From the House of Bishops to a 17th century alehouse: General Convention climate statement authors reunite in Canterbury

From the House of Bishops to a 17th century alehouse: General Convention climate statement authors reunite in Canterbury

In front, center: Bishop and Regional Canon Carol Gallagher (Massachusetts) Next row, from left to right: Bishop Daniel Paul Richards and Mrs. Amy Rose Richards (Upper South Carolina); Mr. Mark Gallagher (Massachusetts); Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde (Washington); Bishop Marc Handley Andrus (California); Mr. Tim Bascom (Kansas); Dr. Sheila Andrus (California), Bishop Cathleen Chittenden Bascom (Kansas); Bishop David Rice (San Joaquin); Mrs. Patricia Hull Lattime (Alaska) Back corner, left to right: Bishop Mark Lattime (Alaska); Bishop Robert Hirschfeld (New Hampshire)


Story and photos by Stephanie Martin Taylor, DioCal Canon for Communications

[Canterbury, U.K.] California Bishop Marc Andrus and several of the other bishops who wrote the “Mind of the House” climate emergency statement adopted at the 80th General Convention in Baltimore reunited in Canterbury at a 17th-century pub. Over fish and chips, glasses of ale, and other traditional pub fare, they celebrated their collective work on the statement and rallied for the tasks that lay ahead, which included sharing the document with others in the Anglican Communion.  An excerpt from the statement:

Many of God’s people – especially our children – are in despair as they observe the frightening shifts in our environmental narrative. The risen Christ continues to send us out to proclaim the Gospel to the whole of Creation (Mark 16:15). Like Mary, we go out to all proclaiming God’s love in deed and word. It is our work to lead the way for change, to model good stewardship, and to move forward with  courage and purpose.

Click here to read the full statement. The gathering at the pub, aptly—albeit rather strangely*—named “The Bishop’s Finger,” offered a welcome break for the bishops and several spouses attending Lambeth. Fresh off a whirlwind General Convention in Baltimore, they are once again following a busy conference schedule, with activities scheduled from early mornings to late evenings. As the pub gathering concluded, Bishop Marc, who wrote the original draft of the “Mind of the House” statement, praised the group for their collective input on the document and their help in bringing the draft to its final form. Click here to read more about the process that took place in the House of Bishops.

Trivia time: So, what does “the bishop’s finger” mean?

The sign that hangs over the entrance to the Bishop’s Finger alehouse

With a little help from Google, I learned that “The Bishop’s Finger” is a reference to the finger-shaped signposts that pointed pilgrims to Canterbury and the tomb of Thomas Becket. Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury when, in 1170, knights of King Henry II murdered him in a side chapel of the cathedral (see image below). If you look closely at the pub placard’s upper right corner, you’ll notice one of these finger-shaped signs.

The Becket Martyrdom Altar at Canterbury Cathedral