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Decently habited, CCV

May 4, 2017

The Revd Alan Carr, rector of St Giles-in-the-Fields, London.


The Haven of Our Happiness: Decently Writ, XXV

April 26, 2017

John Constable, Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds

Travelling on the Plain (which notwithstanding hath its risings and fallings) I discovered Salisbury steeple many miles off; coming to a declivity, I lost sight thereof, but climbing up the next hill, the steeple grew out of the ground again. Yea, I often found it, and lost it, till at last, I came safely to it, and took my lodging near it. It fareth thus with us, whilst we are wayfaring to heaven, mounted on the Pisgah top of some good meditation, we get a glimpse of our celestial Canaan, but when, either on the flat of an ordinary temper, or in the fall of an extraordinary temptation, we lose the view thereof. Thus, in the sight of our soul Heaven is discovered, covered and recovered, till, though late, at last, though slowly, surely, we arrive at the Haven of our Happiness.

– Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), Travelling to Salisbury  (1660)

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.



Decently habited, CCIV

March 23, 2017

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


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.


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

The Lord’s pot

January 15, 2017


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

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.