They’re still at it. The British media. Even some of the crustier establishment types. It was a week ago today that the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Chicago-born bishop of the Episcopal Church, thundered, dreamed and inspired at the royal wedding. And they’re still talking about it.
Perhaps that’s not wholly surprising. Rev Curry made one long to have preachers (of any faith) with passion – a passion for good things, wholesome ideas and for prescriptions that make the world a better place.
This is why a week on, people are still asking did you thrill to Rev Michael Curry at the #Royal wedding?
To which my answer is: Me Too. Except that he did go on a tad too long.
In retrospect, everyone recognises that the Bishop struck a startling note at the wedding on Saturday, May 19. It was a very American note – egalitarian, free-spirited and unafraid. It was also obvious that he represented a clash of cultures and one that may not easily settle into harmony.
There the black American clergyman stood, trying to defrost British aristocracy’s habitual sang froid. He quoted Martin Luther King Jr., recommended making “the old world new” with the power of love and extolled the revolution that is fire. He didn’t read from a script and he didn’t hide his passion.
There they sat in church, the British royal family and assorted lords and ladies, stiffening the upper lip, “pale and stately”, as British novelist Diana James has written.
Rev Curry shook things up.
It was what he would have expected to do. Back in 2016, he told The New York Times about moving the racial goal posts. “When I was in seminary,” he said, “the expectation at the time was that if you were a black priest or seminarian, you were going to be serving in black churches. There was a black church world and a white church world. That was the given-ness of racism, not that anybody said anything.”
Barely two years on, he seemed to be trying to unite the trans-Atlantic “church world”.
The Bishop from America was simply inspirational leading to this confession from former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, an atheist. He said that if he listened to Rev Curry long enough, even he might be tempted to believe.
But then Rev Curry spoilt it a bit by going on too long.
It was a reminder that even a man of god is just as human as anyone else.
Even so, a week on, they’re still raving about Rev Curry.