An anchor for the soul: AMiE parish launched in Cornwall

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The sea, a natural harbour and wooded river valley dominate the town of Fowey. Craft from kayaks exploring its hidden creeks to cruise ships enjoying its sheltered anchorage ply its waters.

Untamable, immune to regulation or regimentation, it is the sea, which brings the tourists and second-home owners who bolster the town’s economy. Swimmers, yachtsmen, paddleboarders, gig-rowers and jet-skiers, together with the work of sailmakers and shipbuilders and the throb of outboard motors form the backdrop and soundtrack to the town’s life.

And so, the first words said by the congregation of a new church in the town last Sunday could not have been more apt. They were from

Psalm 95, “The sea is his, for he made it… Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our maker”.

Come they did- 70 or so men, women and children came to worship at the first service of the Anchor Anglican Church, Fowey.

Standing as it does high above the river and looking down the harbour, saying those words of “the Venite” could not be other than a profound moment for the people of Anglican Anchor: an unavoidable and dramatically visual declaration that even more than the town depends on the sea to sustain its existence, the new church can depend on the sea’s maker and owner for its future life.

It was in that context that the Right Reverent Andy Lines, Gafcon Missionary Bishop to Europe inaugurate the church and then installed its first Rector- the Revd Philip de Grey-Warter. Messages from Archbishop Ben Kwashi, (General Secretary of Gafcon) and the Archbishop of South America, the bishop of the Diocese of the Anglican Network in Canada and from bishop (elect) Jay Behan of New Zealand offered support from across the oceans and around the world.

The new church is both more formal and more informal than most were used to- an emphasis on historical Anglican prayers and practices but within an atmosphere of a relaxed and hospitable family gathering.

The reasons for the congregation and their Rector leaving the Church of England to join the Anglican Mission in England have been explained at length elsewhere1 but, notably, there was no reference to them on Sunday. Just, as the Psalm also says lots and lots of joyful noise, songs of praise and most of all, thanksgiving.

See more at www.anchorfowey.org