Archives for October 2008

Reforming the church of England

All Souls, Langham PlaceI’m currently on holiday in London, and one of the great things about holidays is that it gives you an opportunity to worship with Christians that ordinarily you wouldn’t meet. On this holiday, we worshipped at All Souls Langham Place, and Grace Church, Hackney (a plant from St Helen’s, Bishopsgate).

It was particularly good to be able to worship with evangelical anglicans. Both of the churches we visited are firmly at the centre of true evangelicalism, and are fully committed to the authority of Scripture, and a biblical understanding of justification by faith alone. In both, the sermons were helpful, and (as you’d expect) expounded the Scriptures clearly. Rico Tice’s powerful preaching on the plagues in Egypt was a particular highlight – I could happily have listened for several minutes longer.

Unfortunately, however, the most significant impression left on me from the two services was the contradictions that seem inevitable within evangelical anglicanism. Welsh evangelicalism and evangelical anglicanism have not exactly seen eye to eye, particular since John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones very publically disagreed on how evangelicals should respond to the liberal denominations they find themselves in (oversimplifying, Lloyd-Jones said they should get out, Stott said they should stay in). It is only recently that those barriers are beginning to come down, so I welcomed the opportunity to express that unity, albeit in a very small way.

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