Sunday, 1 November 2009

Morning Calm in Westminster Abbey, London

I attended Westminster Abbey sung Eucharist commemorating the 120th anniversary of the consecration of Charles John Corfe First Bishop of Korea.

The current Bishop of Seoul, Paul Kim, was the preacher - He spoke of Corfe a naval chaplain leaving a peaceful life in England to go to the wilderness of Korea in 1889. and the huge responsibility of creating something out of nothing. He was impressed by his 'faith, passion for mission and commitment' and this has in turn inspired the Korean Anglican church to 'listen to the cries for help of others' and to 'join hands with brothers and sisters in Asia'. The church has taken 'small steps to walk in Bishop Corfe's shoes'.

I was in Korea last month hearing about those small steps as the Korean International Mission (KIM) is forging relationships with Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines as well as China. This is in addition to Korean priests serving in Japan, USA, Canada, UK, Zimbabwe N Cyprus and Mongolia. These are bold steps in the same pioneering spirit as Corfe.

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The service had its moments of inspiration - as the choir sung the Gloria and later Agnes Dei - and my eyes were lifted to the huge stained glass rose window, a moment of 'morning calm' in the midst of a general busyness

I discovered that our very own Bishop of Guildford, Christopher Hill is the Vice-President of the Korean Mission Partnership which was formed to support this historic initiative of the founding and nurture of the Korean Anglican Church. Their magazine newsletter is called 'Morning Calm' - their August edition is downloadable as a pdf. You can also read about the history of Anglican in Corea (not a spelling mistake)

Afterwards we had wine and nibbles in the Abbey Museum courtesy of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey surrounded by Kings and Queens of England. An opportunity to mingle and meet the many Korean guests, for whom this was a very special occasion.

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Korea is also known as the 'Land of Morning Calm'

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