NEW

Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

Peter Hitchens on the Intelligibility of Worship with the BCP

 

Peter Hitchens on the Intelligibility of Worship with the BCP

 

In the last edition, we featured an interview with Peter Hitchens.  This is a follow-up. As always, Hitchens responds as an informed layman in a modern world all the while holding forth to an earlier view of the Church and its worship. 

EC:  What do you say to those who say the language of the BCP is unintelligible to modern readers and hearers?

PH:  “They should give examples of what they mean. I can discuss those. I have noticed that when Biblical passages are hard to fathom in the King James version, they are usually equally hard to fathom in more modern translations. 17th century English is admirably clear and robust, generally preferring short words.  Prayer Book language is very clear. I suspect that what they really don’t like is the rather tougher ideas about authority,  penitence and sin which the 1662 book conveys.”

EC:  Finally, would you as an informed layman care to comment on the growing attendance to choral BCP Evensong (pre-Covid)?  Is it due to the message of the BCP or the lack of a sermon that might contrary the liturgy?

PH:  “Most people don’t listen to sermons. But there are several reasons why these services are popular.  The abandoning of Prayer Book Matins in parish churches (once the main service of the Church of England, now vanishingly rare)  has meant the end of accessible broad-church worship.  

“Factionalism at either end has made churches into clubs for initiates, rather than places where anyone can go experimentally, without feeling subjected to pressure-selling, or excluded by not being an initiate. In some, you must take Communion when you don’t much wish to, or watch others do so without being able to; In others, you must be an enthusiast, happy to join in with the often noisy and declaratory approach to faith of the evangelicals.  Of course, Prayer Book worship supported by trained choirs is often beautiful whereas modern parish worship, in my experience is seldom beautiful.

“The real point is that a tentative person may attend such services and make a gradual approach to the Throne of the Heavenly Grace, which is how most people seeking Christ in this unchurched country prefer to do it.   I also think that there is something especially compelling about worship at the end of the day,  as the shadows lengthen, which has been almost entirely lost since so many parish churches more or less stopped doing it in the 1960s.”

Previous

Next