Letters from 3 August to
16 August 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
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Just taking a holiday from their church
As a schoolboy, I
sometimes wondered why the school year always began in September. Logically, one should be entering a new form every
January, I thought. Wherefore the illogicality? Apparently, greater minds than mine had also been
exercised by that same conundrum, because in 1987, it was decreed that thenceforth, school years
would coincide with calendar years (causing me to spend 4 terms instead of 3 in the first form,
undergoing torture as the lowest form of life in the British boarding school system).
I later found
out that the "long vac" holidays from July to September were a legacy of the Brits, who bequeathed
schools and school years to us, that being the period when they and their fellow cold country inhabitants
go off to pay homage to the great god Sun. Here, we don't have any holiday month, and very few
can afford to go away on vacation.
But a few Anglican churches here are
experiencing a similar movement of "holidayers" taking a break from their own church, and going
in search of sun and surf in the church of the moment, wherever that may be. This is usually a
church where the priest has managed to break out of the traditional Anglican mould,and catch a
bit (or a lot) of the prevailing Pentecostal mood in the religious atmosphere here. Such holidaymakers,
restless seekers after they-know-not-what, pour in to such free services in their hundreds, caught
between the desire to feel modern (i.e Pentecostal), and the (admittedly not very strong) reluctance
to leave the church they were born into. The worshippers in such "revival" churches are as disparate
as those described in the article, and like them, they move on at the end of the season, i.e when
the Vicar is transferred out, loses the flame, or when the Bishop has simply had enough.
it places a bit more strain on the already fraying unity of the church, one is torn between whether
holiday seasons like these should be more welcome or less so.
St. Andrew's, Aladinma, Owerri
3 August 2009
(Editor: our understanding is that
the tradition of school holidays during the summer months came from the need to have children
help with the work of planting and cultivating and harvesting, and that as soon as the harvest
was done, children returned to school. We can see how in a country that has no particular harvest
season, the notion of summer holidays might be odd.)
Beware the vacationistas
No doubt someone else has mentioned
this, but wouldn't the noun equivalent for "taking a vacation" be "vacationers?"
Trinity Episcopal Church
Seymour, Connecticut, USA
5 August 2009
(Editor: Other writers also suggested
'vacationist'. Our problem is that we don't notice anyone actually using such words in North America.
Our unabridged dictionaries are chock-a-block with words that don't get used, so this is not
I love AO.
I am, an expression that appears to have become popular nowadays in Anglicanism, a "cradle Anglican" and
have been for 77 years. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore to read in this week's news reports,
in a wonderful article about the late Deaconess Harriet Bedell, the following statement. "Unlike
the Roman Catholic church, which requires proven miracles of its saints, the Episcopal church picks
saints based on other criteria." I was unaware of this fact, and without boasting, I have been "involved" in
my churches over the years. Now wouldn't this be a great subject for AO for a future front page
article? Or perhaps some reader/historian could enlighten me.
David T. Brown
Church of St.John The Divine, Courtenay B.C.
Fanny Bay, British Columbia, CANADA
6 August 2009
You are quite
Anglicans online is not "snarky". You are clear, fair and intensely interesting. Keep up the
St. Clare's, Blairsville
Blairsville, Georgia, USA
11 August 2009
We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11
May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.