Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Pusey House Conference

On Saturday morning and afternoon I attended the conference on Anglicanorum Coetibus organised by Pusey House.

The main theme was that of seeking to define the Anglican Patrimony that is both the heritage of Anglo-Catholicism and that which it might bring to the proposed Ordinariates.

There were four speakers - Prof Eamon Duffy, Canon Robin Ward, Fr Philip North and Fr David Ackerman- and the overlap of ideas and concepts opened up many of the issues involved. That there is more to be considered was made clear at the beginning and may well be addressed in another conference. In the nicest possible way one could say that many of the usual suspects were there in the audience. The mood was relaxed, serious, and, I think, positive.

There is an excellent summary by Bishop Edwin Barnes on his Ancient Richborough blog, and you can listen to the presentations and discussions - isn't the internet wonderful - and see pictures of the day on The Anglo Catholic blog.

In particular I would recommend listening to Professor Duffy. His presentation was a classic example of his scholarship, expressed with knowledge, precision and charity. Anyone interested in the history of the Church in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries would find it insightful and intellectually stimulating. His point about the internalisation of revisionist insights into the history of the period as exemplified by the famous convert who attributed his conversion to reading The Stripping of the Altars - you will have to listen to find out who - is something of which I can give a similar example. In my own case it was not so much Prof. Duffy's work - I already had assimilated his points about the sack of our churches - but rather Glyn Redworth's In Defence of the Chuch Catholic which played a significant factor in my own move into full peace and communion. That, however, is something I shall perhaps write more about on another occasion.

The conference was organised with that stylish efficiency that is a hallmark of Pusey House, and we were offered the possibility of another one later in the year. If there is, and you are interested and have the chance to attend, I would strongly recommend it.

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