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Welcome vs. invitation

March 28, 2017

ONE IS RELUCTANT – as a Yankee – to again highlight a church from Texas. But it is impossible to ignore the compelling way in which St. Mark’s in Irving, Tex., describes what it means to be a member of that parish. We may observe a distinction here, with difference, between welcome for welcome’s sake, or welcome to prove that one is not a bigot, and an invitation into a community of faithful Christian discipleship.

As many churches dawdle in the weeds of liberal guilt and fashionable emotivism, our Texas cousins provide a robust account of what it means both to be a Christian and to be a member of a parish church.

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Decently habited, CCIV

March 23, 2017

The Dean of St Paul’s installs the Revd Helen O’Sullivan as chaplain in 2016.

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The excellence of Common Prayer

March 21, 2017

We must admit frankly that the Offices of Morning Prayer and of Evensong, as they are performed even today in St Paul’s, Westminster Abbey, York Minster, or Canterbury Cathedral, are not only one of the most impressive, but also one of the purest forms of Christian common prayer to be found anywhere in the world.

Even the RCs recognize.

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Source: Louis Bouyer, Liturgical Piety (South Bend, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1955), 47.

The Lord’s pot

January 15, 2017

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The Lord’s pot must be kept boiling, even if it takes the Devil’s kindling wood.

Endicott Peabody, famous as the founding headmaster of Groton School, spent six months in 1882 as minister in Tombstone, Arizona, arriving three months after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. On his watch, St Paul’s Church – now the oldest Protestant church in Arizona – was built for $5,000, its stained glass imported from Belgium and its pews from New England. He was able to raise the necessary funds in so short a time by going door to door, including to the town’s saloons and gambling houses. In response to any eyebrows raised over the source of the funds, Peabody would reply, “The Lord’s pot must be kept boiling, even if it takes the Devil’s kindling wood.”


Source: Marshall Trimble, “Endicott Peabody: Religion Arrives in Helldorado,” in In Old Arizona: True Tales of the Wild Frontier! (Phoenix: Golden West Publishers, 1985).

A different plane

January 1, 2017
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Dr Coit.

Never forget, my dear, that in the life to come the Presbyterians will not be on the same plane as the Episcopalians.

– the Revd Dr Henry Augustus Coit, to a young Episcopalian.


Quoted in Cleveland Amory, The Proper Bostonians (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1947), 107.

Come adore the new-born King

December 25, 2016

On Christmas morning, Sherborne Abbey does it right.


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Decently habited, CCIII

December 19, 2016

Instructing the children of St Luke’s School, New York, 1970.

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