Interview with the Very Rev. Bruce Jenneker of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Resolution A169 of the 2015 General Convention directed the SCLM “to prepare a plan for the comprehensive revision of the current Book of Common Prayer and present that plan to the 79th General Convention.” To gather information and opinions to shape its conversations, the members of the SCLM are interviewing Anglican partners who have recently revised their prayerbooks.

Seventh in the series is an interview with the Very Rev. Bruce Jenneker, rector of All Saints’ Anglican Church, Durbanville, in Cape Town, South Africa. He is former chair of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of The Episcopal Church, and presently serves on the Liturgical Committee of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

2 thoughts on “Interview with the Very Rev. Bruce Jenneker of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

  1. Lovely—this sounds like the kind of “revolutionary” work that is grounded and capable of being compelling to those who are not done with the tradition they have inherited and do indeed “venerate.” The statement that in a sense the mission and task and desideratum is much clearer for the church in Southern Africa than it is for TEC resonates loudly and painfully. I do wish he had been asked to contemplate how his church’s operative themes and principles may apply to the Daily Office.

  2. If the prayer book being produced for the church in Southern Africa lives up to the talk (and I do hope it will be a prayer book, as the one-volume guide and rule through life and death that is the BCP is more than merely an icon of Anglicanism), then I’d pick it up with all the excitement of knowing the authentic voice of the faithful “under African skies” that I experience in encountering, say, the ancient and authentic voices of Celtic and Syriac prayers, hymns, and writers. Again, is this possible or even wise to attempt in our U.S. context, I wonder? Are we enough ourselves, and Christ’s, that if we saw the language we are “at home in liturgically” in print, it could be read by brothers and sisters in other lands who would rejoice to know the face of our church? That’s a tough aspiration. I think it means making a BCP (if we dare try it) that is more Christian and more traditional than it has ever been, as revealed in its very “local” authenticity. If that’s a contradiction–if a major reason why each part needs to be revisited is because there is something in the ancient faith that’s not going down well today–then we are not ready even to begin.

    Practically speaking, the most brilliant thing I heard from Rev. Jenneker was the “secretariat” of young priests and laypeople. If the process really has abundant input from those who are young and yet deep into the Way, there is hope. If it’s dominated by the 55+, it will be a disaster that will stymie the young in ever again breathing life into the Episcopal Church.

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