Bishop of Limerick, the Rt Revd Kenneth Kearon, taking the chair for the Sep 25th AGM of the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland (BACI), recalled that he had been present at the birth of BACI in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, when he had introduced the nascent association’s first Lenten Bible Study, on Creation.
In his address to the AGM, Bishop Kenneth reflected on his time as Secretary General of the Anglican Communion from 2004 to 2014 and the events with which he was involved during his tenure. During that time, Gene Robinson was consecrated as Bishop of New Hampshire. Bishop Kenneth worked closely with Archbishop Rowan Williams to undertake a four-fold programme to enable the Anglican Churches around the world to be ‘a Communion of Churches in Relationship’, taking into account the differing views and issues determined by their contexts. Other areas which the bishop reviewed included:
- The proposed Anglican Covenant — This is an attempt to put down in writing for the 21st century the conditions of our living together as Anglicans, a statement of basic principles as we view them in our worldwide communion today.
- The Canon Law Project — The project asks what, in legal terms, the Anglican Churches share in common, noting that there are currently about 700 laws. These were reduced to 100 and the results published as ‘Principles of Canon Law’.
- A strengthening of the Instruments of Communion — This document defines the roles of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates’ Meeting.
- The Bible in the Life of the Church Project — This project has discerned a series of dichotomies in church life in relation to the Bible: pulpit and pew; process and outcome (the former determining the latter); popular and unpopular (that is, read and neglected passages in the Bible). The project is ongoing, and has issued a number of Bible studies linked to the Anglican Communion’s ‘Marks of Mission’, in working to explore how local churches and congregations actually use the Bible and to distil and develop the exploration of Anglican hermeneutics.
The Bishop noted that BACI had established and maintained close ties with Bible in the Life of the Church (BiLC) personnel and that BACI’s 2012 Lenten series on Economic Justice had been taken up by BiLC and circulated to the wider communion. The Lenten series for 2016 on Reconciliation is to be prepared in consultation with BiLC, using some of their material.