Dick Hunt's Blog

June 10, 2011

An Evangelist Who Wore a Green Cassock

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 9:44 pm

An Evangelist Who Wore a Green Cassock.
by Dick Hunt, June 10th, 2011.

I like to take along a good book when I am out and around in case  I have to while away some time with profit instead of just frustration while  waiting. Today it was a book by a British evangelist called Brian Green with whom I had the privilege of working in both Calgary and Red Deer Alberta in the late 50’s.  The name of the book is “Being and Believing” and I have read it a number of times. On his first evening in Calgary, he told us of a previous visit to Holy Trinity Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland which area is a stronghold of the Roman Catholic Church.  That Cathedral however is the Anglican one. He said, “I am a Roamin Catholic Priest”.  As he began that little statement, there was a ripple of horror around the Church as to how a Roman Catholic Priest managed to get into an Anglican Pulpit. He continued, “I am a Priest of the Church of England which I am sure  is a Catholic Church.  And I roam widely about the world.  I am a roamin Catholic Priest. My Parish is Birmingham and they allow me three months each year to go to various places around the world to conduct Evangelistic Missions”. When they heard the rest of his opening remarks he had their attention.

When he told us the story, he had our attention too. Our meetings were held in what was known as “The Cow Palace”at the Calgary Exhibition grounds, appropriately named, to quote Archbishop David Somerville in a chat with a news reporter on the day of his own Consecration as Bishop of New Westminster in what is also called “the Cow Palace”at the Exhibition Grounds in Vancouver.  The reporter said it seemed odd that he should have been made Bishop in a Cow Palace.  Bishop David quickly said, “oh no, we have a rather long history of association with a cow barn”.  So, in Calgary over a 5 day period we feasted on the words of Brian Green  with capacity attendance and a growing understanding  of our calling to Evangelize, personally and corportately.

On day four of the Mission, I struck up a conversation with a close friend named Arthur Peach, who had  preceded me in Stettler Parish by four years. We agreed that Brian Green should be presented with a green Cassock to wear on his final evening.  We managed to find and purchase the needed green fabric, the required pattern and to recruit two willing and able members of a Parish Altar Guild who worked feverishly and long to make the garment.  And we prevailed upon the Mission authorities to allow us to present Brian with the Cassock at the beginning of the evening program the next evening. He entered warmly into the suggestion, wore the Cassock proudly and the people heartily responded. He also wore it  for two evenings in Red Deer.

It is a matter of great interest to know that before Brian Green became Rector of Birmingham, he was for ten years Vicar of Holy Trinity, Brompton, which is the Parish in London where Nikky Gumbel is now Vicar and from whom we have the whole program and resources of that great teaching resource we know as “The Alpha Program”. It is used with marvelous results in many different Denominations and in  many countries around the world. Obviously, Holy Trinity has  greatly prospered under the ministry of Brian and Nikky and the whole congregation of the Parish working together to Praise and serve the Lord Jesus under the Power of the Holy Spirit in introducing multitudes of seekers to the wonderful Lord of the Gospel, without which there would be no Church at all. One of my Bishops, Ralph Dean, who was Dean of Emmanuel College when I studied there and under whom I served in the Diocese of Cariboo when he was made Bishop there, shared this gem with me one day in a conversation; “Oh yes, Dick, there is nothing God cannot do with a person when he has all of that person.  We are all called of God to total obedience and commitment in His Kingdom.  I am still trying be all God’s person in His Service and still very aware of my failings.

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