Thursday, June 16, 2016

History Made at Oxford's Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral, the Anglican cathedral of Oxford, has recently appointed a new Ecumenical Canon, the Reverend Robin Gibbons, per the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education Summer term newsletter:

Honorary Canons are people who have given distinguished service either in the Diocese or wider church and serve as ambassadors for the Cathedral in their parish, life or ministry.

Each year a number of new Canons are installed at a service in the Cathedral at the end of January and take part in the Cathedral life by becoming a member of the College of Canons.

Robin's appointment was made in recognition of his many years of close work with the Anglican Church, his role as a Chaplain for Catholics of the Eastern Rite (Middle Eastern Catholics who belong to the Greek-Catholic Church one of the many eastern churches in communion with Rome ) and for his work in theological education. . . .

Robin's appointment is historical, in that he is the first Catholic priest to be installed as a Canon since the suppression of St Frideswide’s Priory by Wolsey in 1525 to found Cardinal College (later Christ Church) and the foundation of the Cathedral in 1545/6.

The term Ecumenical Canon acknowledges the desire of the Anglican Church to work with other churches and encourage closer relationships through the appointment of individuals as Canons who share the mission and vision of the Cathedral.

Robin already helps with the termly After Eight Service in Christ Church and is involved in collaborative work on St Frideswide with the Educational Officer in the Cathedral and now acts as one of the occasional Day Chaplains.

Professor Henry Mayr-Harting was the first Roman Catholic and also first lay Canon to be appointed in 1997 when he became Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History.

The photo above (C) Stephanie A. Mann 2016, was taken during my Oxford Experience trip in 2009: it's the tower of Christ Church Cathedral, which is part of the infrastructure of the college's main (Tom) quad, taken from inside the cathedral's garden.

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