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This page last updated 29 December 2014  

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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 the week of 22 to 28 December 2014

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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Hoping that people needing to be informed will read this

By way of introduction: Hon. Assistant Priest, St. Paul's where my wife Joyce is the Vicar. Chaplain to merchant seafarers, on-call chaplain to North Shore Hospital.

I am concerned at the high degree of ignorance among Anglicans as to the nature and ministries of the Anglican Church. Few appear to know the extensive and comprehensive ministry of the Anglican Church to those who are non-members. I wonder how many of us could answer accurately questions such as

  • Approximately how many poor people are recipients each year of food parcels, community outreach, personal counselling, specialised ministries such as hospital lay chaplaincy or children's grief counsellors?
  • How many of us know the full weight of our commitment to environmental promotion or advocacy for prisoners?
  • How many of us know of ministry through AA, Parish community support and affirmation programmes or schools and training programmes?
  • Who among us knows of the work of mission overseas supporting health, home-building and farming projects? There is also the ministry of non-church organisations like Aged Concern, The Red Cross, St. John and local authority community-development programmes, services to families and young children.
  • Our City Missions serve thousands of people in desperate circumstances.
  • Then there's our extensive network of services through the Selwyn Foundation, through our community halls, and op shops and mainly music programmes.
  • We are by far the largest social, advocacy, community and care agency in the country but I doubt many of us know it.

It would be timely to gather this and other information together through the diocesan communication staff and disseminate it as widely as possible. There are many more but we need an informative booklet to be informed ourselves and to inform others.

John Marcon
Parish of St. Paul-by-the-Sea, Milford
Milford. Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
22 December 2014

All over yonder star?

Tried to smoke a rubber cigar...

I must admit that I never learned the other verses — 3 Kings turning into 2 Kings and then 1 King and then none! Apparently Silent Night is appropriate at the end of this.

Vicki Milnes
St. John the Evangelist Somerset Street Ottawa
Ottawa Ontario CANADA
22 December 2014

Do, a deer, a female deer; re, a drop of golden sun

You wrote "Many schools no longer teach music, and the music teachers who remain are sensitive to the multi-ethnic nature of the student body. Teaching Christmas songs in a school that has non-Christian students is in our modern world no longer considered appropriate. So it doesn't happen."

I don't believe that this is true. Many schools with multi-ethnic communities teach Christmas carols and Christian music: I've seen plenty of them in Wales and I don't believe that it would be different in England. But they do not have the central place in a school Christmas that was the case a generation or two ago, except in church schools, because Christmas has become more secular.

A greater threat is the steady disappearance of music teaching from schools, including instrumental teaching. Within less than a generation, the ability to sing or play music will be limited to those who had parents willing to pay for teaching (presumably including former choirboys and girls).

Richard Mulcahy
Church in Wales
Newport, WALES
26 December 2014

(Editor: Welsh schoolchildren are lucky. Where we live, this doesn't happen in schools)

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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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