Anglicans Online
 Worldwide Anglicanism    Anglican Dioceses and Parishes
Home News Centre A to Z Start Here The Anglican Communion Africa Australia Canada England
New this Week News Archives Events Anglicans Believe... In Full Communion Europe Ireland Japan New Zealand
Awards, Staff Newspapers Online B The Prayer Book Not in the Communion Scotland USA Wales World
Search Official Publications B The Bible B B B B B
This page last updated 23 March 2010
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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 15 to 21 March 2010

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters express 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.

Horizontal rule
Hertford, Hereford, and Hampshire / Hoopoes hardly hardly*

I suspect Jane Austen probably never saw a hoopoe on the lawn. They are really not very common in England. The British Garden Birds website says:

Hoopoes breed in central and southern Europe and winter in southern Europe and Africa. Birds that arrive in Britain have overshot their breeding grounds, often because of south-easterly winds.

Robert W. M. Greaves
All Saints Anglican Church, Jakarta
15 March 2010

Editors: Point taken, but see, where 'In the past decade over 400 hoopoes have been observed in Norfolk'. Add note: 'Among favoured sites are golf-courses and vicarage lawns'.

Rectories: No!

I read your lament for rectories with bemusement. As a rector, let me share with you some experiences, some mine and some those of other clergy:

  • cut my foot on a bit of linoleum lifting off the kitchen floor after weeks of asking the churchwardens to fix it

  • living with loud and inadequate heating for weeks, in a Canadian winter, until a maintenance inspection was scheduled, to be told that we should all vacate the premises immediately for fear of carbon monoxide until a completely new furnace could be installed

  • the simple reality of being unable to make any decisions about the repairs and upkeep of my home without the approval of a committee of eight persons

  • the complete lack of privacy for one's family, as members of the parish, who pay the bills, assume they can access the building whenever they need. In one instance, a member whipped from the office (in the rectory) into the kitchen for a glass of water to come upon the rector's spouse in only a flimsy bathrobe; in another, the rector was home but the car was not, and a churchwarden used her key to unlock and enter the rectory to look for minutes from a meeting, when the rector came out of the shower wearing a towel.

Most problematic, the privilege of living in a rectory is deemed to be a portion of one's remuneration. Logical enough, from the standpoint of the lay folk who pay the bills. Yet it means that a cleric builds up no equity in the ownership of a home, which at least in much of the Western world represents a significant portion of the investments upon which one counts upon retirement. The remuneration level for most clergy is not such that setting aside enough for a down payment on a home upon retirement is an easy thing.

I moved to my current parish almost two years ago, one that had sold their rectory, and was able for the first time to purchase and live in my own home. I will NEVER go back to rectory living again.

Heather McCance
Church of St Andrew, Scarborough
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
15 March 2010

Editors: Do have a look at

Rectories: Yes!

Thank you for your reflections on old rectories and for referencing the book, which I have just ordered. Although I don't have the sort of stately house which many English clergy used to occupy, I have the privilege of living in a rectory which one of my predecessors actually designed in the 1920's. Meant to look like a "black and white," timber and plaster English cottage, it complements our church, whose gable ends and tower are done in the same style. I have had visitors who, upon entering the house, say, "This looks exactly like what it was meant to be: an Anglican rectory."

A few years ago, when we were working with some architects on a church project, I suggested that the time might come when the house would be pulled down to make way for additional parking. They both said that it would be a great loss, since the rectory was an essential contributor to the charm of the whole church campus. Still, in this age of the "open floor plan", with kitchens fully open to living and dining spaces, I'm not sure that the house in which I love to live will be attractive to my successors!

The Reverend William Bippus
St. Paul's Church, Marinette, Wisconsin, USA
Marinette, Wisconsin, USA
15 March 2010


I was awakened from a dream earlier this week in which I was making a short video. The idea was fairly well formed, so at 5:30 a.m. I got out of bed and by 8 a.m. this simple video was uploading to YouTube. Enjoy!

And thanks for all you continue to do for our church.

Frank Logue
King of Peace Episcopal Church
Kingsland, Georgia, USA
20 March 2010

*With apologies to Lerner and Lowe's 'The Rain in Spain', from My Fair Lady

Horizontal rule
Earlier letters

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



This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact <a href=""></a> about information on this page. ©2000 Society of Archbishop Justus