I am approaching a tender subject, and some of the communications I am receiving suggest that I need to handle this with kid gloves. Some have paid a high price for following Archbishop Hepworth’s ordinariate scheme…
It seems best not to go over the past, but rather to take stock and look at what can be of value in the future. One thing impeding progress for some of us is the lack of computer literacy, basic technology or awareness of the use of the Internet to communicate beyond one’s own diocesan and parochial boundaries. The admissibility of using the Internet to get the TAC’s message out seems to be acquired. The most computer-savvy are the Americans, and the Canadians give monthly news of what is going on there. The English are presently working on The Traditional Anglican Church, though there still are a few frustrating things to clear up. I have the impression that the site is a standard model designed for business and commercial applications, and the person running the site is learning how to use it.
Very few of us are blogging. It’s really just Fr Smuts and myself. There used to be Christian Campbell of The Anglo-Catholic, but he went off at a tangent and has put the blog into hiatus. Deborah Gyapong posts in support of the Ordinariate movement, which is understandable. The South African website seems to be another standard business template job run by a kind soul with love in his heart but little experience with Internet work. I don’t know that much about html design, so I find the blog format most convenient, and have used the ultra-simple format of Civitas Dei for years. Old-fashioned websites take a lot of will and dedication to keep them up to date and relevant. My site usually gets about one major overhaul a year. This blog updates itself, and its template formula is user-friendly and adaptable for church work as business templates are not. For someone who has not been trained in web design, I don’t think I do too badly. The other thing is enjoying writing.
It’s going to be difficult to evaluate numbers in the TAC….
For the moment, there seems to be no way of getting accurate figures, though I’m open to new information. Perhaps a little less than half the number of clergy and laity in the USA, Canada, England and Australia have remained in the TAC, the others having gone to the Ordinariates or disappeared off the map. South Africa, Torres Strait and India would not have changed substantially in terms of numbers between the pre-ordinariate era and now. For anything like a reliable estimate of numbers, I will have to find informed persons I can trust, and that won’t be easy, especially in the local Churches where the Internet is not used.
Personally, I would like to see Bishop Michael Gill emerge as Primate, as his location in South Africa puts him midway between the western and English-speaking world and the mission territories of Africa, Latin America and India. Above all, we need modern communication and reactivity of the kind one finds in modern business. Another very positive omen is the desire of the Americans to grow into unity with the other Continuers. I have heard nothing but the highest praise for Bishop Paul Hewitt of the Diocese of the Holy Cross. If all those serious churches can be brought together without being dogged by unwise moves or excessive numbers of episcopal consecrations, then Continuing Anglicanism has a future.
It is of paramount importance to let go of the ghosts of the past, try to stay together and perhaps recover some of the “crumbs” that didn’t go to the Ordinariate. My information tells me that the TAC is not in ruins. Far from it! But, damage has been done, and the lack of modern communication is partly to blame.
The most useful sites presently available are (in all modesty), this blog and Fr Smuts. Among the official TAC sites, the most updated are that of the ACA and the American diocesan pages. As mentioned, the Canadians are giving regular and relevant news. Efforts are being made by the Brits, and Fr Gray’s new Advent Pastoral Letter is most uplifting and appreciated. The centralised site, The Traditional Anglican Communion is not bad, giving fairly regular news bulletins and official documents. But, we do need more blogging and interaction, more interpretation and more encouragement to foster a positive and optimistic vision of the future.
You readers can help Fr Smuts and I, and anyone else who decides to launch out into the exciting world of the blogosphere.