From the Revd Roger Bowen
Sir, — Bishop Michael Doe’s otherwise illuminating report of the African
Bishops Conference (
News, 5 November ) contained a perplexing comment about their desire to
"establish centres of theological training . . . [to] make their Church . . .
more able to confront the Pentecostalists and the Muslims, more able to keep
their young people".
Did they really bracket Pentecostals with Muslims, or was this a misprint or
misunderstanding? It is true that they are already losing their young people to
the Pentecostals, and young Anglican priests are wisely adopting Pentecostal
forms of worship. But if they propose to establish some sort of Anglican empire
in rivalry to African-initiated and Pentecostal Churches, then the future of
Anglicanism in Africa is less rosy than some of them imagine.
Fortunately, the wiser bishops are already closely collaborating with
non-Anglicans in ministry and mission. This needs to extend to theological
training, too. This area is currently in decline all over Africa, as Anglicans
have neither the human nor the financial resources to do it alone. They don’t
need to: the others are waiting.
26 Lingholme Close
Cambridge CB4 3HW