Who is Archbishop-elect Steve Wood?

Newly elected Archbishop Steve Wood addresses the Conclave. The picture is from Bishop Felix Orji.

I know very little about Bishop Wood, but I know his blog Treading Grain and used to read it back in the day. He no longer uses it. From his blog I can tell that he is a reader who interacts with cultural changes and theology quite a bit. He had Ashley Null speak to his church on the five solas in 2015. He seems to have read widely in the Reformed and Lutheran traditions. His blog cites people from Jonathan Edwards, J.C. Ryle, and Spurgeon to J.I. Packer.

He founded the Ridley Institute: https://ridleyinstitute.com/ which teaches courses including Anglican History & Theology, Worship in the Prayer Book Tradition and Anglican Pastoral Identity and Practice.

On July 18, 2016 he wrote:

Similarly, in our day, we are witnessing a profound cultural revolution – a revolution on par with some of the most colossal in history. There are many causes for this profound change, but one that must not be overlooked, particularly for churches, is what sociologists have come to describe as secularism. Simply stated, secularism is the emptying of God from the public spaces; leaving many of our friends and family members to wrestle with the issues of life without recourse to God.

In the face of rising cultural secularism some churches/leaders are advocating a retreat from the public square, effectively abandoning their public witness, and turning their churches into enclaves protecting them from this cultural shift. This has not been our approach at St. Andrew’s nor will it be our approach. We believe that even in these challenging times the offer of the Lord Jesus has not grown weary, neither has the Gospel lost its power. In fact, we believe that this is our kairos moment, our moment of divinely given opportunity.

I expect that just like Archbishop Beach, Bishop Wood will be comfortably “three stream.” On his church’s website you can find “prophetic words.” The page says: “New prophetic words are posted every week and are kept up for four weeks. If you have been strengthened, encouraged, or comforted by the way the Lord spoke to you in these words please email us.” So he doesn’t neatly fit into the Reformed box but must be at least somewhat charismatic.

On the hotly contested issue of women’s ordination, his diocese “…has supported the ordination of women as deacons and priests in the church, with the provision that women may not serve in the office of rector. This provision grew out of our engagement with Scripture which is silent on who may preside at the Table and celebrate Communion while it is not silent on who may assume the teaching/overseeing office of a congregation.” So he is in line with past Archbishop Duncan and I don’t expect anything to change there.

If Archbishop Beach taught us anything, it is that these positions on theological issues are really not what matters in a leader, but rather executive competence in dealing with a multitude of vexatious problems. I think Beach’s second term was a disaster brought on by a spiral of scandals and problems that he seemed unable to control. Perhaps no one can control them, but the executive skills needed, along with all of the pastoral and theological issues make this a role that I don’t think anyone would really love to fill.







2 responses to “Who is Archbishop-elect Steve Wood?”

  1. Greg Shore Avatar
    Greg Shore

    Steve Wood is the founder of the Ridley Institute and TRI is based at and led by his church staff.

    1. admin Avatar

      Thanks. I updated the post accordingly.

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