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This page last updated 8 September 2008
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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 Canadian 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 respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 1 to 7 September 2008

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Trust opens churches

Thank you for this week's essay on locked churches. How right you are! I recall a "coffee table book" about London churches and cathedrals which was given to me a few years ago. In the foreword, Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote of a society he had founded whose purpose was to help churches find ways and means to keep their doors open outside of service time. I wonder how successful the effort has been?

I loved the sentiments of John Mason Neale, and agree with them, but, as rector of a church where, fortunately, people can have access all day long and into the evening throughout the week, I am continually disappointed by how few take the opportunity. In addition to our Lady Chapel, we have a lovely garth, with flowers and a fountain during the warm months, but I seem to be the only one to make use of it!

(The Revd) William Bippus
St. Paul's
Marinette, Wisconsin, USA
1 September 2008

(Ed: Mr Lloyd Webber's society was called the Open Churches Trust. Its website explains 'On December 1st 2006 the Open Churches Trust ceased being an active organisation.')

No pink flamingos, thank you

I once had the pleasure of serving a parish that was open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. While we were not located in a crowded urban area with all those possible attendant dangers, we discovered one All Saints' morning that a very unwelcome visit had occured the night before.

Baptisms had been scheduled that morning for the second of the three liturgies. In preparation for that happy event, a member of the altar guild removed the cover of the Font only to discover that a large quantity of animal feces had been placed inside. After recovering from the initial shock, we finally succeeded in taking the very heavy Font outside for as thorough a cleaning as we could manage. However, despite the application of any number of cleaners, incense and vigorous scrubbings, (as well as numerous prayers), the marble of the Font, being the porous substance that it is, continued to remind us of that incident for quite some time to come.

The good news that came out of this was that the church building continued to remain open 24 hours a day and that unhappy and destructive prank was, thankfully, never repeated. Yet the incident did become enshrined in the altar guild instructions for baptisms - always removed the Font cover well in advance!

Carlton Kelley
Richmond, Indiana, USA
1 September 2008

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Earlier letters

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


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