St Andrew's Cathedral Servers' Guild
16th February 2000
Re: Article written by Lee Tuck Leong concerning the Consecration of the Rev'd Charles H. Murphy III and the Rev'd John H Rogers Jr to the Episcopate At the Cathedral Church of St Andrew's, Singapore.
I refer to the above-mentioned article by Andrew Lee Tuck Leong, published in the Anglican Online on the 6th of February. Being present at the consecration, I would like to correct several errors which are misleading, and make some clarifications.
Before I begin, Andrew, who was a Server before, used the term 'acolytes' in his article. Acolytes are candle bearers in a procession and they are from the Servers' Guild. It is my intention to correct the errors that refers to the Servers (acolytes).
1. 2nd Para: The ceremony began with an atmosphere of uncertainty and confusion. Prior to the service, the acolytes were called for in the afternoon on Saturday and informed of the service. The service time was uncertain, stated at perhaps 5.00p.m. or 6.00p.m.
The report gave the impression that the church had given uncertain instructions about the timing of the service. This is incorrect. The uncertainty regarding the timing of the service was entirely due to miscommunication within the Servers' Guild, and had nothing to do with the Cathedral, The Dean nor the ArchBishop. The server whom Andrew spoke to had received the wrong timing from me, and not from the church.
2. 2nd Para : The acolytes were told to look out for 'suspicious' characters, and if needed, to physically restrain any who might disrupt the service, and to call the police, if necessary.
The report also gave the impression that the Consecration Service was so secret that servers were told to physically restrain... etc etc. In fact, this holds true for ALL services, whether Consecrations or Normal services. I do not recall the words 'suspicious characters' being used but do recall this; if any one tries to disrupt the service, ....... etc etc
3. 3rd Para: Apparently, none of the acolytes were informed of the gravity of the action nor the repercussions resulting thereof.
Andrew said that none of the acolytes... This is inaccurate. In truth, those who were briefed were given enough details of the background to the Consecration, and were in full knowledge of the actions carried out on the day itself.
4. 3rd Para: Till today, some of the acolytes are begrudging the fact that they have not officially been informed of the responses to the consecrations from within the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The report quotes servers as ''begrudging the fact..." This is totally untrue. The 'acolytes' he spoke to were most distraught to find out they were misquoted. Servers serve God in the sanctuary. We always seek to humble ourselves before Him. Who are we to demand to be officially informed of the responses to the consecrations from within the Worldwide Anglican Communion?
I hope that you will carry these corrections and clarifications in your website, as the report may give readers the wrong impressions about the Servers and their standing and role in the Cathedral / Church. I pray that these matters regarding the Servers participation will end as we want to continue to keep our Focus On God in our services.
Always In His Service,