What a splendid two-day Forward in Faith Assembly we had in London; how easy to come away on a high. But, as I told my wife about it, I began to wonder whether some of the layfolk present will have understood some of the Jargon. Do we clergy always explain our jargon?
For example: we passed a resolution about how we understand our ecclesiology in the context of ARCIC. What this means is that since the 1960s, we have been glad to remain in the C of E because we were told that the discussion group called ARCIC was sorting out the differences between ourselves and Rome so that we can have Christian unity; full unity with Rome. Have we always explained this to our people? And have we explained our great hope and prayer that we will keep our Anglican traditions, our Anglican way of life, our Anglican churches and shrines ... while having the great joy of being in full communion with the rest of Catholic Christendom.
The last address was given by the S Thomas's Honorary Curate, Fr Jonathan Baker. It was characteristically brilliant. He gave the first reason for being 'cheerful' as the fact that we have such a wonderful Pope now. But have I ... and other clergy ... explained why we are so keen on Benedict? That Benedict is the most Catholic Anglican Pope ever; he has actually explained the limitations of Papal power as no previous pope ever did; how the pope is the guardian of the Ancient Tradition and not some autocrat who can change and innovate according to his own whimsy. And have we explained how Benedict's liturgical programme is exactly what we have gone for and done since 1833; and continued doing even when people have taunted us with the jibe that 'it's all guitars and clown-masses in the RC Church now'.
Perhaps more sermons on all this are called for.