Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fr. William Davage: “They threw us a Code of Practice on the etiquette of begging.”

Fr. William Davage of Pusey House gave a sermon a week ago on November 11th for the Patronal Festival of St Martin of Tours, Brighton.

Not being a Tractarian, I don’t necessarily agree with every aspect of Fr. Davage’s sermon. I’m not quite as Catholic as he. (Who is?!) But the sermon is pure Davage, both wonderfully and appropriately combative.

I particularly like his critique of the General Synod:

Flowing from that was the impetus for S. Martin to share his cloak with a beggar: “I was naked and you clothed me.” Unlike S. Martin, however, the General Synod and the Bishops of the Church of England did not share their cloak with us, rather they passed by on the other side and threw us a Code of Practice on the etiquette of begging.

Perhaps I have intruded a note of contention. But in this year of anniversary the Movement which began in Oxford in 1833 is facing what might be its final crisis and the year seems ablaze with ironies: an inclusive church has no room for those of conscientious dissent . . .

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