Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Church of England Faces Biggest Exodus Since the Reformation

News Analysis
As posted on VirtueOnline
By David W. Virtue

Embattled Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals in the Church of England, smarting from the recent Synod decision to consecrate women bishops, are licking their wounds and planning their exodus from the Mother Church.

Even though the Church of England prides itself on its inclusiveness and holding conflicting views together under one big tent, those policies failed when General Synod met in York recently and decided to ordain women to the episcopacy. A Rubicon was crossed.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York's failure to cobble together a measure that would make special provision for those members opposed to women bishops only weakened Dr. Rowan Williams' overall authority which is now see an all time low in the Anglican Communion.
(The rest of the article may be read by clicking here)

The question we have to face, especially the Anglican Catholic Church Original Province (ACC-OP), is, what are we willing to do? If we believe we wear the mantle of genuine Anglican belief, and therefore carry the burden of the Christian mission that Canterbury has abdicated, then what we do in the immediate and near future will determine whether we assist Bishop Mead and the English ACC in taking advantage of what is, from one perspective, the current opportunity, or if we might even obstruct their efforts to grow to the extent that this hour of history offers. This opportunity is, at the same time, a great need on the part of English Anglicans who want to Continue to be faithful to the Catholic and Evangelical emphases of the true Anglican patrimony.

My own perspective comes from across the pond, and as such is somewhat that of a mere observer. Nonetheless, from over here it seems that we who are not living in England have saddled our church in England with an unnecessary burden. Whereas I count myself among those who find the Holy Communion services in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, our American 1928 Book of Common Prayer, or the Scottish Non-Juror Book of Common Prayer, to be superior to the Holy Communion service as contained in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, it seems a small price to pay to accommodate English Anglicans who cannot abandon their Prayer Book. It is not as if the 1662 BCP contained any theological problem, and needed to be shut out. No one has charged error, nor could such a charge hold water.

It may be that the English Anglicans we have heard from on this blog (represented by one Fr. Edward) have an attachment to that one edition of the BCP that is more emotional than logical. But, that does not change the fact that they feel what they feel, and have let us know that they remain, at this time, unable fully to trust us. After all, we are talking about the BCP of William Wilberforce and C.S. Lewis (among so many, many names), the book that the actual Oxford Movement Anglo-Catholics defended and cherished, the book that had signaled quite clearly the triumph of Caroline Anglicanism over the excesses of Puritanism (even if some misinformed souls imagine it to have been the other way around). My own perspective tells me, from this distance, that we have heard rather frankly from a segment of the Anglicans in the native home of Anglicanism. It may not be a huge segment, but we have it on the Highest Authority that "one the least of the least" counts. I believe the issue needs to be reopened and that waiting for the Provincial Synod in 2011 may be too late to meet the current need/opportunity. Such a time as now may not come again.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Something must be done in England to protect and hand on the Faith for which the Oxford Movement contended - but what?

Certainly not a Roman Catholic Theme Park designated as an "Anglican Ordinariate".

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr Hart,
In view of the fact that the ACC in England needs every possible form of assistance, given its vanishingly tiny numbers and largely untrained handful -make that two handfuls - of clergy, not to capitalize on the enormous affection the BCP of 1662 still inspires among thousands of Anglicans looks like wilful ignorance.
There have been discussions on this blog in the past about the 'monoculturalism' that is ACC in the UK,and whereas Bp Mead has responded by saying that parishes using the Prayer Book would be established if there was actually a demand, it is not,so far as I can see, the 1662 book he has in mind. Nonetheless in the United Kingdom 1662 IS the Book of Common Prayer. Few English people know of, or desire any other, despite its manifest failings. Until the DUK bites the bullet and includes it among its liturgical books,it is refusing to open the door to hundreds who might join. And even one hundred would represent more than a one hundred per cent growth in the size of the membership ofthe local Church.
Pelican

AFS1970 said...

The ACC seems to be in the best position to offer a home/refuge to British Anglicans, as they already have a presence there. The two questions that remain are, will CoE refugees be willing to go back to the days before 1992? And will they be willing to come to the realization that it is they not the ACC who are the separatists.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Pelican:

If the 1662 edition is not the ideal, it is still sometimes the case that the best becomes the enemy of the good; or the unreachable ideal the enemy of a practical goal.

If I understand our Canons rightly, the DUK can't act without the OP voting in Provincial Synod--which is usually comprised mostly of Americans; frankly, that means the matter is decided by people who may not really appreciate how some of the traditional UK Anglicans feel. The Rev. Canon John Hollister mentioned an interesting idea, however, a few months ago, that could help.

Anonymous said...

The issue here in England is not the Prayer Book - 1662 or 1928. These are largely disused by Catholic Anglicans, and entirely unfamiliar to most.

The issue is the survival of Catholic Faith and Order. The Synod has just voted to terminate any claims the CofE may have to a valid apostolic succession.

Will the last few AC bishops have the courage to maintain it in defiance of the Synod? That is what we need to know.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart:

What was Father Hollister's idea?

I can fully understand why the faithful in England love the 1662 BCP. To them, it literally is the BCP. And while the order of the Holy Communion is rearranged a bit from other editions, it certainly is a workable arrangement that people obviously love. The 1662 BCP is a beautiful BCP anyway you look at it.


Frankly, I'd prefer any of the classic BCPs to be used rather than the Anglican Missal. Some of those poems that are read between the Epistle and the Gospel are rediculously silly and archaic, unlike the BCP itself which still holds perfect meaning and understandability.

By all means, the 1662 should be embraced to allow the faithful a new home.

Faithful BCP Supporter

Canon Tallis said...

This is precisely the problem which a few of us having been trying, albeit not very successfully, to prepare the Continuum to meet. It certainly did not take a huge IQ to realize the speed with which it was approaching, but those who "had the church they wanted" did not mentally or emotionally prepare themselves to realize that they were rejecting historical Anglicanism as certainly as Canterbury and York.

Setting that aside, the question is will the synod of the ACC as well as their partners in what remains of the American Church find a way to act so that the bishops of the ACC, APCK and the UEC will appear to these folks as "a shepherd and not a wolf?"

It would seem to me that the first and most logical step would be for Archbishop Haverland to get together a conference call with Bishop Robinson and Bishop Mead and forget what they like and prefer and concentrate on what these poor Christian people need, really need. And start tomorrow and not wait until next year.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The anonymous Anonymous wrote:

The issue here in England is not the Prayer Book - 1662 or 1928. These are largely disused by Catholic Anglicans, and entirely unfamiliar to most.

The issue is the survival of Catholic Faith and Order.


How is it that you fail to see the connection? Do you really believe this is mere coincidence? Do you not see the law of cause and effect? Would the modern apostasy have been possible in the context of fidelity to the BCP? The modern reinvention that wrongly calls itself "Anglo-Catholicism" has failed to heed the wisdom of the Oxford Movement. They did not throw away the BCP; those who fancy themselves their folowers have. In so doing, they have been part of the problem, for all their talk about Catholic Order. What they say about Cathoic Order and Apostolic Succession is said with more gravitas when said from the Ordinal in the BCP.

Faithful BCP Supporter:

But, you need to remember that most of those "poems" are from the Book of Psalms, using the Coverdale translation from the BCP. And, much depneds on how a missal is used. The dressing up and embellishing of the BCP service is never the problem.

John A. Hollister said...

Despite the attempts of many of our brothers and sisters to enlighten me, I am still mystified by the visceral reaction against the 1662 edition of the BCP by many of the U.S. members of the ACC.

I have yet to hear of a single criticism of that edition that does not apply equally to the 1962 Canadian edition, yet since 1976 that Canadian BCP has been accepted without question as one of the "authentic" versions of the BCP and as permissible for use throughout the ACC.

Yet it has the "bobtailed Canon", the "Black Rubric", and even something the 1662 itself does not, in the form of a very strange reworking of the Psalter.

On at least two occasions (it may have been three; memory tends to fail with the passage of time) I begged the Provincial Synod to amend that particular article of the ACC's Constitution, using precisely the arguments Pelican and Faithful BCP Supporter put forth here, but those arguments fell on deaf ears.

Perhaps once the ACC erects its Third Province, which will bring into existence the Holy Synod as an international legislative assembly superior to the Provincial Synods, a less parochial attitude may prevail.

John A. Hollister+

Bishop Mead said...

In January of this year I made my own position very clear in commenting on a discussion about the Liturgical practice of my Diocese. I issued an invitation then to anyone actually living in the UK and who was intending to join the ACC here to get in touch if the only thing stopping them from doing so was the fact that the ACC does not have the 1662 BCP among it authorised liturgical texts. This was especially aimed at a number of UK based readers who had made it clear here that they were extremely disappointed that we don't. Noone has contacted me. In the last few months since I have begun to advertise in certain Church of England publications that the ACC is the only viable option for traditional Anglicans here in the UK, I have begun to have more contacts than usual from laity and clergy - not one has mentioned the 1662 BCP.
As for the 1662 BCP being some form of guarantee of orthodoxy ... In the way that the American 1928 BCP appears to be seen in the USA, I know of a number of priestesses who regularly use that book and love it as much as anyone else.
The comment about the 'poems' that appear in the Anglican Missal and how the Prayer Book rite is seen to be superior ignores the fact that for many folk the 1662 BCP Communion Rite is only loved by individuals in the way they have been used to it being celebrated in their own individual parish. I made the point back in January that the TAC authorised the 1662 BCP here but even before their decision to approach Rome were no more successful in attracting traditional prayerbook loving Anglicans than my Diocese has been.
Canon Hollister has made some interesting suggestions and I am open to the use of other ACC authorised liturgies in my Diocese as I have said before. However until someone ... Anyone ... Actually resident here in the UK who genuinely wishes to join us actually discusses this with me I can do no more. Despite the fact that some commentators seem to suggest that I just need to list the 1662 BCP among our authorised liturgies or that it's my personal preference not to do so. Fr Hart is correct in pointing out that it's not a decision this Bishop nor my Diocese can take alone even if we all wanted to do so here in the UK. A lawless disregard for Canon law is something that the ACC and other right minded Anglicans should reject most firmly.
+DM

Bishop Mead said...

In January of this year I made my own position very clear in commenting on a discussion about the Liturgical practice of my Diocese. I issued an invitation then to anyone actually living in the UK and who was intending to join the ACC here to get in touch if the only thing stopping them from doing so was the fact that the ACC does not have the 1662 BCP among it authorised liturgical texts. This was especially aimed at a number of UK based readers who had made it clear here that they were extremely disappointed that we don't. Noone has contacted me. In the last few months since I have begun to advertise in certain Church of England publications that the ACC is the only viable option for traditional Anglicans here in the UK, I have begun to have more contacts than usual from laity and clergy - not one has mentioned the 1662 BCP.
As for the 1662 BCP being some form of guarantee of orthodoxy ... In the way that the American 1928 BCP appears to be seen in the USA, I know of a number of priestesses who regularly use that book and love it as much as anyone else.
To be continued/

Bishop Mead said...

The comment about the 'poems' that appear in the Anglican Missal and how the Prayer Book rite is seen to be superior ignores the fact that for many folk the 1662 BCP Communion Rite is only loved by individuals in the way they have been used to it being celebrated in their own individual parish. I made the point back in January that the TAC authorised the 1662 BCP here but even before their decision to approach Rome were no more successful in attracting traditional prayerbook loving Anglicans than my Diocese has been. 
Canon Hollister has made some interesting suggestions and I am open to the use of other ACC authorised liturgies in my Diocese as I have said before. However until someone ... Anyone ... Actually resident here in the UK who genuinely wishes to join us actually discusses this with me I can do no more. Despite the fact that some commentators seem to suggest that I just need to list the 1662 BCP among our authorised liturgies or that it's my personal preference not to do so. Fr Hart is correct in pointing out that it's not a decision this Bishop nor my Diocese can take alone even if we all wanted to do so here in the UK.  A lawless disregard for Canon law is something that the ACC and other right minded Anglicans should reject most firmly. 
+DM

Bishop Mead said...

The comment about the 'poems' that appear in the Anglican Missal and how the Prayer Book rite is seen to be superior ignores the fact that for many folk the 1662 BCP Communion Rite is only loved by individuals in the way they have been used to it being celebrated in their own individual parish. I made the point back in January that the TAC authorised the 1662 BCP here but even before their decision to approach Rome were no more successful in attracting traditional prayerbook loving Anglicans than my Diocese has been. 
Canon Hollister has made some interesting suggestions and I am open to the use of other ACC authorised liturgies in my Diocese as I have said before. However until someone ... Anyone ... Actually resident here in the UK who genuinely wishes to join us actually discusses this with me I can do no more. Despite the fact that some commentators seem to suggest that I just need to list the 1662 BCP among our authorised liturgies or that it's my personal preference not to do so. Fr Hart is correct in pointing out that it's not a decision this Bishop nor my Diocese can take alone even if we all wanted to do so here in the UK.  A lawless disregard for Canon law is something that the ACC and other right minded Anglicans should reject most firmly. 
+DM

Anonymous said...

Fr Hart

I can understand that you devoutly wish it were not so. But it is a simple fact that the Catholic clergy and parishes of the Church of England ceased to use the BCP a generation ago. Some use the new Common Worship and some use the Roman rite.

The 1662 BCP remains lawful for use here, but its decline began in 1980 with the publication of the first Alternative Service Book, and its fate was sealed in 2000 by Common Worship.

I doubt very much if you could find ten AC churches in the whole of this realm which use the BCP for their main act of worship on Sunday morning. I am not aware of any, although no doubt someone will now supply details of some ecclesiastical coelacanth in a remote rural fastness.

In brief, the AC movement in England has either aped the crass changes introduced in the Roman church by Vatican 2, or has "gone native" as part of the liturgical mainstream of the CofE.

Its Liturgy is no more: but Faith and Order remain, for now. The question is, how can what remains be salvaged?

Indeed, is it worth salvaging?

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart:

To many of us the BCP service does not need "dressing up." It is beautiful and elegant on its own. It is considered the greatest accomplishment of English literature.

It is a shame that priests who call themselves Anglican think that the BCP needs "dressing up." There is nothing more beautiful than Morning Prayer, Evensong or the Mass sung from the BCP as is.

The additions from the Missal are not all Psalms - the Psalms I have no objection to. A lot of those additions are very "sing-songy", bad poetry from archaic Hymns, etc.
If they were sung as they ought to be, it wouldn't sound so bad. But when they are read by a priest - some of them going on verse after tedious verse - they sound rediculous and more than a little annoying to the ear.

The BCP is a treasure as thousands of the faithful in England realize. It is a shame that the Continuum doesn't realize what a treasure the BCP truly is -forsaking it for the Missal for Mass, and allowing Morning Prayer and Evensong to perish from disuse.

Without faithful observation of Morning Prayer and Evensong, a parish cannot truly call itself Anglican, or assert that it is following the Anglican faith given us in the BCP. The Wesleys, the Tractarians, the Oxford Movement and Sacramentalists in general did not advocate abandoning the Prayer Offices, they nearly pointed out that the Mass should be offered each Sunday as well. Abandoning the Prayer Offices as TEC and the Continuum has done would have been unthinkable to the Sacramentalists.

Faithful BCP Supporter

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Faithful BCP supporter:

I agree that the BCP needs no dressing up, but, don't you sing hymns? Are they not allowed and even suggested in the rubrics? Is there a crucial difference, then, between embellishment from the hymnal and embellishment from a Missal? Maybe there is, but I don't see it.

Bishop Mead:

Your Grace, I am disappointed that you have not heard from Fr. Edward directly, inasmuch as he commented here to the effect that the lack of authorization for the 1662 stands in his way and in the way of the people he represents. Others who have made remarks to me need to know that I am in no position to do anything practical or effective with those remarks. But, I wonder how much they are overlooking the ACC due to confusion caused by the TAC (after all, even our use of the word "Catholic" itself causes confusion, which I encounter here every week--people seem not to remember what they said in the Creeds once a service is over), or because they already assume that the their beloved BCP cannot be used at all, ever, even for Daily Offices (which, as I understand, certainly is not the case).

However, I never said that the BCP guarantees orthodoxy, for not even the Bible guarantees orthodoxy. Nothing does, because the human imagination is very active. But, I have seen that the circus atmosphere surrounding liturgy in the U.S. and in the U.K. (and other places), over about the last forty years, has created endless innovations and a general sense of chaos, with a corresponding lack of confidence by the people. I find that even the Continuing Anglicans outside of the ACC over here do, to a large extent, whatever some local bishop likes, whether or not it is in the BCP, or even in any Hymnal or Missal. They have learned too much from the modern Episcopal Church.

I have mentioned the ACC-OP in Provincial Synod for a good reason. Every edition of the BCP that was authorized, whether in England, the U.S., Canada, South Africa, or anywhere, was authorized only after discussion and through a legal process. In England it involved both the General Synod, Parliament and the crown; and in the U.S. it involved, in the old days, the national Church in General Convention (the old American way of saying "General Synod"). So, for the ACC to act in Provincial Synod is quite proper by all the old standards of Anglican Canon Law. We are a church; we are not an extension of the Episcopal Church or the Church of England.

To all:

I have voiced a point of view that is in keeping with public knowledge, there being no dark, deep secrets. The ACC has placed all its cards on the table, without pretense to perfection or claims of infallibility. All over the world, where Anglicans are in a state of emergency and turmoil, the ACC is the best option. We may not be the perfect solution in a perfect world governed by the Ideal of Plato. But, the ACC is the best option on the ground in the real world.

Colin Chattan said...

"I have voiced a point of view that is in keeping with public knowledge, there being no dark, deep secrets. The ACC has placed all its cards on the table, without pretense to perfection or claims of infallibility. All over the world, where Anglicans are in a state of emergency and turmoil, the ACC is the best option. We may not be the perfect solution in a perfect world governed by the Ideal of Plato. But, the ACC is the best option on the ground in the real world."

Hear! Hear! Fr. Hart. As an ex-member of the Anglican Church of Canada, which embraced apostasy and chaos long ago, and a soon-to-be ex-member of the TAC which is disintegrating, tragically, right before our eyes, I can only say that my own experience has proved you absolutely right.

To disgruntled members of the Church of England, and my fellow TAC members in the U.K. who don't want to pope, please, if you truly value classical Anglicanism as the most vital branch of the Catholic Church in this fallen world and the richest source of grace for us sinners to get close to and be sustained by our Lord, don't hesitate or prevaricate, but get in touch with Bishop Mead and at least talk to him. He is the steward of a great treasure that you have only to ask to receive.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart:

As you mentioned the Rubrics of the BCP call for Hymns to be sung. But it is possible to have a beautiful Sung service - Mass, Morning Prayer or Evensong - by simply singing the prayers, the lessons, and the propers directly from the BCP. The BCP is in a language that is still as elegant, clear, easy to understand, and as relevent, as when it was first written in 1549.


Sorry, but I can't find the spot in the BCP Rubrics where it suggests that we "Romanize" the service with additions from a Missal.

I think one flaw in the ACC that would prevent many of the Anglican faithful in England from coming to us is the lack of Morning Prayer, and, especially Evensong, in most of the ACC. Solemn Evensong from the 1662 BCP is a beloved English tradition, from small parish church, to cathedrals and the Chapels Royal. Evensong is often the best-attended service of the week. The faithful of the C of E understand the importance of the Prayer Offices to truly being Anglican.

The ACC should reassert the importance of singing/saying the Prayer Offices beginning with the bishops encouraging this practice in every parish and mission.

TEC made a horrible mistake in abandoning the Prayer Offices. It seems that sadly the ACC is following that disastrous lead of TEC.

The ACC needs to begin once again to take seriously the whole of the Anglican faith. There is more to the Anglican faith than just showing up to receive Communion once a week and putting a check in the plate. The church needs to gather to pray the offices, thus modeling and encouraging the laity to do the same.

Faithful BCP Supporter

Fr. Dcn. David Gould said...

The debate about the place of the 1662 BCP is one issue in this blog.As an Australian grew up on 1662, but it was as Fr. Hart notes enriched with hymns and some local variables - and my parish was as evangelical as they come. North end celebration, surplice and scarf.....

In relation to what will happen in the UK and the criticism of the paucity of the Diocese of the UK of the ACC, lack of numbers does not change the fact that the ACC is THE only viable continuation of the Catholic and Apostolic faith that we have as Anglicans in the UK.

In Australia our numbers are no better and the exodus from the establishment Anglican Church stopped years ago. The pontifications of the TAC schism and the go to Rome fever of Archbishop Hepworth have also contributed to this.

The UK is the shell of what it was in the best years of the C of E and is the Australian scene. The ACC is a true missionary church in both countries. Low parish numbers, no money, isolation which in the Australian continent is massive and soul numbing at times make us a mission field with some of the characteristics of Africa or India. Even in Rwanda they are building churches.

The ACC is marked by first class leadership and a deep sense of integrity in commitment to the Catholic faith. The whole value of having Catholic in our name is to say that we are already right now fully in the Catholic Church of Christ. It is to say that we hold the faith without fear, without compromise and the establishment C of E and ECUSA and Anglican Church of Australia have lost that faith, abandoned that faith - schismatic sectarian bodies that should no longer carry the name "Anglican".

I hope that the ACC reaches out to the TAC worldwide to end the schism and retain for Anglicanism many fine Christians.

Bishop Mead said...

Father Hart,
I'm sorry if I have misunderstood you about the Book of Common Prayer guaranteeing orthodoxy in some way. I thought this is what you meant when you said “Would the modern apostasy have been possible in the context of fidelity to the BCP?” In any case some of those who comment here seem to suggest it.

Faithful BCP Supporter,
I assume that the ‘additions from the Missal’ - that are not from the Psalms - you mention are the Sequences. There are not many of them and although I prefer the translation in the English Missal rather than the Anglican Missal, I find them on the whole, where they appear, very beautiful and helpful in my worship.
“The BCP is a treasure as thousands of the faithful in England realize. It is a shame that the Continuum doesn't realize what a treasure the BCP truly is -forsaking it for the Missal for Mass, and allowing Morning Prayer and Evensong to perish from disuse.”

As thousands of the faithful in England realise? I take it, if you mean the 1662 BCP, you refer to the faithful who have stayed in the Church of England through every fad and modern fancy? AND who would not be thinking about pastures new (if indeed they are thinking of that which I am at the moment not convinced of) if the Archbishops or York and Canterbury had succeeded in introducing safeguards in the planned measures for the ‘Consecration of women’.
“...allowing Morning Prayer and Evensong to perish from disuse” ??? I have just glanced at a copy of the latest edition of ACC’s International Newspaper ‘The Trinitarian’ and looked at the section entitled “Church Directory” which lists some (but not all) ACC parishes and Missions - the cross section of worship schedule represented there show that BCP Morning Prayer and Evensong are not perishing from disuse in the ACC. I am sure the same is true in the UECNA and the Province of Christ the King.
+DM

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr Hart,
Bp Mead's response, though I am grateful that he has taken the trouble to make one, leaves me mystified. It appears that the reason why the adoption of the 1662 BCP (after any necessary due provincial process as you suggest), is not to be contemplated, is that nobody has contacted the bishop to ask for it. How many requests would it take? Would he do it for a hundred? For fifty perhaps? For ten?
Surely the only reasons needed to bring 1662 in from the cold, given that hardly any other ACC Church rejects the last orthodox version of its local Prayer Book, are that it is an authentic expression of English -speaking Catholicism, and a legitimate constituent of Anglican 'patrimony',that we should be proud to acknowledge and use. It is part of what we have been and are as Anglicans,and it might actually seem curious to some that it would only be made available as a concession after personal negotiation by individuals with the diocesan bishop.
Pelican

J. Gordon Anderson said...

I'm sorry if I missed it or couldn't infer it from what has been written, but what liturgies does the ACC in the UK currently allow? Thanks.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

The problem in the UK is, that the BCP has been missing from the general experience and increasingly memory of the Church's worship for the best part of half a century.

I would think that the main problem the ACC has in attracting disaffected CofE Anglicans is that the BCP has not been widely used by English Anglo-Catholics for the best part of a century. The English Missal and the Anglican Missal became "de rigeur" at the turn of the 19/20C and in the 60's were quickly replaced by the Novus Ordo. The BCP, particularly the 1662 if it was used by Anglo-Catholics was adapted to be celebrated more like Vespers for "Evensong & Benediction" beginning with the Responses rather than the Invitation to Confession. The 1928 was popular only ever for Holy Communion and Holy Matrimony - hardly used for anything else and soon fell out of disuse in the Provinces of Canterbury and York after the publication of "Series 1-4" in the 70's and the ASB 1980 with Rites A & B. Thus a "Prayer Book Catholic" as our friends over the Pond might recognise, has been a very rare creature indeed in the UK.

The BCP 1662 & 1928 have not even been maintained by Evangelical or Low Church Anglians here either, the former adopting the ability to adapt the modern liturgies and the latter happy to follow the traditional language options. Thus, apart from Evensong and the occasional Mattins, the BCP on the whole has largely been missing from the experience and life of the Church of England for quite some time.

Of course there are folks around who love and remember the BCP and who may be members of the Prayer Book Society, but these are few and far between and anyway, their general "establishment" mentality and dislike of adaptations or additions to the original text, make them even more unlikely to join the ACC with its distinctly "Cafflik" expression.

Bp Mead is quite right in stating that most people with an affection for the Prayer Book here are used only to their particular congregation's practise of it. This is probably generally to have been for the Offices only, Holy Communion following Rite B of the ASB or some other traditional language equivalent in Common Worship. Thus the Anglican Missal is not within their experience and probably seems quite alien to them. With the limited resources and worship space available to most of the ACC DUK, it would be manfifestly unfair to expect existing congregations to alter their regular worship or the clergy to offer additional services.

The truth of the matter is, and perhaps this might explain things to our friends over the Pond, that the BCP which many have held as the principal foundation and expression of Anglican faith, has all but disappeared from the life of the Church of England. Bar the occasional Evensong, the BCP has long ceased to be the mainstay of English pews and as a result, Anglicans have been impoverished doctrinally. The Thirty-Nine Articles are largely unknown to the Clergy, let alone the average Anglican layman, and few can remember by heart things like "The Comfortable Words" or the "Prayer of Humble Access" and maybe only a few more the Responses and Collects from Evensong.

I once remember being taught as a young Anglo-Catholic how in medieval times, a person who could recite the Nicene Creed from memory and explain it was considered locally very wise. I endeavoured then not just to commit that formula to memory but as much of the Services as I could. To this day, having long since become an Old Catholic, in our Vestry prayers before and after Mass, figure the Collect for Purity and even the Prayer of Humble Access (tense slightly adapted) in thanksgiving. But I doubt there are many of my generation who can recall those and other prayers similarly... nor recite the Nicene Creed!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I received this, interspersed with other information, from an ACC Bishop:


Authorization of the 1662 book has been proposed to Provincial Synod and has not received a majority in any of the three constituent houses, much less the requisite supermajority in all of them. The English delegates spoke against such authorization more strongly than most...Bishop Mead has asked to hear from anyone who might be interested in the ACC but also wants to use 1662. The notion that failure to authorize 1662 is keeping folk out of the ACC is, I think, just not the case. If it were, Bishop Mead would have gotten a response that he has in fact not received.

Fr.James A.Chantler said...

Faithful BCP Supporter

I too support permitting the use of the 1662 and 1928 BCPs in England, just as I would the use of the 1929 BCP in Scotland if the Continuum were to get off the ground there.The same goes for Wales and Ireland and their traditional BCPs.I can tell you that the whole BCP 1962 Canada is used by Canadian Continuing Anglicans. Recently a wise and perceptive brother priest said to me that some of the loyalist remnant here who are discerning the way forward seem to be afflicted with 'paralysis by analysis'.I hope our brethren in dear old Blighty are not suffering from the same affliction.Bishop Mead has stated that he is eager to talk with Churchmen who can no longer remain in the impaired Church : I think he is sincere and would find a way forward for faithful BCP supporters.Archbishop Haverland has certainly been gracious with the faithful remnant(who all use the BCP) in Canada.

Fr.James A.Chantler said...

Anonymous
Fr.Hart has already replied to you regarding your comment on the 'Catholic Anglicans',that you know,in England who have abandoned the Prayer Book as their standard of doctrine and worship and I consider his comments to be better what I might have been able to provide.What I can tell you of the Canadian experience is that some who have left the impaired Church for the Continuum could have been compared to the modern rite enthusiasts of FiF/UK (I know that not everyone in FiF/UK endorses the use of the Novus Ordo or Common Worship).They have re- discovered the richness of their goodly inheritance and found the way forward as Catholics in the Anglican Tradition.

Anonymous said...

I certainly concur with those who have commented that the Anglo-catholic element within the CofE has largely abandoned the BCP and other forms of traditional Anglican worship in favour of the modern Roman Rite or a mix of Common Worship with additional Roman material. It is highly unlikely that such parishes / groups would seek to join the Continuum. However, if the membership figures for groups such as the PBS are accurate, then there does seem to be a large number of people (statistically at least) who value traditional worship in the shape of the 1662 BCP.

If you take that ‘statistical assumption’ into the situation as reported by David Virtue, then one can reasonably ask the question as to ‘where’ these people might look in order to maintain the traditions of prayer and liturgy that they appear to value so much. Are they potentially more or less likely to seek membership of a body where the 1662 BCP isn’t used or authorised? Is it reasonable to expect such people to ‘down tools’ in the fight for orthodox Anglicanism and to leave the Mother Church only to have to argue or campaign for the use of the 1662 BCP within another group?

We have to remember that the whole concept of the Continuum remains at best both foreign and novel to many in the UK. There is no cross-over in Continuum / Canterbury PBS membership as there is in the US. A good number of CofE people will probably stick with the 8 o’clock BCP for as long as it remains available and then simply ‘retire’ from Church-going altogether rather than consider joining a new group or organisation which sanctions the use of a good number BCPs from around the globe but not the one they know and cherish (and from which many of the others were hewn).

While I have the great admiration and respect for the ACC, I wouldn’t want to approach it in order to try and change it or to make it in some way more acceptable to me personally or to a group who, for the moment, appear to be little more than a ‘statistical possibility’. If the ACC were to sanction the use of the 1662 BCP then, for me at least, that would significantly alter the landscape. But the ACC shouldn’t have to change just for me.

Perhaps Bp Peter could offer a response as he has ministered in the UK and worked with a congregation that used the 1662 BCP.

Anon

Bishop Mead said...

Pelican,
I can understand that you might not have read the discussion which took place in January of this year on this blog about the liturgical use in my Diocese but I tried to explain then, and now, that it isn't simply my own personal likes or dislikes that prevent the 1662 Book of Common Prayer being used here. Nor is it simply a question of how many requests I must receive from folk who wish to use it here in order to try and do something about it ... the Communion Order from the 1662 BCP is not an authorised liturgy in the ACC I cannot authorise it solely by myself even if 10,000 people approached me tomorrow. There is a process to go through – liturgical lawlessness is not a trait of the ACC. In point of fact since becoming Bishop in September 2008 I have had only one person contact me concerning the possible use of the 1662 BCP and that was from a TAC layman here in the UK who had produced his own version ... very nicely produced booklets (both for laity and an altar version) but not strictly 1662 BCP as argued for by many here ... sadly that gentleman has, as far as I know, left the TAC and has joined the Roman Church. This doesn't suggest consistent love and devotion to the BCP.
J Gordon Anderson,
Thank you for your question. The ACC Diocese of the United Kingdom is governed by Constitution and Canons of the Original Province of the ACC. They state which liturgies are authorised for use and therefore any of those liturgies are permitted to be used in my Diocese. In current practice the books used in the DUK are either 1549 BCP or the American 1928 BCP for the Daily Offices (because there isn’t a good 1549 BCP in print either the English Office Book or copies of the 1662 BCP are utilised for the offices). For Mass either the English Missal (with the Gregorian Canon) or the Anglican Missal (with either the 1549 BCP Canon, American 1928 BCP Canon or the Gregorian Canon).

continued/

Bishop Mead said...

Faithful BCP Supporter,
I had assumed that because of the authority with which you speak of things in the English Church that you live in the UK. Although I notice that you spell ‘Cheque’ in the American way so perhaps you don’t. In any case our experience of the Church of England as it is now seems to be so very different.
True you will find Choral BCP Evensong in England’s Cathedrals usually sung beautifully. Although equally likely of finding a female priest officiating as a male. Many of these services are indeed well attended. In Canterbury Cathedral case a considerable number attending are tourists rather than BCP devotees. In some, but increasingly fewer, CofE Parish Churches you will also find Sung Evensong. Is it the best-attended service of the week in these Parish Churches as you state? ... I expect most CofE clergy would wish that it was.
The Prayer Book Offices are indeed beautiful. You seem to suggest that my Diocese (and /or the whole ACC) has abandoned them. I beg to differ. Public recitation? For 6 years I said Matins and Evensong Monday to Friday in our Mission in the Town where I live. The Chapel (which was a recognised place of public worship albeit only able to seat around 15 people) was in the High Street opposite the CofE Parish Church. Almost every weekday morning at 8.30am and 6pm I prayed the office in that chapel. Only once in all that time did someone join me for evensong. On Sunday mornings I usually said the office before Mass – I cannot ever remember anyone joining me. This was, at the time, widely advertised.
It takes a lot of effort to arrange regular worship in community centres and other venues. More often than not hourly rates are expensive. It is as much as some can do to afford 1 weekly public act of worship. Only four of our Missions have their own exclusive Churches/Chapels. None of them have Choirs. Each congregation isn’t out of double figures. Only one has a good old fashioned pipe Organ (and an organist). The other three including my own parish have electronic digital hymnals.
Do I think any of our Missions here could have Choral Matins or Evensong ? No. Would I welcome the chance to have Sung Evensong? Yes - I would very much welcome the musical and other resources to do that and so much else. Do they have a regular Said Offices ? Yes. Do we get many people – including our own members - joining us for these offices ? No. Do I think that our experience is any different from CofE clergy in the modern Church of England ? No.
All,
Canon Lloyd has clearly stated what is, sadly, the situation here in England.
I don’t wish to cause offence, especially since I know that so many folk here wish only well for my Diocese and the cause for which we fight, however not just in this strand but elsewhere in comments on this blog, some folk have a described a state of affairs completely out of touch with the situation in the modern Church of England. Some of the most extreme comments are right up there in the realms of belief that Sherlock Holmes was a real person and that London is enshrouded every evening in a ‘Pea-souper’ fog! This is an image that fits well with old fashioned gentlemen only clubs, wing backed leather chairs, a nice malt scotch, and arm chair generals reliving (however inaccurately) old campaigns in distant lands.

Of course this is a serious matter. I am in the front line, with limited manpower and resources in an increasingly secular society with the spectre of the Church of England having failed in its Divine mandate to safe guard the spiritual and moral health of a country I dearly love.
We are not perfect but we are trying.

+DM

Fr. Dcn. David Gould said...

In Australia Bishop Brian encourages the ACC to pray the offices of Matins and Evensong from the BCP. Indeed it has been stated that the impoverishment of the spiritual life of the Anglican laity which contributed to the demise of 20th century Anglican orthodoxy is related to the cessation of praying the office, collectively and individually.

Pelican writes: "Nonetheless in the United Kingdom 1662 IS the Book of Common Prayer. Few English people know of, or desire any other, despite its manifest failings. Until the DUK bites the bullet and includes it among its liturgical books,it is refusing to open the door to hundreds who might join."

If the Catholic faith represented by the Book of Common Prayer a la 1662 mattered so much to those folks, why on earth are they in a Church with women priests, gay Deans under +Rowan who advocates for selective application of Islamic law to the UK?

Bishop Meade rightly notes that the use of the BCP for decades has been restricted to cathedral evensong, occasional Choral Mattins and not much else. That does not mean the 1662 cannot return to more widespread use, but it does not resonate with the lived experience of English Anglicans in the main.

The English Missal and it's American equivalent are not just the prayer books of Anglo-Papists. They have had a legitimate place within Anglican/C of E spiritual life, of many saintly priests, monastics and devout laity and are part of the patrimony of Anglican Catholicism.

The BCP has not preserved Anglican Catholicism in our days, as much as we would like it to be the main factor. That has been done by Bishops like Bishop Meade and others with a clear understanding that the Anglican patrimony does not require 12th century cathedrals and the approval of HM the Queen - as nice as these are.
What it requires is fidelity to the faith - and that is what one finds with clarity in the ACC.

The Diocese of the UK is the repository of Anglican orthodoxy in the whole of the United Kingdom, and is the only logical place for Anglicans who do not want to go to Rome or the East to be.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bishop Mead,
The last thing I would condone is liturgical lawlessness. I referred specifically in my comment to the employment of due provincial process in making the BCP of 1662 available to ACC parishes in the UK. Nor would I accuse any ACC bishop of acting out of personal prejudice in a matter of such pastoral and theological importance.But I believe the case remains that the ACC must seize any and every possible advantage in the current crisis, and the rejection, or simply the non-adoption of the English Prayer Book,will turn away potential members for whom its inclusion among the liturgical books of the ACC would signify a Church with a truly Anglican heart.
The irony is that 1662 will very probably be the basis of the Use being prepared for the Personal Ordinariate. Will Anglican Catholics continue to be denied what Rome has the foresight to esteem and offer?
Pelican

Bishop Mead said...

Pelican,
To be honest I haven't given any thought to the rite that Rome may authorise for former Anglicans.
However, given that many of those who seem most likely to take advantage of the offer are from parishes that use the Novus Ordo or modern rites indistinguishable from it, it’s unlikely they will want anything based on the 1662 BCP.
The Anglican Use provision in the USA, which is all I can see this really being an extension of, already has an 'Anglican' rite which Anglo-Papalist converts may be equally unhappy with, but which would be closer to what they are used to than 1662.
Some comments on here have mentioned the Prayer Book Society and its membership. Some of my clergy have in the past attended meetings. I have met a number of PBS members myself over the years. Very few of those we have encountered have been interested in joining the ACC or any other continuing Church (whether it authorises 1662 or not) those who did consider us seemed to be happy with the idea of the 1549 rite.
The 1662 BCP liturgy is what the majority love ... even HRH The Prince of Wales likes it and supports it, but then it has been reported that he wants to be Defender of Faith, rather than THE Faith. It would seem in our experience if they dislike a priestess celebrating it they accept, ignore, cope or sulk about that but remain in the CofE. Women bishops won't, I don't think, make a huge difference to them other than to be something else to be upset about. I hope I am wrong but can’t see any evidence to suggest that I am.
+DM

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Seriously folks, believe Bp Mead and myself when we state, that the BCP is all but dead to Anglicans of any stripe in the CofE!

The nearest approximation in this country to a "traditional rite" that Anglicans and especially the Catholic minded will understand, is the Tridentine Rite or English Missal... And that's really only from affectation and/or an appreciation for times when Rome had a sense of decorum about the liturgy!

David Virtue and the PBS frankly are wide off the mark in terms of the actual state of things this side of the Pond. There may well be many subscribers and even members of the PBS, but they are widely scattered up and down the country and on the whole, with no real affection for Anglo-Catholicism.

The only way to advance in the UK is to knuckle down to brass tacks and evangelism. People need to see and hear the Faith in action. The strongest aspect of Anglo-Catholicism that should be reclaimed and adopted is "Faith in Action." Priests in cassocks on the streets, in the sink council estates, meeting the people where they are and "bringing them up" to where they should or need to be.

Like the pioneers of parochial Anglo-Catholicism, the Faith needs to be taken to the people, bringing them compassion, understanding and instruction. Rarified shrines, stuffy and condescending attitudes will not work (in time a "Golden Age" of shrines may be resurrected). The outliving of the Faith, the proclamation of the Gospel in and through our Faithful's lives, is the only thing that will work. Creating ghettos and enclaves will only serve to alienate the Church from the experience of the people. We need to be "in their faces" (forgive the colloquialism) and be seen to be sacrificially following Christ.

Fr. Dcn. David Gould said...

In regard to attendance at the divine office, Annunciation of Our Lady Mission in Hobart - a new mission of the ACC admittedly is still trying to get people to come to Matins on Sunday which is followed by Holy Communion from the Reserved Sacrament.

Some weeks I am saying Matins alone. Am I dispirited? Sometimes I confess it is hard when one sets the hall up as a place of worship. In many ways I think the establishment Anglicans won't come, because they have tolerated women priests for ages.

Some time back the ACA Bishop of Tasmania told me that he was personally against women priests, but when he was cosecrated to a diocese which had them, he did not seek to turn back the tide.

The stalwarts of the BCP - evangelicals have long turned to congregational style informal worship - their priests dressed in civvies, their pews in antique shops, copying the revival Christianity of the big "Gospel of plenty" Protestant churches.

In the UK and Australia the continuing Anglican presence is thin, but resolute, and in my estimation committed to rebuilding from the ground up the Anglican Catholic faith in our lands.

Anonymous said...

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said... “Seriously folks, believe Bp Mead and myself when we state, that the BCP is all but dead to Anglicans of any stripe in the CofE!”

I’m sorry but that simply isn’t true. Any Priest working in the CofE today will tell you that the BCP is still very much alive and kicking especially, but not exclusively, in rural areas. In one Benefice I worked in I introduced a mid-week BCP Mass (1662) and used it on 5th Sundays when the multiple Parishes came together for worship in a single Church. I introduced said Mattins and Evensong on weekdays and was rarely alone! When I number of vacancies occurred in the area I would cover a good number of 8 o’clock and evening services which, again, were mostly BCP. The situation I describe is not unusual, it’s typical. Even the rather ‘eclectic’ selection of adds for Churches / services in the back of the Church Times suggests that the BCP isn’t dead and gone just yet!

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said... “The nearest approximation in this country to a "traditional rite" that Anglicans and especially the Catholic minded will understand, is the Tridentine Rite or English Missal... And that's really only from affectation and/or an appreciation for times when Rome had a sense of decorum about the liturgy!”

Oh please! The English Missal Society died out years ago in the UK and the re-print by Canterbury Press didn’t find its way onto many altars. Even Parishes like All Saints North Street in York and St Bart’s in Brighton now use a version of Common Worship Order One in (so-called) traditional language rather than the full English Missal.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said... “David Virtue and the PBS frankly are wide off the mark in terms of the actual state of things this side of the Pond. There may well be many subscribers and even members of the PBS, but they are widely scattered up and down the country and on the whole, with no real affection for Anglo-Catholicism.”

PBS in the UK appears to do very well at its conferences and meetings. I fail to see why ‘affection for Anglo-catholicism’ has anything to do with it. The majority of Anglo-catholics in the UK abandoned the Prayer Book years ago in favour of the modern Roman Rite and are now fumbling around looking for some kind of ‘patrimony’ to take with them to Rome.

Bishop Mead said… “Some comments on here have mentioned the Prayer Book Society and its membership. Some of my clergy have in the past attended meetings. I have met a number of PBS members myself over the years. Very few of those we have encountered have been interested in joining the ACC or any other continuing Church (whether it authorises 1662 or not) those who did consider us seemed to be happy with the idea of the 1549 rite.”

But any direct approach to the Prayer Book Society by the ACC in the current climate would surely raise the question of whether the 1662 BCP would be available and, as it isn’t, I can’t see the conversation going any further. While the ACC-OP is quite correct in maintaining a lawful approach to authorising texts for worship, in the UK the situation is rather curious in that what the ACC has lawfully authorised what was previously ‘lawless’ in the CofE (i.e. the use of the English Missal, the Gregorian Canon, 1549 and other overseas Prayer Books).

As I have pointed out in a previous post, this whole debate may actually prove fruitless if most people who love the Prayer Book aren’t willing to walk away from the way things are in the CofE. The use of the 1662 BCP is no guarantee of orthodoxy or of a male Priest in a valid Apostolic Succession (though do be warned, I have known Priestesses who also like the English Missal). My question would always be to ask how the ‘possible options’ might appear to the ‘average outsider’ Anglo-catholic or otherwise.

Anon

Canon Tallis said...

This discussion reminds me only too much of a conversation I had with Bishop Mote around three decades ago. Its keynote was his hostility toward historic Anglicanism, i.e., Anglicanism before the introduction of the missals and the "Back to Baroque" mentality of SSPP and the English Church Union. It was for this reason that he and Bishop Morse did everything in their power to drive Bishop Doren from what was then the ACNA.

It is time to face the truth that if we are an Anglican of any sort, the 1662 prayer book is part of our collective DNA and without it none of would have any claim to Anglicanism or the historic Catholic faith. Consequently the open disdain in the ACC's House of Bishops for it does not speak well of them or the whole of the ACC. It would seem that they are actually ashamed of being Anglicans, something which their devotion to almost all things Counter-Reformation Roman and Papal and hatred for anything with a real claim to an Anglican heritage. I see it already driving otherwise solid prayer book Anglicans out of the Continuum and into the second incarnation of the Anglican Church of North America.

Since I have not been in the United Kingdom for almost ten years now, but on my last visit there were still 1662 congregations in London, York and Lincoln with full churches. I was even present at a Continuum event in Portsmouth that was fully 1662 with a congregation present that from Bishop Mead's description would outnumber the whole of his diocese. But, evidently, neither the ACC or Bishop Mead are willing to do what they should to incorporate these folks into the Diocese of the UK or the ACC. It is like watching the Titanic going down with the nearest possible rescue ships refusing to change course and provide extra life boats. How can such wonderful lovely people who have heard and know the gospel behave in this manner?

William Tighe said...

"The irony is that 1662 will very probably be the basis of the Use being prepared for the Personal Ordinariate. Will Anglican Catholics continue to be denied what Rome has the foresight to esteem and offer?"

I have some knowledge of these matters, and I can say with complete assurance that THIS IS NOT THE CASE. The basis, rather, appears to be the English Missal.

Fr. John said...

Canon Jerome wrote:

"The only way to advance in the UK is to knuckle down to brass tacks and evangelism. People need to see and hear the Faith in action. The strongest aspect of Anglo-Catholicism that should be reclaimed and adopted is "Faith in Action." Priests in cassocks on the streets, in the sink council estates, meeting the people where they are and "bringing them up" to where they should or need to be."

And in the U.S. too!

Anonymous said...

Too many of us here named Anonymous: I will try to set up a named account!

I think it is important for those outside England to understand that the BCP is not widely used by any party here. Many of those who do, use it aesthetically and not doctrinally. Some are women "priests" and their congregations.

It is simply not seen to have doctrinal connotations here, except for a very tiny number of priests and lay people with long memories, or an unusually good theological education.

For the last thirty years those in training for ordained ministry have not received any education about the Prayer Book, the Articles or the Ordinal. It is as if the Church of England suddenly decided that it would no longer have any formularies.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

I think the opening words of the Prayer Book Society's own website substantiates my presentation...

"In practice, however, the Book of Common Prayer is increasingly endangered by indifference and undermined by neglect. In many churches, it is not used at all, whilst in others it is marginalised to "off-peak" times such as Evensong and 8.00 a.m. Holy Communion. Too often, new clergy emerge from ordination training with little or no knowledge of the Book of Common Prayer, and most younger churchgoers and newcomers to the church have barely even heard of it."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..."I think it is important for those outside England to understand that the BCP is not widely used by any party here. Many of those who do, use it aesthetically and not doctrinally. Some are women "priests" and their congregations."

That is isn't used by any 'party' is certainly true, but it is used by a good number of people some of whom do see it as a standard for doctrine and worship (some of us even teach this in our Parishes!).

Yes the BCP is used in some Parishes by so-called women 'Priests' but then again so is the Roman Rite. I know of people who shop around the Parishes for BCP liturgy with a male Priest. There are folk of my own flock who will only attend BCP worship and know exactly what they believe.

This brings me back to my central point: what could the ACC possibly stand to lose by at least authorising the 1662 BCP? If no one wants it, well, at least you'll have 'done your bit' and no-one can complain.

Anon

Anonymous said...

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...
"I think the opening words of the Prayer Book Society's own website substantiates my presentation...

"In practice, however, the Book of Common Prayer is increasingly endangered by indifference and undermined by neglect. In many churches, it is not used at all, whilst in others it is marginalised to "off-peak" times such as Evensong and 8.00 a.m. Holy Communion. Too often, new clergy emerge from ordination training with little or no knowledge of the Book of Common Prayer, and most younger churchgoers and newcomers to the church have barely even heard of it."

I would like, with respect, to contest that presentation by suggesting you visit http://www.pbs.org.uk/churches/index.asp

Anon

Fr. John said...

Please kindly kill the "Anonymous" sock puppet and stop confusing the newer readers here.

I think we need to trust the information given by Bishop Mead et.al. about the impact of authorizing the 1662 BCP for use in England. Never mind authorizing it for use in the U.S., that would serve no purpose at all.

I also get the feeling that making the 1662 Book available to English ACC parishes is not the motive of some 1662 BCP enthusiasts here, but rather a flank attack on the use of the missals. Honestly, if you are not in the ACC, and have no intention of joining, why expend so much effort to get us to ban the use of the missals? We are repeating comments made over and over again on other threads. The missals are authorized for use in the ACC, get over it. Since you are obviously not in the ACC our use of the missals has no practical effect on you. Go to any jurisdiction that suits you better, if you can find one. But do lay off of Bishop Mote, there wasn't a mean bone in his body, unless you think it mean to practice the kind of liturgical worship he conducted.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

"I would like, with respect, to contest that presentation by suggesting you visit http://www.pbs.org.uk/churches/index.asp"

So your impressed by numbers. Have you looked at the statistics as a percentage nationally? The opening statement of the PBS website, even with these lists, betrays the true state of things.


Our of interest, can you provide statistical evidence for the growth of these churches over the last say, twenty years, as a comparison with the national growth in CofE attendance?

Bishop Mead said...

We can all point to examples where there are ( despite what I and others have said) well attended 1662 BCP churches. But very few of those attending have shown any inclination to want to swap their building, choir and endowments or 'established status', or in the case of some clergy their stipends, for a handful of worshippers (however faithful) meeting in someones front room or hired hall. Some would, some have, but for them it isn't simply about 1662 it's because they see the bigger picture of whats happening in the CofE. 

Other Continuing Churches in the UK use the 1662 BCP ... They are not swamped (or even slightly bolstered) by refugees from the Church of England. 

One of the many Anons on here states 

"I know of people who shop around the Parishes for BCP liturgy with a male Priest. There are folk of my own flock who will only attend BCP worship and know exactly what they believe."

I take it you are in the UK and in the CofE ... If that's the case they 'may know exactly what they believe' but it doesn't appear to be what the ACC believes even if they do love their BCP and seek out a male priest (though he and they are still in a communion with women 'priests' and those who 'ordain' them). Why are you still there? If it's because the ACC doesn't use 1662 get in touch with me and let's talk about it!!

There are no doubt many Anglicans in the CofE for whom women 'bishops' is the last straw. For the majority of them I doubt 1662 is an issue. I have a huge amount on my plate already in trying to let them know there is an alternative to Rome or going to the Golf Course on a Sunday morning. 

If I am reacting with any urgency it is in response to those people who are actually contacting me ... None of whom as I have said many times before ... has said to me that the lack of 1662 is causing them not to come to us.

+DM

Bishop Mead said...

In case anyone is interested I have posted an Invitation to Remain Faithful Anglicans on my Diocesan Website ... And am circulating in a variety of other ways. Since going live I have had a few takers Praise God. Please join with me in prayer that I get more ... www.anglicancatholic.org.uk
+DM

Fr. Dcn. David Gould said...

The BCP - whether 1662, 1928, Canadian 1961, South African or Scottish has done nothing to stop the slide of mainstream Canterbury Communion Anglicanism into the heresy of women priests, women bishops, gay priests and every other theological and moral relativism.

1662 has not brought people to the ACC or the TAC UK missions. Nor has it stopped the evangelical melt-down into congregationalism, pentecostalism and anti-episcopal order.

In Australia the Anglican Church of Australia may still have members who prefer mass said by a male priest, but most of them still attend cathedral diocesan events including the ordination of women.

I cannot claim to know what is necessary to rejuvenate Continuing Anglicanism in the UK or any of the Commonwealth dominions. It requires evangelical outreach, it needs funds, it certainly needs at least that we own proper churches as pro-cathedrals rather than use rented halls.

Anonymous said...

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...So you're impressed by numbers. Have you looked at the statistics as a percentage nationally? The opening statement of the PBS website, even with these lists, betrays the true state of things. Our of interest, can you provide statistical evidence for the growth of these churches over the last say, twenty years, as a comparison with the national growth in CofE attendance?"

If you honestly think it's all statistical nonsense then why not contact the Chair of PBS or even sign up for the PBS summer conference and argue the point with the people who make such claims?

Anon

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The BCP - whether 1662, 1928, Canadian 1961, South African or Scottish has done nothing to stop the slide of mainstream Canterbury Communion Anglicanism into the heresy of women priests, women bishops, gay priests and every other theological and moral relativism.

That point of view needs to be balanced out by another. The "slide" has taken place in these various places only with the removal of the Traditional BCP services in each venue.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Anon: I don't need to challenge the PBS about a statement they make on their own website which clearly indicates that the situation is not as you have tried to make it out to be!

Anonymous said...

"Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...
Anon: I don't need to challenge the PBS about a statement they make on their own website which clearly indicates that the situation is not as you have tried to make it out to be!"

I'm not trying to 'suggest' anything. I'm living and ministering in a context and reality that you appear to be telling me isn't 'real'. You minister in the Brighton why not contact Chichester Diocese and ask them if your suggestion that "the BCP is all but dead to Anglicans of any stripe in the CofE" and see what they say.

Anon

Julian said...

Unfortunately the Prayer Book Society, while it has a larger membership list than many other Anglican societies in England, has very few parishes which it can claim for the 1662 BCP.

Its members are scattered far and wide, and they must travel many miles just to find an 8am Holy Communion, often in a small country church, where the celebrant is as likely as not to be a woman.

Many of its members would have no difficulty with the gender of the celebrant, so long as he/she/it uses the 1662 text.

Anonymous said...

Fr John wrote,

"I also get the feeling that making the 1662 Book available to English ACC parishes is not the motive of some 1662 BCP enthusiasts here, but rather a flank attack on the use of the missals."

Father, that train runs in both directions. It is just as likely that the suppression of the 1662 BCP (which was the Prayer Book of John Cosin, Jeremy Taylor. and other Caroline Divines, not to mention Keble and Pusey) represents a flank attack on Classical Anglicanism.

Non one is presuming to tell Bishop Mead and his people what liturgical book to use. But is the suppression of 1662 the suppression of a liturgical style or the suppression of a theological position?
LKW

Bishop Mead said...

I have had a couple of emails regarding the 'suppression' of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Despite what has been written here about the fact that anyone joining the ACC can have much that they would be extremely familiar with - which primarily for those who have raised their concerns - the Prayer Book Offices of Matins and Evensong. Once again the emails are not from people intending to join the ACC nor resident in the UK. Just folk who don't appear to have read everything discussed here and seem to think that my Diocese, in particular, has 'suppressed' the Book of Common Prayer in it's entirety and largely through my own personal preference! I am, like Queen Victoria is often quoted as saying, not amused!
I accept that most people reading this blog do try to read everything contributed and that noone is responsible for either the direction threads take or for those who only read what they want to read. However I don't feel inclined nor feel there is any further need, to continue to try and explain the liturgical practice in my diocese. Except to repeat, once again, that it is in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Catholic Church and that no liturgy Authorised by them is prohibited or suppressed by me in my Diocese.
+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

It would seem to me that anyone who actually has read what was presented on this blog would have better sense than to write such email. We have highlighted information that is on the ACC DUK website itself, and the only reasonable responses would come from people, in the relevant country, to take advantage of Bp. Mead's offer to discuss the matter openly and seriously. Any other approach lacks constructive purpose.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr Hart,
If the DUK were to approach appropriate ecclesiastical authority for permission to include 1662, including the 'interim rite' version of Holy Communion much used in England until the spate of revisions culminating in 'Common Worship', nothing would be lost, and at least two things would be gained.
First, it would signal that the present monoculture really is simply the result of the local preferences of the existing membership, and that ACC welcomes the broader tradition it would need to embrace in any future union with Churches such as the UECNA.
Secondly, it would make it clear that the DUK does not regard 1662 as some kind of embarrassing mad aunt in the attic, to whom it is bad luck to refer.
Unless some sound theological or pastoral reasons can be produced - and repeating that 1662 is not currently authorized ( a situation that is not likely to be remedied if the DUK does not ask for it) is hardly an adequate excuse,then the DUK is indeed guilty of 'suppressing' a huge chunk of Anglican cultural patrimony and is undermining its claim of moral continuity with England's indigenous Catholic Church.
1662 will be celebrating its 350th birthday in two year's time.Events are already being planned. Will the DUK be ready to join in, or will the cry still be 'It's not authorised so we cannot use it.'

Pelican

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Pelican:

If you are in England and represent Anglicans interested in the ACC, and want to see the Provincial Synod consider the matter of the 1662 Holy Communion rite, then take up Bp. Mead's invitation to discuss it. Otherwise, you are approaching the issue without consideration of facts that have been disclosed here.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr Hart,
I'm afraid that Bishop Mead's invitation sounds too much like the headmaster who says 'If any boy wishes to discuss the school policy of washing behind his ears, then he is free to discuss the matter fully and frankly in my study.'
I fear 1662 truly is a lost cause in ACC, and that it will be left to others to exploit the gap in the market.

Pelican

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Pelican:

Since no one has taken Bishop Mead's invitation, your conclusion is rather bold.

Fr. John said...

LKW wrote:
"is the suppression of 1662 the suppression of a liturgical style or the suppression of a theological position?"

I would say neither. The real question is why would anyone want to use the inferior 1662 canon? I believe it has already been fairly well established here that the other constituent parts of the 1662 Book may be used at the minister's discretion. Making the 1662 Book licit for use only opens up the possibility that someone might use that truncated part.

I agree that in the case of England special consideration might be merited, but I will leave that up to more knowledgeable people than myself.

Canon Tallis said...

Father John wrote: "The real question is why would anyone want to use the inferior 1662 canon?"

To voice such an opinion is to display a lack of knowledge of the earliest history of the Eucharistic Canon. The 1662 canon is much closer to the earliest canon of the Christian Church that anything else used since that period. For those unfamiliar with that canon I would refer them to the Right Reverend Walter Howard Frere's The Primitive Consecration Prayer. I think what they find there will be an unexpected revelation.

As priests we may prefer the more verbose and elaborate canons which took its place, but the instincts of the reformers by the very late discovery of this manuscript.

Fr. John said...

"Canon Tallis" wrote:

"To voice such an opinion is to display a lack of knowledge of the earliest history of the Eucharistic Canon."

In fact I am familiar with the earliest versions of the Eucharistic Canon. I also object to the Liturgy of St. James being made an authorized liturgy in the ACC. Lee, your insult cannot take the place of a reasoned discussion. You come across as being very angry. Since you are not in the ACC, I fail to understand why you feel, as opposed to believe, so passionately about this issue.

I would never say that you were ignorant, or deficient in your theological education simply because you disagreed with me on some topic.

By the way, you didn't answer the question that I posed.