England again

A bit more to add to Derek’s post earlier today–

A few years ago while we were in Paris we met a man from Kenya who was working as a bellhop in our hotel. Within minutes of walking with him he told us his story of how he had only been in France for a short while and this was the best way he could support his family. He also talked about Jesus a lot, and by the time he left us he had prayed with us. It was a very powerful moment as it was the first time I had felt hope in Paris. God had been showing us for some time that he was going to send Africans into Europe, without the guilt of colonialism, to thank Europe and tell the nations that they had indeed brought the gospel to them.

A short time after He showed us this, *Time Magazine* came out with a cover story about the rise of African missions into Europe and America. It documented the growing native African churches in New York City–many of which had raised money in their home land specifically to take the gospel back to America. It also documented the African pastors and churches in London, one of whom specifically said he was called as “a prophet to thank England for bringing Africans the gospel.”

So we were very excited to read about the new appointment of this Ugandan minister to the post of Archbishop of York. Some quotes from the archbishop this weekend:

>Dr. Sentamu, Archbishop of York“I speak as a foreigner really. The English are somehow embarrassed about some of the good things they have done. They have done some terrible things but not all the Empire was a bad idea. Because the Empire has gone, there is almost the sense in which there is not a big idea that drives this nation.”

>…He described English culture as rooted in Christianity and, in spite of attempts by secularists to marginalise it, the Church still had a central role to play. “I think the Church in many ways has to be like a midwife, bringing to birth possibilities of what is authentically very good in the English mind.”

>”I come from a clan called the Buffalo clan. Its responsibilities are to be the guardians and protectors of the king. Sentamu means *the one who keeps the king’s fire burning*. If I had not gone to university I would be outside the palace stoking the fire. That would have been my job, stoking the fire. I just hope with Rowan [Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury] I will be stoking the fire.”

–from an [article today in *The Times*](http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1882591,00.html).

In another interview:

>(The archibishop) Sentamu imitates the average English vicar praising God with an unenthusiastic allelujah to a near empty church. Then he gives *his* version, thumping the table and crying allelujah to the skies. The miserable, ancient cottage at Lambeth Palace where we are talking, with its false ceiling, laminate doors, storage freezers and cold white lights, *suddenly feels an awful lot hotter, a bit more Africa than England*.

>I tell the archbishop this and he looks momentarily shocked. “I was raised an Anglican on [the Book of Common Prayer],” he says. “The gospel I got in my country was so good. *I am simply telling the English, it is my job now, to simply remind you of what you taught me.*”

–[from another *Times* article](http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1882589,00.html).

While not just speaking about the church, Sentamu had a lot to say on the subject of english culture–how the English should be proud of their culture (even what has been perceived as the majority culture). I also think the speaks very honestly about how England is not a multi-cultural nation–it has more of a singular identity than America, which is more of a melting pot. Part of how he described England was more like a father, welcoming those of other backgrounds under its covering but without losing its essential “englishness”. It’s also very interesting that an African is saying this. I know this is a hot subject for Europeans, but England really is a father, and a KING in the spirit as well.

I love England, I think my english friends are the coolest.

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