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This page last updated 25 September 2017  

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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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.

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Letters from the week of 18 September - 24 September 2017

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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What is Church?

A bit of a sonnet I once wrote, with a not quite perfect rhyming scheme - some might say, a bit of doggerel - may be relevant.

"The church is not the building but the folk
who come to sing and pray and gossip and
on Sunday mornings in the Bible soak
their hearts and minds, and all about the land
remember, at their best, what Jesus told
is basically true, not tommy rot,
and care, at least a little, some a lot,
for neighbours who are outside in the cold.”

And partly this is so, but I record
“the church” is also wood or brick or stone,
the “house of God”, the “temple of the Lord”,
God’s property, God’s place, briefly on loan
to us, where in the silence we may sense
within, the Holy One. To church go hence !

The word "church" is used in various different ways in the 1662 BCP, including in reference to the BUILDING ! And there is a whole Homily on the subject of what it calls "the house of God" and "the temple of the Lord" and on preserving reverence within it - something one can still find in most Roman Catholic churches but sadly not so often now in our Anglican and Episcopalian churches. An Australian poet, James McAuley, wrote "set pools of silence in this thirsty land".

John Bunyan
St John the Baptist's Parish Church, Canberra
Campbelltown, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
18 September 2017


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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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