Forty-eight hours after I was consecrated as an Anglican bishop, I was eating dinner at Lambeth Palace sitting next to Jane Williams (ABC's wife) and Nicky Gombel (the founder of Alpha). I was there at the invitation of Graham Tomlin regarding St. Paul's Theological Centre of St. Mellitus College in London, an innovative approach to theological education. Being at the place of such history, especially for Anglican Christians, was very inspiring and uplifting. We ate dinner in the Palace dining room surrounded by paintings of former Archbishops of Canterbury, and the whole building dripped with Anglican history of which I have read about many times.
Pippa Gombel, Jane Williams (wife of ABC), me, Rev. Nicky Gombel in the historic dining room in Lambeth Palace. Notice the painting of ABC's from the past in the background.
St. Paul's Theological Centre offers a solid theological education with ministry preparation and training which is based in the local church. Rather than sending a person off to an isolated location, teaching is given in a church setting in amidst of a faith community. The curriculum calls for the person to be in school 1/2 time and serve in a church the other half. This offers much potential for training for the pastorate and for lay ministry for the new Anglican movement in the U.S. As we are attempt to share Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him and plant new churches in communities throughout the land, this program is a possible equipping tool which can be easily implemented.
STANDING IN FRONT OF "THE" PAINTING OF THOMAS CRAMNER
This was my first time to London. I look forward to going back with my family and visiting the places where so many incredible acts of Christian faith, charity, vision, and sacrifice occurred.