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Sunday, 16 January 2011
He's on his way to West Wales any time now. I once wrote an email to John Saxbe, as Bishop of Lincoln, from me as an Anglican in his diocese, and asked him why he was going to the Lambeth Conference 2008 when the condition for attendance had been laid down of being in favour of the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant, when he presided over a pressure group clearly not in favour. He wrote me a letter that arrived in the post two days later, explaining that each side should hear the other and that the Archbishop of Canterbury meant something entirely different from his actual words. Right, but by those words listening wasn't the condition made for going, nor was the given condition accepted by John Saxbee in going, but I learnt something about double-speak.
I also met John Saxbe in Barton and found him to be quite friendly and his sermon erring on the side of humanistic, although this was by stress and he never said anything doctrinally disturbing.
So bye to a human face of the caste of bishops and one who knew how to weave his way in and out of the business. I await his first book and whether he continues as before or becomes another Richard Holloway, and finds freedom in retirement.