​The Revd Alexander Ross presented the
2014 Jessie Nicholson Memorial Lecture.
 

​The Revd Alexander Ross presented the Australian Church Union’s 2014 Jessie Nicholson Memorial Lecture on February 10 at Christ Church Brunswick, with a paper entitled “‘A Double-Minded Man: Unstable in all his ways’? Discerning the ‘Mind of the Church’ within Anglicanism”.
 
Revd Ross, who is Assistant Curate at Christ Church South Yarra, completed a Masters of Theology at the University of Oxford in 2013, exploring the role of the Anglican Communion Office in London in facilitating the shared discernment of Anglican identity, ecclesial polity, and mission and witness, with a particular focus on the origin, development and potential direction of competing narratives within Anglicanism regarding the nature and proper exercise of provincial autonomy.
 
Through this work, he said, “it became evident that behind much of the rhetoric and report-writing there were unquestioned, untested and unelaborated assumptions and ‘ecclesial tropes’. One of which is this term – the ‘mind of the Church’.”
 
He said that Anglicans had lately made much of the term the “Mind of the Church”, but that it was a loaded term and one that required further explication. He identified three problems associated with the discernment of the Church’s mind: we don’t know what it might be; we don’t know where to find it; and, when we think we have found it, we don’t know what to do with it.
 
In addressing these problems, Revd Ross sought to unpack the concepts of Subsidiarity, Dispersed Authority, Adiaphora — “familiar ‘tropes’ which slip a little too easily, of late, off the Anglican tongue”, he said.
 
To read the full text of Revd Alexander Ross’ paper from the Jessie Nicholson Memorial Lecture, please click here.