Anglicans Online banner More about the gryphon
Independent On the web since 1994 More than 250,000 readers More than 30,000 links Updated every Sunday
Will you help support
Anglicans Online?

The Paypal logotype

Noted This Week
Sites new to AO

News Centre
News archive

News flash: a summary of the top headlines
Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us by email
Be notified each week

Start here
Anglicans believe...
The Prayer Book
The Bible

Read letters to AO
Write to us

Resources A to Z

World Anglicanism
Anglican Communion
In full communion
Not in the Communion

Dioceses and Parishes
Hong Kong
New Zealand
South Africa

Vacancies Centre
List a vacancy
Check openings worldwide

Add a site or link to AO
Add a site to AO
Link to AO

About Anglicans Online
Back issues
About our logo

Our search engine

Hallo again to all.

Blagdon-Gamlen This week, we spent some idle moments in a chilled library, leafing through a precious and fragrant copy of Blagdon-Gamlen. If you're not familiar with Blagdon-Gamlen, it's the astonishing and eponymous work of an intrepid priest called Peter Eugène Blagdon-Gamlen (1927-2012), the twice-widowed and thrice-married senior priest of the Society of the Holy Cross in England. Think of his work as a Baedeker for churches—or, if you prefer, a Zagat or Michelin. Its full title is

The Church Travellers Directory Giving the Names of Anglican Churches in England, Wales, Scotland & Ireland Where May Be Found a Daily Celebration of the Holy Communion, a Sung Eucharist on All Sundays, Fixed Times When Confessions May Be Heard and Continuous Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.*

The book delivers on its promise, marking with a D every known church with daily communion (or almost daily communion—five days a week count as Daily), an S for a Sung Eucharist on Sundays, a C for churches where confessions are heard, and an R for those where there is eucharistic reservation. Quite a lot of churches have an S, and many also a C or D. It's unusual to find a D without a C or an R, but the most coveted of designations for what were then called Full Catholic Privileges was DSCR.

In the words of the foreword to the second edition, it was created for all 'churchpeople who travel, and have no wish, when they do so, to leave their religion at home'. Wilfrid Arthur Edmund Westall noted in his foreword to the first edition just why such a book was particularly needful:

I myself have stood in churches and porches looking for such information, but to be edified only by notices about dog licences and local elections.

Blagdon-Gamlen was published in two editions, 1966 and 1973, each of which shows in surprising degree just how much the once-scandalous practices of the Ritualist movement had penetrated English parish life. In truth they mark a sort of Pyrrhic victory lap for Anglo-Catholicism, which had by now lost some of its naughty cachet. Wrote PEB-G:

It may be of interest to record that of the United Kingdom Cathedrals, 23 out of the 43 English ones have perpetual Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, all 8 of those in Scotland, and 5 out of 6 of the Welsh Cathedrals.

The Stranger's GuideThe book served its purpose well in a time before the internet, and when party allegiances in Anglicanism meant that worshipers were perhaps more than now keen on a specific liturgical practice when they visited a church.

We hope that in our own way AO is a Blagdon-Gamlen for our time, though we follow an organising principle of comprehensiveness rather than liturgical specificity. In addition to offering a weekly essay, and providing occasional Specials on gaiters and hymns and ecclesiastical victualling, our goal is to list every Anglican parish and organisation that has a website.

We can do this best only with your help. If you find that your parish or organisation isn't listed on AO, please let us know. We'll be most happy to include it going forward, lest you be stuck somewhere else to be edified only by notices about dog licences and local [or, alas, national] elections.

And, if you like what you find here, please consider making a donation to support our work. Unlike the first two Blagdon-Gamlens, we're distributed free of charge to anyone who would like to find a church in any place. But our production and hosting costs are as real as any paper-and-glue Blagdon-Gamlen, and your help in that connection is ever welcome.

See you next week.

Our signature
All of us at Anglicans Online

12 August 2012

* We're unaware of any contemporary effort for other provinces of the Anglican world, but there were some such attempts in the American Episcopal Church at other times. During the Great War, The American Catholic compiled a monthly tear-out called The Stranger's Guide. In the early 1950s, there was also an Anglo-Catholic Directory compiled by Richard K. O'Connor. To our knowledge, it has been stolen from every library whose catalogue ever listed it.

A thin blue line
This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©2012 Society of Archbishop Justus
. Please address all spam to