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Hallo again to all.

England Old, England New: We hadn't quite planned this week's Anglicans Online to be a neat diptych, but funnily enough, it is.Common Worship

The new: We begin with Common Worship, the service and prayer book just now authorised for use in parishes within the Church of England. Simon Sarmiento, our UK-Europe editor, has written a special report—Common Worship: What Is It?—describing what is happening, explaining the publishing context, and giving a brief description of the contents. The old: The 1662 Book of Common Prayer remains, which has not itself been revised, will continue to be authorised indefinitely (it would require an Act of Parliament to change it).

The new: We've entirely reorganised our section devoted to English dioceses and parishes, separating into sections our previously very long page containing all dioceses and their parishes. We have also developed a regional index, which may be useful as well—and we've provided you with an overview of the somewhat complex way that England divides itself geographically. Have a look at the revamped section and let us know what you think. The old? In this case, the previous Anglicans Online England section. Away with it!

Next, ecclesiastical costume. We're not quite certain what the 'new' is in this instance (er, polyester albs?) but the old is that singular episcopal fashion statement: gaiters.* We enquired last week whether any of our readers had an idea of the likely last year such an item was worn, and we were treated to a flood of emails. We had a delightful week of ignoring all current controversies throughout the Anglican Communion and immersing ourselves in the ever-fascinating question of Anglican clerical dress. Not wanting to keep the delights to ourselves, we prepared this special report: Through the Years with Gaiters. (Thanks to all who made the report what it is.)

We note the death, last week, of the great historian The Hon Sir Steven Runciman, CH, aged 97. Known especially for his brilliant and important work on the Crusades, he 'was a world traveller, the companion of royalty—at least four queens were said to have turned out for his 80th birthday—and an aficionado of the foibles of the powerful, whether past or present. Details of forgotten personalities glint in all his writings, and he could discourse about ancient genealogies, scandals and feuds until the crusaders came home'.

If New This Week doesn't contain much in the way of ancient genealogies, scandals and feuds, it does contain glimpses of the worldwide communion through all manner of new sites. We welcome to the web the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, the Parish of St Luke in Gambella, Ethiopia, and various other parishes in Canada, England, and the USA. There's some news in the News Centre, but nothing that will make the history books.

See you next week.

Cynthia McFarland's signature
  Brian Reid's signature
Cynthia McFarland
  Brian Reid

*Your editor could not get the Rupert Brooke lines from 'Grantchester' out of her mind:

And in that garden, black and white,
Creep whispers through the grass all night;
And spectral dance, before the dawn,
A hundred Vicars down the lawn;
Curates, long dust, will come and go
On lissom, clerical, printless toe ... [k.t.l.]

Last updated: 5 November 2000