Thursday, 30 April 2009


The DeKoven centre, on the banks of Lake Michigan, is a traditional Anglo Catholic foundation in the Episcopal Church of the USA. Founded as the Racine College in 1852, it passed to the Community of Saint Mary, the oldest women's religious community in the Episcopal Church, in 1935. This picture shows Saint John's Chapel, standing in the centre of the campus. There is a full programme of retreats as well as a daily Mass and the other peripheral functions which a building of this size in the modern day needs to undertake in order to continue its central mission. I am grateful to my friend Andy Bartus for sending me these pictures, taken by his wife, Laura Bartus. Andy is a seminarian at Nashotah House in the USA and is coming to London in May as an intern with an Anglo Catholic Parish. I hope to be able to send pictures of us both enjoying a glass or two of wine in a variety of London bars, although I have a sneaking suspicion that I will have other things on my mind in June!

This is Saint Mary's Chapel, built by the community of Saint Mary soon after they took ownership of the complex. The website for the centre can be found here and the website for the Community here.

The view from Lake Michigan is windswept, as we may expect and reminds me of a hundred conspiracy theories of 'grey, cold buildings' which have housed Prelates for the Vatican from Milingo to Siri, if you believe the stories running around the internet. I have to say that in my more dismissive moments I sometimes allow the thought to flash through my mind that if it is all true, which of course it is not, unity seems a funny old game. I wonder how many sede vaticanist movements there are, the Palmarians in Spain seem to have been quiet recently, as do the True Catholics in the hills of Kalispell, Montana. Maybe some people are waiting to see if Bishop Williamson will follow his reasoning through, maybe not. What with Pope Linus II, the Thuc Lineage, whatever Milingo is doing now and the Little Pebble to boot, there's certainly enough choice.

Schismatics aside, I have just had a delivery from J and M, with my new cassock and detachable cape, which I am very pleased with. I wonder if wearing cottas under capes is something reserved to Canons? I shall have to ask our friendly local Canons this Saturday on the Day Out. Such wondering pales into insignificance though after reading this news from blogger Iain Dale, wherein we read this statement from the Bishop of Rochester, who was asked to whom people should look for moral guidance in Britain......

'...if you want a moral lead, don't look to the Bishops. I certainly wouldn't.'

Which is clearly not a statement we here at Anglican Wanderings endorse, although it makes it difficult either way, for not endorsing it also detracts from the authority of the Episcopate. Maybe we should say that we do not completely endorse this statement. And pass the fudge.