I’m glad I got my England pilgrimage in. . . .
Among the reasons I wanted to go ahead and take my first England pilgrimage this past Advent is I was afraid it would be more difficult for me to be wholehearted about doing it in the future. I particularly was concerned that Anglican realignment, or the lack thereof, might shake out in a way that would give me mixed feelings about going to England as more than just a tourist of glories past.
Now I wasn’t naïve about the Church of England. At least I don’t think I was. I know it certainly has its issues. Well, I might have been naïve about Canterbury Cathedral itself, which turned out to be the only big disappointment of the trip. But I felt I still had enough in common with the CofE to go and thoroughly enjoy my Anglican roots and worship. And that turned out to be the case, even (especially?) in the Oxford and Cambridge chapels.
But like I said, I’m glad I went this past Advent. Because, little by little, news from the CofE is eroding my kinship with them. For instance, it’s come out (no pun intended) that a number of the Oxbridge chapels are in a hurry to bless those trendy gay unions. And the Archbishop of Canterbury has been busy exercising selective indignation lately. I very much respected the Archbishop and Oxbridge chapels even though I knew there were differences between us. But such stories are already testing that respect, to put it in a mild, Anglican manner.
I hope the day never comes when I can’t go again and wholeheartedly worship in the great chapels and cathedrals I visited in England. But I fear that hope of mine is a thin one.