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This page last updated 13 August 2012  

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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 6 to 12 August 2012

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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The attraction of archdeacons

Another Archdeacon for your collection: Archdeacon Hoccleve in Barbara Pym's 'Some Tame Gazelle'. The heroine's main romantic interest!

Robert W. M. Greaves
6 August 2012

The attraction of Anglicans

You wrote: "We think that church attendance has mostly to do with how much people need church, and realistically that just isn't something that churches can have much effect on. We've seen churches that have figured out what people think they need and turned themselves into that — the classic 'find a need and fill it' marketing strategy. But that's not at all Anglican. We are what we are, and we're here for those who need us. Perhaps one day the world will not need us any more, and then we'll be gone. We don't think that will happen and we hope that it does not happen. But it might, and we think it's better to stay who we are than to work to become something that we're not."

Amen to that. As an ex-Evangelical Protestant turned Roman Catholic turned Greek Orthodox, I haven't belonged to a church in some time. I got tired of supporting an organisation that didn't find time for women or our considerable gifts. Since coming to the UK a year ago, I've been quite heartened by the Anglican Church (C of E?) and its stance on issues and the gentle teaching emanating from it. If I were ever to return, it would be to the Anglicans.

Angela Webb
Colchester, Essex, UNITED KINGDOM
6 August 2012

From the darkness to the light

We celebrated the Transfiguration last Sunday using the painting by Raphael, part of which you featured on your front page last week. I am sure this helped our congregation "connect" with this important commemoration.

The original painting includes a lower section beneath the mount of transfiguration in which the event following, the healing of the possessed boy, is depicted. The image of Christ in light, fulfilling the law and the prophets (Moses and Elijah) is shown as if ready for the cross, his hands placed as if to receive the nails. This is the source of hope to which the characters in the dark chaotic scene beneath direct their pointing hands: "Lord I believe, help my unbelief".

Paul Richardson
Devizes, St John the Baptist with St Mary
Devizes, Wiltshire, UNITED KINGDOM
7 August 2012

Letter to the editor

I commend you on a thoroughly enjoyable article on the transfiguration. However, I want to take issue with one sentence. You remark, "We don't think that [the world will not need us any more] will happen and we hope that it does not happen. But it might, and we think it's better to stay who we are than to work to become something that we're not."

I agree with your conclusion and understand that you are talking about what people feel they need, as opposed to what we all do, in fact, need. We Anglicans (and other Christians as well) DO think that there will come a time when the world will in fact not need us  — Anglicans, Episcopalians, or the church by other name — any more, and we wish for that day.

As one of our songs says, "I'm looking for the coming of Christ. I want to be with Jesus." ("I want to walk as a child of the light"), or as John says more simply (Revelation 22:20) and Christians often repeat, 'Come, Lord Jesus'.

Judy Goans
Good Shepherd, Knoxville, Tennessee
Clinton, Tennessee USA (Province IV)
8 August 2012

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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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