Letters from 29 January
to 4 February 2007
Like all letters
to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers
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to weekly in the blink of an eye
week, although it did make me feel old, historically speaking,
since I have seen the transition from monthly communion (itself
still perceived as an innovation) to weekly communion in my
own lifetime. And I am only 55! We have come a long way in
the last 40 years, and so much of it is so positive, in terms
of our commitment to the sacraments. But one thing you did
not mention that I think also very positive is a growing understanding
of the importance of adult Christian education
— we've learned no longer to think Christian ed stops with confirmation
classes, and to provide opportunities to learn and to grow in our
faith for adults. That too seems to me to be worth celebrating.
Church of the Redeemer
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
29 January 2007
indeed brighten our day (but about those packs of hounds...)
hope these observations brighten your day and
are useful to ponder. Re: editorial
of 28 Jan 07. Good (oblique) approach to commenting on
to the good health of our Lord Jesus Christ'. More authentic than
our pious habits now, being more "to the point". What
do we think about holy communion in 1970 with coke and frito lay
chips? Radical and cool then, as I recall.
people to come to communion would improve the stats on attendance,
and create a critical mass of public opinion that, really, everyone
else is doing it....
how easy it would be to baptise people if we could spit on them
to go to church in the rain? And Ash Wednesday is depressing.
(Christians are pretty much just happy people now, right?)
than the Oxford Movement was the (earlier) Simeonite evangelicals,
who bought up advowsons and appointed reformers. Hmm.
of Bristol were notoriously penurious. (The great Bishop Butler
was one). Telling ordinands to write an essay was probably not
a bad idea. They were probably better than the things turned out
by ordinands today. (I speak from experience.)
were let to graze animals. If this were in 1450, would you think
this was an example of how the church was integrated into the
community or an example of corruption?
forget that Sydney Smith was one of the great wits (and reformers)
of the age, and that his observations cannot be taken quite at
face value. I say this as an original member of the Sydney Smith
there something morally wrong with keeping a pack of hounds? Hunting
is an important part of the rural community in England (and in
many parts of America and France, and among the native peoples
of Canada, and in Germany, and in Hungary....) and (especially
in John Peel country, in Cumbria) it is not just for toffs. There
is a legitimate discussion to be had here.
It is a
bit of a give-away that "high-chuch heroes" are referred
to. Were they "principled", or were they—a bit
like some characters floating around the church now—focussed
on power and force? Would one want to see evangelicals as "heroes" for
standing up for what they believe in? (A plague on both their
houses, when it comes to the war that is being fought presently.)
Battling for more historically correct ecclesiatical vesture?
Should this be upheld as a model of faith? A bit eccentric in
theological tracts were best-sellers in the 17th and 18th centuries,
so if this is a mark of a great movement, perhaps the Victorians
ought not to be so greatly praised. The Tracts for the Times were
the first example of Christianity moving toward the margins, not
recovering the centre of society.
better now? What? Now that no one seems to give a fart about the
faith? Funny standard to measure it by.
thought, you might not find so much inspiration and amusement
in what I have written. But there we are. There is a historical
metanarrative that is pretty hard to dislodge in the church —
that things have been getting better. Historians call this "whig" history
and it has been discredited for several generations.
carry on. We all live in hope that our alma mater the Anglican
communion will survive, and your site is important.
PhD (Cantab.), FRSA, FRAS
Ely, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND
3 February 2007
we scratch when we only meant to tickle
the several years during which I
have been a faithful reader of Anglicans Online I have particularly
appreciated the even-handed tone with which divisive issues
are reported and explained. I have recommended AO to those
who have general questions about Anglicanism, and have carried
a link to AO on my parish website. You have done an enormous
service to the entire Anglican world, as there is nothing
even remotely equivalent to what you do anywhere else.
I was therefore
disappointed by the editorializing embedded in the News Centre
report (28 January edition) on the Archbishop of Canterbury's
invitations to Bishops Duncan and McPherson to make an appearance
at the Primates' Meeting. The use of the label "neo-Puritan" was
especially unhelpful. Perhaps I have mistaken the mission of AO,
but I would hate to see a polemical slant come to consistently
permeate even the reporting of news. This would compromise your
usefulness to the diverse community that makes up Anglican Christianity.
St John the Evangelist
Stockton, California USA
29 January 2007
(Ed: Your News Centre editor pleads guilty to the use of divisive
language. 'Twas intended to be in the service of brevity, not rancour, and we'll try to do better in the future. It's not hard
to be the least slanted source of Anglican news on today's internet, but we strive to be upright, not 'least slanted'.)
and cross dressing in the early 18th century
view of your
letter this week, I
thought you might enjoy this, from a long historical essay
I wrote about John Talbot (consecrated "bishop" by a non-juror
in London and returned to New Jersey, the first "bishop" in
Talbot's return from England, he arrived in Boston in 1707 and
unexpectedly met the Reverend Thoroughgood Moore whom he had left
in charge of his parish of St. Mary’s Church in Burlington
it seems, had been arrested and imprisoned at Fort Anne by Lord
Cornbury, governor of New York and New Jersey for three offenses:
had administered Holy Communion every fortnight rather than monthly
(which the governor preferred),
had refused Communion to the Lieutenant Governor as a known 'evil
had reproved the governor for 'the scandalous practice of arraying
himself in female attire, and publicly parading in this shameful
guise along the ramparts of the fort'.
think things are tough these days!
The Order of Julian of Norwich
Hartland, Wisconsin, USA
30 January 2007
are 25 quotations attributed to the Reverend Sydney Smith in
my edition of the Penguin Book of Quotations, including yours
about creation. But my own favourite (with which I am much
in sypathy, except that I would have added a glass of Château
Smith's idea of heaven is eating pâté de foie gras
to the sound of trumpets'.
St Andrew's Church
West Kirby (Chester), ENGLAND
1 February 2007
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