On Sunday I was installed in Southwark Cathedral along with eight others as an Honorary Canon. It was a great surprise when I received a letter through the post from Bishop Christopher, the Bishop of Southwark, asking whether I would accept being appointed. An Honorary Canon is a rather odd title (like many in the church!) but is usually given to clergy in recognition of long service or for playing a role in the wider diocese.
I have to admit to being very touched as it is a mark of respect and acknowledges Christopher’s high regard for Springfield Church. At a meeting earlier this year to a set of senior clergy the Bishop Christopher told them that the diocese had much to learn from Springfield Church. So, I see this as an honour for the whole of Springfield and what we have been trying to do together. Our looking to engage with new forms of being Church, our reaching out into the community and seeing what God might do. It is sometimes difficult to realise how much of an impact we can have on the wider church but it is growing and significant and is down to all of you in Springfield.
Of course, the Church of England does big occasions well and Sunday was no different – Bishops, the Dean, Archdeacons and Canons galore (did you know that there are at least 4 types of Canons – Residential, Honorary, Minor and Lay!). You get “installed” into a stall though you can see very little from it (mine was the Charles Dickens stall – very cool – though sadly not mine to keep as the Cathedral is going away from Canons having a set stall)!
Thanks to all those who have sent best wishes. People have asked what they should call me – Will still works for me!