On Sunday 14th November, The Revd Glenn Loughrey will be installed as a Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Cathedral’s next Artist in Residence. Canon Glenn is a Wiradjuri man and will be the first Aboriginal Canon in the history of the Cathedral. Over the past two years, he has worked with Chapter on the creation of a large-scale glass artwork to pay tribute to the traditional owners of the lands on which our Cathedral and diocese stands.
We asked Canon Glenn and Canon Jane, who was installed as Canon Pastor in September, to reflect on their ministry and the Church:
What do you see as the biggest challenges that the Church faces at this time?
Remaining true to its core allegiance to the life and example of Christ and having the courage to unpack these from the accoutrements of tradition and the noise for contemporary relevance. In doing so, the Church in Australia must move to an equitable dialogue with Aboriginality (Aboriginal ways of seeing) so that it becomes a place of collaborative spirituality – two voices speaking the truth in this land.Canon Glenn
The Church continues to face challenges, much as it began. The distinction between the way of ‘the world’ and the path of ‘the people of God’ and how the Church can relate to be understood was the problem Jesus encountered early in his ministry. He was mistrusted and rejected because he was counter-cultural, and we today face the challenge of finding balance not only between many different interpretations of living in the way of Christ, but existing within a world in which work must continue to repair the trust undone by past mistakes.Canon Jane
What are some of the most exciting changes within the Church you have seen during your time in ministry?
An opening to the diversity of being, thought, and practice, moving towards a kaleidoscope of unity and difference. We now have a church much different from the one I was in as an altar boy in the 1960’s and even the one I returned to 21 years ago.Canon Glenn
When I was leaving school and exploring God’s call on my life, ordination for a woman was not an option. So, from a personal viewpoint, women’s ordination would have to be top of my list of exciting changes within the Church. Following that, seeing women in leadership roles is the ‘icing on the cake’. In parallel with the role of women in the Church is the developing role of lay contribution to Church life, with theologically educated and skilled people alongside clergy, who contribute to worship, management and collaboration.Canon Jane
What brings you hope?
The possibility, that one day the Church will place both feet firmly in this land and be transformed into a way of seeing and being that honours those who lived and practiced their sophisticated and nuanced connection to the transcendent before the church arrived.Canon Glenn
Personally, my hope comes from the certainty that God is sovereign in all things, and in him, Christ is already victorious so all will eventually be restored, although life might be tough in the meantime. For the Church, waves of opinion and pressure will continue as they have for 2,000 years, but our hope is firmly founded and the people of God will find their hope in him and will persevere.Canon Jane