Retired Anglican Bishop, Eric Pike, launched his book “Who do you say I am?” at a function at St John’s Church, Port Elizabeth last week.
He said that each chapter of the book looks at his personal journey through the question that Jesus asked his disciples. The book grew out of a series of talks he gave at St Paul’s in Parsons Hill a few years after retiring.
Pike said it had been joy to have the family encouraging him. His daughter, Natalie, did the illustrations, and Regan helped with the proof reading. Copies of the book are available at a cost of R120 from the Diocesan Office, Mary’s bookshop at St Saviour’s and St John’s.
St John’s rector Robert Penrith, who hosted the launch, told the gathering about his journey alongside “this humble evangelist and man of God”. He said, “I met Bishop Eric in my first year at Theological College in Grahamstown when the student body was divided up into modules for ministry and training. I was allocated to the Mdantsane module which would travel to Mdantsane and the resettlement communities of Upper and Lower Potsdam, and others. We arrived at St Andrew’s, Mdantsane and were met by then Archdeacon Eric Pike and his fellow evangelist, Edward, who were doing amazing work in the East London district. I had heard of this amazing evangelist Eric and, I guess, expected a rather loud and in your face evangelist person, but instead was greeted with the deepest warmth by this humble man.”
Penrith spoke of his joy on hearing that Pike had been consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Grahamstown some years later. “Of course, not long after that we were privileged to have him elected as Bishop of Port Elizabeth and I have had the privilege and pleasure of learning from him and being nurtured by this amazing, humble man of God.” He said he had enjoyed reading Eric’s book which took him a day to complete – because he could not put it down!
Penrith also spoke of his journey with Pike into the exploration and experience of spirituality of the ancient Celtic Christians. Over the past 12 years they have run retreats at Carmel just outside George. Ending on a lighter note he said: “As you know Bishop Eric has extraordinarily ‘big feet’ and I am not just talking about the size of his feet – I am also talking about the person who fills those feet. Eric is a giant of a man in God’s scheme of things.”