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This page last updated 7 March 2011
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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 28 February to 6 March 2011

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.

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New mornings, squashed birettas

I am so glad you got back to John Keble's wonderful hymn, just as you did several years ago! It is much more important than the fact that I sat on my biretta by accident when I was a curate in the Diocese of Durham about 50 years ago and never replaced it!

Keep up your good work.

Peter Sanderson
St John's Episcopal Church
Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA
28 February 2011


I wonder if the term Biretta Belt was spoken as a derision or as a boasting.

Judy Fleener
St. Paul's Muskegon MI USA
New Era Michigan, USA
28 February 2011

Fond du Narnia

I have served a parish for 25 years in the American biretta belt, in the Diocese of Fond du Lac. When a colleague was in the UK several years ago, an English priest said to him, "You mean there really IS a Diocese of Fond du Lac?" He apparently thought that it was a kind of mythical place, where Anglo-Catholicism could flourish the way it never would in real life.

It's true that, when these Great Lake dioceses were created, they got bishops who were on fire to spread the catholic revival, and they attracted priests with the same zeal. But the people in the pews were not necessarily of the same mind. I remember going to a deanery meeting when I first arrived here. The rural dean opened the meeting with an Our Father and a Hail Mary. I was surprised that the parishioners who had accompanied me didn't know the words to the latter!

Now that the Eucharist is almost universally the central act of worship, the use of eucharistic vestments is the norm, and other "catholic privileges" are widespread, things have leveled out somewhat. At diocesan gatherings, the clergy haven't worn birettas for decades, and the lace cotta has been replaced by the voluminous Anglican surplice.

William Bippus
St. Paul's Church
Marinette, Wisconsin, USA
5 March 2011

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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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