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This page last updated 21 November 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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 14 to 20 November 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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Melanesian Martyrs

Re your question on modern-day martyrs, I consider the Melanesian Brothers killed by Keke in 2003 to be martyrs. So does the Anglican Communion, if the final Eucharist of Lambeth 2008 is anything to go by.

I well remember getting so annoyed at the fuss being made of Gene Robinson being elected bishop when the deaths of seven men trying to live Christ-like lives barely got a mention.

Frank Nelson
Wellington Cathedral of St Paul
Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
14 November 2011

At the Military Cemetery in Tripoli

Replying to your lead article on martyrdom: I attended on Friday the Remembrance Day commemoration at the Military Cemetery in Tripoli, Libya. Since I was a child I have attended such services including some, years ago, in the same Tripoli Cemetery. For the first time on Friday, it made sense. It was the North African context that did it.

In Tunisia, in Egypt and in Libya, people have died for freedom over the past year, in the case of Libya, in their thousands. They did not want to die. They did not offer to be martyrs. Many died because they were simply slaughtered, even in their own homes. But whatever the circumstances, whether on the battlefield or caught in crossfire or blown to eternity by tank fire on their houses, their death made freedom possible.

They were all martyrs to its cause.

That freedom which we have seen so expensively bought in Libya was the same freedom so expensively bought in two world wars and in other wars since. Those whose died in then did not want to die. Most of them desperately wanted to be safely elsewhere. They too were martyrs to freedom's cause.

So, as the militaries of many countries laid their wreaths at the foot of the miiltary cemetery cross in Tripoli, I stood with tears in my eyes — and I was far from the only one there in such condition — thanking God for those who died for freedom.

And I'm glad I went.

Michel Cousins
No Anglican one nearby in France so local RC church
14 November 2011

More Parson Hawker

As editor of the Robert Stephen Hawker website (, I'm writing to say how much I enjoyed reading your recent article.

What I admire most about Hawker is the generosity of spirit he showed towards his poor parishioners and his fierce determination to see that wrongs are righted, so I was particularly pleased to see the more radical aspects of his character being celebrated alongside his undoubted eccentricities. The references to Giles Fraser and the Occupy protests were also of great interest, as I've been following the stories in the news over the past few weeks but hadn't got around to making that specific connection.

Thanks very much for providing a link to our website — a group of us are setting up a Hawker Society and are hoping to hold our first event next summer in Cornwall. I'm about to write my monthly 'News' piece for the Society's section of the website and will include a link to your article as I'm sure the members will enjoy reading it.

Best wishes,
Angela Williams

PS: There's now a new article on our RSH site, 'The Poor Man and His Parish Church', inspired by your published piece.

Angela Williams
16 November 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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