The contrast between then and now was placed in sharp relief this week as Anglicans gathered to discuss the significance of the 1963 Congress and the future of the church. A crowd of 150 or so, respectable by 2013 standards, turned up at Wycliffe College on the campus of the University of Toronto to hear a list of speakers that included several prominent bishops from Africa. “We’re interested in [the Congress of 1963] as a symbol of how different our world is now,” said George Sumner, principal of Wycliffe College. He chuckles at the thought: “Fifteen thousand people and the front page of The Globe is not our world any more.”
As Dr. Sumner left campus with a journalist in tow this week, his route highlighted the influence the church once held. He left the Anglican college where he works only to see another, Trinity College, across the road. He cut through Queen’s Park Circle, named for Her Majesty, Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church, and headed across the city to Church Street, named when there was only one church in town and it was Anglican.
He stopped at St. Paul’s Church on Bloor Street where he introduced a speaker who holds one of the church’s grandest titles. The Most Reverend Dr. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, President Bishop of the Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, is a smiling, compact man with greying hair and the hurried gait of a former physician.
Read it all from the globe and Mail.