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This page last updated 15 July 2009
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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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 6 to 12 July 2009

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.

Waiter, there's a canon in my soup!

I read your article on the dearth of sensational thrillers based on the Anglican Church with much amusement. Yes, it HAD occurred to one or two persons that the poison pen writers (as Dan Brown and others of his ilk have been named by outraged Catholics), have so far spared Anglicanism their attentions. Of course, the well-known Anglo-Saxon aversion to emoting could be a part of this . . . unlike the [Roman] Catholics, a paean to sex and intrigue within the citadels of Anglican nabobs would raise barely a peep from well-bred Anglos, who don't even complain about bad service in restaurants.

And also — most importantly — the Roman Catholic church is a huge beast, with lots of centuries old positions, sinecures, and prestige. The average Bishop of Durham or Rochester or some deity-forsaken spot in Africa or Asia has a thankless task nowadays, and often needs a spot of criticism and harassment to keep him (or sometimes her, another example of why Anglicanism is boring, it's gone inclusive) aware of the fact that the public recognises that he or she is out there at all.

And with most clergy married, or allowed to be, or openly gay (or allowed to be), where's the fun in that?!!

Obi Udeariry
St. Andrew's, Aladinma, Owerri
7 July 2009

Grace Cathedral by any other name

Some years ago Armistead Maupin wrote a delightful series of books based in San Francisco centering largely around gay characters whose beginning title was 'Tales of the City'. In one of the sequels, a murder and other mysterious intrigue was set in Grace Cathedral, albeit under a different name. Doesn't this qualify?

Father Carlton Kelley
Richmond, Indiana, USA
8 July 2009

Editor: The 'murder and other mysterious intrigue' in the novel you reference would need to be set within the diocese or have a dean as a murderer or some such to fit the bill; otherwise, the Cathedral is merely an incidental backdrop. From what we can tell from the Wikipedia article, the novels feature San Francicso as the 'institutional character' and not the Anglican Church.

War in Heaven, but not in Lambeth Palace

Enjoyed your editorial. Many years ago I was introduced to Charles Williams and loved his metaphysical thrillers, the titles of which I can no longer remember. They are probably now all out of print, but I think they meet your criteria very well.

The Reverend Canon Bob Webster
Church of St. Martin in the Fields
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
8 July 2009

Editor: We dearly love Williams's supernatural thrillers', as TS Eliot called them, but we don't see the Anglican Church or its prelates looming large as central 'characters' or the church structure being a central aspect of the novels. Often there is seraphic vicar or clever curate, but that's the sort of figure we expect in Anglican 'thrillers'. Mind you, we weren't lamenting the lack of Anglican equivalents to 'The Vatican', just raising the question of their absence and the possible reasons for it.

And good news: A number of Charles William's works are available on the web. See and scroll to his name.

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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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