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Letter to the Editor: Response to the Last Editorial

Letter to the Editor Response to Last Edition’s Editorial Dear Editor, Thank you very much for your Christian charity and spirited editorial, Friday 8th October 2021, ( E.C. No.8090).  Also thanks are due to you for reprinting so much excellent reformed evangelical...

Letter to the Editor: The Murder of Sir David Amess

Murder of Sir David Amess Dear Editor, I grieve at the loss of a friend and former Party colleague Sir David Amess, MP who was murdered in an increasingly dangerous world. In the 70s I worked with David in the Young Conservatives before he became an MP and he was...

Reformation Sunday Advert

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:                        15 October 2021. My ‘Advert’ titled “Reformation Sunday 31 October” said, “The Church of England should still celebrate this 500th year since Martin Luther declared at the ‘Diet of Worms’ in 1521, “Here I stand. God help...

Leicester Diocese Illogical

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Barnabas Fund Reports: Turkey Escalates Airstrikes Against Christians in Syria & Iraq

Barnabas Fund Reports Turkey Escalating Airstrikes Against Christians and other Minorities in Syria and Iraq Turkey has escalated a supposedly anti-terrorist military campaign in Syria and Iraq which appears to be targeting Christians and other minorities. A spate of...

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Gospel-Driven Anglicanism Part 4

Should I Stay or Should I Go? By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles Part 4 Gedaliah is appointed governor and we read that Jeremiah purposely chooses to live amongst “those of the poorest of the land who had not been taken into exile in Babylon” (40:7). Things have taken a turn...

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley Saturday, 16 October marked the 466th anniversary of the martyrdoms of Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley.   They were burned at the stake after being found guilty of heresy due to their refusal to...

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture: John Yates III to Speak

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture  Revd Dr John Yates III to Speak The annual Clive West Memorial Lecture will be held on Thursday, 11 November at 19:30 at St Nicholas’ Church, Lisburn Road in Belfast.  This year’s speaker is the Revd Dr John Yates III, Rector of Holy...

Book Review: Bleeding for Jesus

Bleeding for Jesus John Smyth and the cult of the Iwerne Camps Andrew Graystone Darton, Longman and Todd, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913657123, 250pp, £12.99) This book is the latest instalment of a long-running tragedy. It comes six years after the author was first made aware...

School Pupils Across the Country Memorise Passages from BCP for £1,000 Prize

School Pupils Across the Country  Memorise Book of Common Prayer Passages  £1,000 Prize for Winner By Tim Stanley Hundreds of school pupils across the country are busy this term studying prayers and readings from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in a bid to win a prize...

Book Review: The Social Life of Early Modern Protestant Clergy

The Social Life of the Early Modern Protestant Clergy

Special issue of The Journal of Religious History, Literature and Culture

Jacqueline Eales and Beverley Tjerngren

University of Wales Press, 2020 (ISBN: 9781786837141, 119pp, £24.99)

William Gibson’s work has been commented on favourably in this column (EC8083). To add to his roll call of accomplishments, Gibson serves as a co-editor of the Journal of Religious History, Literature and Culture, now in its sixth year of life. This special edition of the journal, which Gibson arranged, presents an esoteric collection of articles, each originally delivered as a lecture in Belfast in 2018. The occasion was the European Social Science History Conference, a periodic gathering convened by the International Institute of Social History, itself a division of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Eales and Tjerngren assembled an Anglo-Swedish panel of academics to present papers at the 2018 conference, with corresponding national interests, which has the saving grace of preventing the resulting work from bearing an anachronistic reference to ‘Anglican’ clergy. Indeed, many of the challenges and novelties experienced by the Churches of England and of Sweden were alike in the period under review – common to all the Protestant churches. This edition focuses particularly on the two matters of clerical marriage and clerical finances. 

The outstanding essay in the collection is Gibson’s itself, in which he demolishes the popular conception (largely fabricated by Victorian Tractarians) that eighteenth century English bishops were ecclesiastical plutocrats, living lavishly off their sees Leo X-style. By contrast, Gibson demonstrates the financial hardships experienced by those taking on episcopal office, from the numerous legal and administrative costs on appointment, from expectations of hospitality and largesse, and from demands of itinerancy both around their diocese and back and forth to parliament. Those like Bishop Thomas Sherlock who were able to leave fortunes to their descendants were the exception rather than the norm, but proved a rich source of satirical humour, as seen in the cartoon rather counter-intuitively featured on the cover. 

Among the other essays presented, those by Rosamund Oates on clergy wives at the Reformation and Jon Stobart on the material culture of Georgian clergy are intriguing, while those from Tjerngren and her Swedish colleagues offer some English language insights on Scandinavian church history. Individual subscriptions to the JRHLC stand at only £25 per annum, which, assuming regular editions are of equivalent standard, represents good value for a journal of this quality.

Edward Keene, Little Shelford

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