into what God would have us experience. I have found time in the Psalms invaluable for this. Many of us regularly read through the Psalms using the Book of Common Prayer schedule – it races through all 150 Psalms in one month. It requires reading several each morning and evening. If you want to give your emotions an intense workout to develop the outlook necessary for progress as a pilgrim – try the BCP Psalter for a month. Reading through the Psalms in an intensive manner over one month, transposes daily life to a different plane. We see through the eyes of Christ. Love for God is fanned into flame. Suffering, depression and injustice are acknowledged. Sin is mourned. Singing with God’s people is treasured. God is praised as worthy of honour.

The practice of singing Psalms in church services is thankfully coming back into wider practice. Not only Cranmer, but Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin would be bemused at how any church could expect to maintain a heavenward pilgrimage without regular shared inhabiting of Psalms. There are many musical styles and tools that can be used. Why not try some? Search any online music store and you will find Psalms set to everything from Gregorian Chant to Country and Western. We pilgrims have much to process if we are to progress – the times are rapidly shifting and demand evaluation. Let the Psalms give you heart for the journey.

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

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