The 1662 Book of Common Prayer, International

Book Review The 1662 Book of Common Prayer International Edition Given that the vast majority of 110 million Anglican Christians around belong to provinces that identify the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as their standard liturgy, it is no surprise that a publisher has...

Freedoms Assailed

One of the most concerning aspects of all the Covid restrictions is the way police, politicians, and governments have acquiesced so readily regarding the restrictions being placed and enforced on freedom of speech and worship in majority Christian nations—even in a...

Free Church of England Congregation Leaves After Actions of Bishops

The Church Council & Trustees of Emmanuel Anglican Church (FCE), Tunbridge Wells have unanimously voted to leave the denomination after actions by Bishop Primus (Presiding Bishop) John Fenwick and Bishop Paul Hunt have gone unanswered. The parish was a recent...

FCE Primus Accused of Blackmail & Racism

Free Church of England Bishop Primus, The Rt Revd John Fenwick has been accused of attempted blackmail and racism in a growing public dispute within the denomination. The FCE left the Church of England in 1844 and linked with the Reformed Episcopal Church in the US...

St Vincent Update

The West Indian island nation of St Vincent & the Grenadines is still struggling with the aftermath of a series of eruptions from the La Soufriere volcano that began 9 April. Twenty-thousand residents have been displaced by the disaster. Things have become more...

Dean of Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham Cites Ongoing Conflict within The Episcopal Church.

The Very Revd Andrew Pearson, Dean and Rector of the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama has resigned. The large, downtown parish has long been a bulwark against an increasing departure from biblical standards within the Episcopal Church, USA....

Finnish Bishop-Elect Charged by Prosecutor

Finnish Bishop-Elect Charged by Prosecutor Over 2004 Booklet Supporting Biblical Teach on Sexuality FINLAND – Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola, Diocesan Dean and Bishop Elect of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (ELMDF) has been charged by Finland’s...

Heidelberg Catechism

Lord’s Day 4 Q & A 9 Q. But doesn’t God do us an injustice by requiring in his law what we are unable to do? A. No, God created human beings with the ability to keep the law.1 They, however, provoked by the devil,2 in willful disobedience,3 robbed themselves and all...

Skrine Instituted as Rector of All Souls’

The Revd Charles Walter Douglas Skrine was instituted as Rector of All Souls’, Langham Place on Wednesday, 28 April. His predecessor was The Revd Hugh Palmer. Palmer had been rector of the parish since 2005 and Chaplain to HM The Queen since 2012. Skrine had been the...


30 April 2021 During the 3 'Lockdowns' over the past year preachers who minister the Gospel in the open air have continued to be stopped from fulfilling their ministry to the public. For example in the past 5 weeks alone we have noticed: On Saturday 20 March 2021 two...

Prudence Dailey: Commentary

Prudence Dailey:  Commentary

In Defence of Christendom

‘Of course, none of us would want to see the return of Christendom’.

These words were spoken some years ago by a bishop during a General Synod debate: I cannot now remember exactly who said them, nor the subject of the discussion; but I will never forget my naïve bafflement at hearing this utterance. Christendom has been defined as the centuries during which Western civilisation considered itself formally and officially Christian: why on earth would Christians welcome the de-Christianisation of the West?

While there is no specific date on which Christendom can be said to have come to an end, its fizzling out seems to have been recent and rapid. When I was born, in the mid-1960s, the tail-end of Christendom was still in operation: I arrived prematurely and, concerned that I might not make it, hospital staff immediately—and before even consulting my mother, who was recovering from a difficult birth—summoned the Chaplain to baptise me at once. At my state secondary school in the 1970s and 80s, we sang hymns and said prayers in assembly: that was residual Christendom, too.

I think I now understand where certain Evangelical objectors are coming from. Christendom (they argue) makes no distinction between the ‘saved’ and the ‘unsaved’, demands no individual acceptance of Christ, and sees no need for evangelisation and conversion. By contrast, to be a Christian in our modern secular culture demands a definite personal commitment.

The implication is that, at the time when Christianity could almost be taken for granted, many of those who thought of themselves as Christians were really only nominally so. There is, of course, an element of truth in this: in an environment when it socially expected or advantageous to lay claim to the Christian faith, and perhaps even to attend Church regularly, quite a lot of people are going to do so without any real personal faith.

To see things this way is, however, to privatise faith excessively, and to misunderstand human nature. As every parent who has sought to raise Christian children understands, while it is ultimately up to each person to accept or reject the Gospel, such decisions are not reached in a vacuum. Communities of shared faith provide an environment in which belief can be nurtured, and the Christian message is regarded as prima facie plausible. It is no surprise that the Bible several times speaks of whole households being baptised. What is more, secular writers such as Tom Holland and Douglas Murray have increasingly come to understand that Western culture is fundamentally underpinned by the precepts of Christendom, without which it is increasingly fragile.

Following the recent death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, as attention has been turned to aspects of his life that were previously not well-known, we can see the extent to which he represented the last dying embers of Christendom. Brought up, like any Greek prince, in the Orthodox Church, and then switching his allegiance to the Church of England because he was expected to do so, it would have been easy to imagine that his Christian observance was largely a formality. In reality, however, nothing could have been further from the truth: he was a man of deep Christian conviction, who not only read but also wrote religious books and prayers, and (it is said) persuaded Her Majesty to include more overt Christian themes in her annual Christmas message. Inextricably bound up with the Established Church—of which his wife was Supreme Governor—his faith was no less genuine for that.

It is, alas, highly unlikely that Christendom will return in the West in our lifetimes, or perhaps ever in this life. We should, however, recognise what we have lost, and pray that in God’s good Providence it might one day be restored.