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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The royal wedding: We three clergy

(Westminster Abbey - West Door)
How many clergy does it take to marry a royal couple?  In this case, three:  one to conduct the service (Dean of Westminster John Robert Hall); another to officiate the ceremony (Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams); and a third to give the address (Bishop of London Richard Chartres).

John Robert Hall was born on March 13, 1949, and began serving as Dean of Westminster in December 2006.  The majority of Hall’s priestly positions throughout the years have included an emphasis upon the field of education.  Wikipedia reports that Hall has not only been a Church of England key educational leader, but has also “been a governor of ten schools and two universities.”  Hall has been awarded a number of high honorary degrees and fellowships from prestigious colleges and universities.  He is officially listed by Westminster Abbey as
“The Very Reverend John R Hall BA HonDD HonD Theol FRSA HonF CollT, Dean of Westminster.”

Rowan Williams was born on June 14, 1950, and began serving as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury on February 27, 2003.  He has also become quite well known for his literary and social-justice activities.  He speaks or reads 11 languages, and Wikipedia reports that he learned Russian in order to read Dostoevsky’s original works.  He has had many published writings, including The Poems of Rowan Williams in 2002.  He has been arrested for his part in an anti-nuclear protest, and has been a strong proponent of ecumenism and interfaith dialogue.

Richard Chartres was born on July 11, 1947, and began serving as the Bishop of London in November 1995.  According to Wikipedia, Chartres has led the Church of England’s Shrinking the Footprint campaign since its inception in 2006.  Its aim is to cut 60% of the Church’s carbon emissions by the year 2050.  After publicly criticizing the pollution of the planet by jet-away vacationers, Chartres received some flak from the airlines and others.  As a result, he had pledged not to fly for a year.  (But not to worry…  The royal wedding will practically be in his own backyard.)


Copyright April 27, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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