Letter: There are also those who join the Anglicans

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is never an easy thing to move from one part of the Christian Church to another, but Ann Widdecombe has surely acted honourably in seceding from the Church of England now she is no longer able to accept its authority. My wife and I became Anglicans in our twenties, having had Roman Catholic and Baptist upbringings, and for more than 40 years have been members of the Church of England.

We have found it to be a large room within which both our own Christian discipleship and our common loyalty have been nourished. We have not feared to be critical when that has seemed right, for we are part of a church that does not see criticism as disloyalty but as a help to growth and beneficial change. After all, a church which claims to be both catholic and reformed, as the Church of England does, must not only maintain its catholicity, but also be willing to go on being reformed. The decision of the November Synod enabled it, in the judgement of the majority of Anglicans, to be faithful to its tradition in both those respects.

The secession of Ann Widdecombe is a loss to the Church of England in that her views (with which I have almost invariably disagreed) will no longer play their part in helping us discern God's purpose for our church and our world. We shall however gain by the accession of those who steadily - if with less publicity - continue to make the journey in the opposite direction.

Yours sincerely,

KENNETH CLARK

Salisbury,

Wiltshire

20 April

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