Michael Claude Harper was a priest of the Church of England who became a priest of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. He was a key leader of the British charismatic movement from the 1960s to 1980s.
Harper was a curate at All Souls Church, Langham Place when he received what Pentecostals and charismatics refer to as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, a religious experience accompanied by speaking in tongues. This put him at odds with the church's evangelical rector, John Stott, and Harper left All Souls in 1964 to found the Fountain Trust, an organisation dedicated to spreading the charismatic message.
In his days as an Anglican charismatic leader, he wrote several books, including As at the Beginning, a narrative of the growth of Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement in the 20th century.
Harper left Anglicanism in 1995 because of what he saw as the Church of England's increasing doctrinal laxity, particularly with regard to the ordination of women. He and his wife, Jeanne, joined the Orthodox Church. He was ordained and made the first dean of the then newly established Antiochian Orthodox Deanery of the United Kingdom and Ireland. He wrote about his views on female ordination in the 1994 book Equal and Different and related his journey to Orthodoxy in The True Light. He was subsequently made an archpriest by the late Metropolitan Gabriel of Western and Central Europe. He was senior priest of the Antiochian Orthodox parish in the City of London which worships in St Botolph's Bishopsgate.
Commemoration of Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095 There are a number of Hebrew words about salvation which also mean "to bring into a spacious environment", "to be at one's ease", "to be free to develop". "Salvation" can be seen then as the new life in Christ, in which we are to be "free to develop" into Christ-like people. For this maturing to take place, there needs to be a breaking down of barriers, a breaking up of the soil of our personalities, and a healing of inner wounds and hurts. The soil is softened, the clay becomes malleable through the experience of the tender love of God and the accepting, non-judgmental love of Christians. We cannot be beaten into shape.