From the Dean of St Edmundsbury
Sir, - I did not know the Revd Dr John Hughes (Obituary, 11
July) well personally, but I felt his loss as a theologian
keenly, and so went to his funeral in Ely Cathedral last week.
It was a moving service, not least because of the great number
of young Anglo-Catholic priests who attended and robed in black
stole. They had been inspired by John (and others) over the past
decade, through his ministry in Cambridge colleges and at Westcott
House, into a love of the Church of Christ as a means of grace
through the sacraments, sound theological engagement, and the
traditions and liturgies of the Church of England.
As a Church, we are witnessing to a renaissance, I believe, in
Anglo-Catholicism, which is centred in Cambridge, and which is
gathering a sound momentum. There is now a growing number of
scholar priests who have been taught to think theologically; who
know who Aquinas was.
John's loss is profound and sad, but I hope and pray it might be
a catalyst to that movement - that it realise for itself, and be
recognised for, the missionary power that it has to regenerate
faith at a time of crisis in the Church of England.
Of course we need women bishops. I suppose we need growth
strategies and mission plans. More than anything, we need a renewed
living and daring confidence in God's grace through the sacraments,
theology, and liturgy of the Church.
This is happening through the ministry of such as John Hughes,
and I encourage the current leadership of the Church to take
account, and support much more strongly, this Anglo-Catholic
revival, with its emphasis on mission through tradition.
The Deanery, The Great Churchyard
Bury St Edmunds IP33 1RS