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This page last updated 17 December 2003
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.

We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to English orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Letters received during the week of 7 December 2003

Hiding in plain sight

LAST WEEK, A CORRESPONDENT ASKED: Where DOES one find creative, active, attractive, intelligent, compassionate, and spiritual non-gay Anglican males? The last 14 years, I was asking a similar question myself of women in my own church. It took me a fairly long time to find someone appropriate, but I did find her. It took mostly a lot of patience on my part to have the Lord direct me to the person He had in mind for me, and it was certainly not easy as patience isn’t one of the virtues that comes readily to me.

I guess to give you the short version to your question, I’d have to say, 'Look about you'. Some of us are in church most Sundays. Look for us perhaps in the choir, or to be lay readers or teaching Sunday school. You might find us swinging a hammer on a parish workday, or riding a motorcycle in the Toys for Tots parade. We may not be 'obviously' single (whatever that means) nor especially extroverted.

Perhaps one more thing: None of us are perfect. Just forgiven.

R. Frederick
St Andrew's Episcopal Church
Panama City, Florida, USA
8 December 2003

Block that metaphor?

I ENJOYED READING YOUR EDITORIAL which mentioned the visitors from China who came to San Francisco's glorious Chinatown community to gain insight into their own culture and past. I think it wonderful that traditions and ways of life that had been stamped out by a brutal, totalitarian, communist regime could be maintained, by choice, in a free society, and thrive! Imagine when these visitors to the USA from China chose to search out their roots and the beauty of their forgotten (and eradicated) past, what a gift those Chinatown traditionalists must have seemed for having cherished their heritage in a small corner of the world.

So it is in the United States with the Episcopal Church. Once a brutal and totalitarian regime, with its desire to wipe out the 'beauty of holiness' for the false winds of change has been made to see the error of the way of expediency, then perhaps joy can be had in the glory that was and can be again. We, too, will be happy to find those places, hidden oases, wherein our beautiful traditions, our past, and our key to the future, can be found and raised up.

The Reverend Dr Walter V. Z. Windsor
Trinity Episcopal Church
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, USA
8 December 2003

'History came looking for us'

LOVED YOUR COVER STORY THIS WEEK on Anglicans traveling to historic Anglican sites. I had always thought of Thomas Cranmer as the man who wrote the Book of Common Prayer. I was very surprised to learn on a visit to Oxford England that he had been burned at the stake there and a monument marks the event. My husband, who is not a church-goer, marveled at the architecture of Salisbury Cathedral. On our trip to England, we were just general tourists, but in going to the 'tourists spots', we always were surprised and delighted to run into REAL Anglican history. We didn't go looking for it, it came looking for us.

Connecticut does have Glebe House, but England is the deeper real deal. It should be part of being an Anglican that you must go to England to find out and learn about our wonderful and very meaningful faith at her historic sites.

Susan McClen
Trinity Church, Torrington
Harwinton, Connecticut, USA
9 December 2003

The validity of Anglican Orders: a call for assistance from a Roman Catholic

I AM WRITING A THESIS on the validity of Anglican Orders. I am of the opinion that Anglican Orders are valid. I need any information that you can give me to help my defense.

Perhaps I already have some of this material that you may have in your archives. Nevertheless there may be other articles that may assist me in this project.

Brother Donald Johnroe, C.S.C.
St Joseph Chapel at Notre Dame (Roman Catholic)
Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
10 December 2003

Mexico, music, and males

HAVING JUST CHANGED FROM ATTENDING a multi-denominational church at the Rose of Sharon in Queretaro to a wonderful fledgling Anglican Church in Mexico, I'm embarrassed to admit I don't know its name but can happily pass on details of its location to any vistors. We would especially welcome any musicians as we sing unaccompanied, which is a great challenge!

But I am actually writing regarding Mr Westrup's letter last week to say that in addition to the Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3 it is also possible to find Sunday Worship on the BBC Radio 4 website by going to A-Z of programmes and looking for Sunday Worship. A small note of warning though, it is not always a traditional service! Both are available for up to a week after the original broadcast.

As for your anonymous writer who hoped she might find that the type of males she is looking for exist — we're all married, but good luck!

Derek Starling
Queretaro, MEXICO
9 December 2003

The reference to Mr Westrup in this letter: last week this correspondent asked about Anglican services available on the net in audio.

More hymnal funnies

MY LAST SET OF JOTTINGS DID NOT bring in a single text that would fit to 'When I'm cleaning windows'. But there are two fairly ghastly examples of the genre have been brought to my attention.

First, 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus' can be sung to the sixties pop song 'Now the Carnival is Over'. Then most wonderfully awful of all, 'There is a Green Hill Far Away' to 'The House of the Rising Sun'. Try it. It is appallingly catchy and works frighteningly well.

    There is … a green … hill far a … way
    Without … a ci … ty wall.
    Where the … dear Lord … was cruci … fied
    Who died … to save … us all.

This last example was broadcast on veteran DJ John Peel’s Saturday morning programme on BBC Radio 4 with the comment 'Not, I think you will agree, an overwhelming success'. Who says British understatement is dead?

Alan Cooper
St Margaret, Barking, Essex, ENGLAND
Barking, England
10 December 2003

Stop that caravan this very minute!

I READ WITH INTEREST YOUR COMMENTS on reintroducing Anglican pilgrimage. Surely in medieval times these pilgrimages were to visit the relics of a given saint. Such activities were thrown out at the reformation by the Church of England (see Article 22 of the Church's 39 Articles of Faith).

Paul Young
Liverpool, ENGLAND
10 December 2003

Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our letters are in our archives.


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