Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, was a monk-bishop. He once commented what good bishops and good abbots had in common: bishops, if they bestow fatherly care upon their subjects in Christ’s behalf, may not incongruously be called abbots, that is, fathers so long as the name is matched by their deeds. Lanfranc once urged a bishop to behave toward his monks as befitted a true bishop: to care for their souls with pastoral discernment and to set them a healthful example of good customs and of holy actions in words and deeds.
A disastrous fire left Christ Church, Canterbury in ruins in 1067. By 1077, Archbishop Lanfranc had rebuilt it as a Norman church, described as “nearly perfect”. A staircase and parts of the North Wall – in the area of the North West transept also called the Martyrdom – remain from that building.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You for the life and ministry of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury and architect. May the bishops of the Church of England build their pastoral discernment on the mind of Christ, our cornerstone, and set a healthful example of good customs and of holy actions in words and deeds. We pray that the Anglican Communion be rebuilt in such a way as to be described as “nearly perfect” in this life and that it usher the faithful into a perfect communion with You in the life to come. Amen.