New SEC Bishop

When I was supposed to be completing my training as an ordinand, and just before I was ordained, I went to spend some time with the Coptic Church. The Copts are the Orthodox Christians of Egypt. I went there because they have grown phenomenally in confidence and numbers whilst still maintaining their [oriental] orthodox culture and I wanted to try to find out why. My trip was a heady mix of gazing into the eyes of lovely icons and staring out moodily at the desert from the top of monastery towers. All in all, it was better than being in Edinburgh.

Anyway, to get to the point, one of the things that really impressed me about the Coptic Church was the changes which had come about to its Episcopate. Much of their growth was about adult study and learning, which was all lay led and very impressive. Out of that growth, they had decided that they had to split up lots of their linked dioceses and have more bishops. They had also decided to consecrate a special Bishop for Youth. Indeed, I visited the Bishop for Youth several times. (He was His Grace, Bishop Moussa). The excitement which surrounded his episcopate was tangible.

Anyway, the Scottish Episcopal Church probably thinks that it does not have the resources to appoint a special bishop for youth, but it had just got the next best thing. The Rev Canon Mark Strange is to be the new Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness. There will be much rejoicing amongst the youth network of our church as he has done so much amongst them.

Warmest of congratulations to Bishop Elect, Mark.

The obvious schism between bearded and non-bearded Episcopalians continues.

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