These hopes of a union with Rome were of course entirely illusory. Rome could never have offered any terms that were acceptable to the majority of Anglican clergy; in any case, in a country where people are free to switch religion, the whole notion of corporate reunion is curiously outmoded.
1. Andrew Brown and Linda Woodhead, That Was The Church, That Was: How the Church of England lost the English people (London: Bloomsbury, 2016), 11.
In 2011, the Dean of Lincoln escorts the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall on a tour of Lincoln Cathedral, which, as Ruskin said, is “the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles and roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have got.”
The Revd J. E. Cocke, the longest-serving vicar in the Church of England.
“I ONLY ATTENDED low-church evangelical congregations for a few years after I became a Christian, but those were tough times for me, and more than once along the way I wondered if I had made a big mistake by trying to follow Jesus — at least, through trying to follow him alongside other people, in church. It wasn’t that I thought I was better than them — in fact, I usually thought I was worse. I especially felt I was too emotionally incompetent to be an evangelical. I mean, the pastor would tell me how happy I ought to be that Jesus had saved me from my sins, so I tried to be super-happy, but I could never quite get where he thought I needed to be. And then five minutes later he’d tell me how grieved I should be when I realized how deeply sinful I am, and I’d try to make myself appropriately sad at what I, through my rebellion, had done to God — but if I couldn’t climb the mountain of happiness I also couldn’t make my way down into the depths of the pit of sadness. Again: emotionally incompetent.
“It was only when I began to worship in the Anglican tradition that I felt the burden lift. Because that tradition gave me the right words to say — words that Christians had prayed (in one language or another) for two thousand years, words that had stood the test of time, that had been crafted by people whose walk with Jesus was longer and stronger than mine would ever be. Instead of trying to feel a certain way, I just needed to focus on saying the right words, and in that way training myself to live inside them.
“Even more important, the tradition was so wonderfully patient with me! It didn’t ask me to comprehend the tragedy of my sinfulness immediately. Instead, it said “Here you go, we’re starting this season called Lent now. You’ll have forty days to meditate on these matters, and we the Church will help you at every step.” And then when Easter came the liturgy said to me, “You can’t celebrate this in an instant — in fact, we’re going to take fifty days to live into the miracle of the Resurrection and the new life we have in Christ.”
“I cannot possibly overstate what a gift the ancient liturgies and the ancient calendar of the Church have been to me. They have quite literally made it possible for me to be a follower of Jesus. Now, I am sure that if I had never come across the ancient faith God would have found ways to nourish and bless me, but how much smoother my path has been thanks to these old and well-trodden ways. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for them.”
– Alan Jacobs
Source: Alan Jacobs, excerpts from my Sent folder
For our 200th installment, the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s, together with the whole of the foundation, ca. 2004.
Church of St. Christopher by the Sea, Gibson Island, Md.