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 Recently
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
Sri Lanka

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.

Often in this space we write anonymously in the editorial 'we'. But from time to time a topic is sufficiently personal that any long-time reader can hear the 'I' even when we write 'we'. In the nearly 25 years of its existence, there have been numerous people involved with Anglicans Online, though not more than half a dozen at the same time. Some have died, some have faded away, some have found new interests and moved on. Somehow we have achieved a semblance of continuity.

Last week's writer mentioned 'Our daughter turns a year old next Friday.' This week's writer will retire from the workforce in a few days, at age 70, after being employed for 53 years (some of it part-time during university). The arrival and growth of a baby is a life-changing event. Retirement is a life-changing event. But God certainly intended our lives to change.

As our lives change, our faith and parish and liturgy and music have helped provide some constancy. We say 'usually', because we remember vividly the turbulence caused in our parish in the USA when the 1979 Book of Common Prayer became official. Two or three generations of parishioners had come of age and raised families with the 1928 BCP, and the revisionist newfangled 1979 edition was terribly disruptive to the patterns of their lives. Some parishes split from the US Episcopal Church because of the 1979 BCP; for a decade or two it was not uncommon to see a sign outside a breakaway church building, noting 'We use the 1928 prayer book'.

Sign outside a church in San Antonio, Texas, USA

We therefore feel privileged that at this disrupted time, when we need a little continuity, there aren't significant changes in our parish life. The biggest change we can remember in the last year is switching to baked bread instead of wafers for the Eucharist.

Back in 1979, when we were younger, we thought scornful thoughts about the people and parishes choosing to leave the US Episcopal Church (and thus the Anglican Communion) because their prayer book had changed. Forty years later in 2019, we understand completely. If our prayer book were to change at the same time as some other cataclysmic change in our life, there's no telling how we might react. We remember being in church shortly after the death and funeral of a close friend, and seeing 'Love Divine, All Loves Excelling' listed in the service leaflet as one of the hymns. Great joy. But when the organist began the hymn, the melody was Blaenwern and not Hyfrydol. After church, we turned to the person next to us in the pew and muttered 'I wanted to throw a prayer book at the organist for using that tune.' 'Why did you want to throw a prayer book?' 'Because I didn't have a brick.' The familiar Hyfrydol would have been balm; the less-familiar and less beloved Blaenwern was not, even though we knew that it had been used at Margaret Thatcher's recent funeral service. In our grief at our friend's death, we needed the constancy of the familiar, and relied on our church and parishioners to help us find it, even those who have lost their faith or never had faith to lose. They are God's children and they are our friends.

When planning for our retirement, we considered also retiring from Anglicans Online, leaving it to the younger members of the crew. But younger folks have younger children, have the responsibilities of new jobs or new chosen career paths, and perhaps a different view of what AO should become. So here we are, updating and writing and editing as we do every Sunday. It's a form of constancy, isn't it?

See you next week.

Our signature
All of us at Anglicans Online

22 September 2019 CE

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. ©2019 Society of Archbishop Justus
. Please address all spam to