Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.
To create more space in our organ loft, we need to get rid of old (but not valuable antique) hymn books and Prayer Books no longer used in our services. We would welcome ideas that treat these once loved books with more reverence than a trip to the dump.
Although superfluous to the present requirements of the parish in question, these books are still very much in the domain of public worship. Many churches would welcome an additional supply of the old hymn books A & M or English Hymnal, as the case may be.
Despite the enrichment contributed by modern hymnody, the Church will always rely on the classic hymns, particularly at the great festivals. Advertise the availability of these hymnals widely, in a diocesan newsletter, and do remember the needs of English-speaking congregations overseas, contacted through a diocesan link or missionary society.
Likewise, the 1662 Prayer Book will find many a good home, in parishes that value the order for morning and evening prayer, and where a choral tradition follows the Coverdale Psalter.
If these pedestrian ideas fail, however, it may be better to dispose of the Prayer Books more imaginatively. Make a gift of a Prayer Book to members of the congregation — or at house groups and confirmation classes. Do it “with love from the church”: it would be a splendid reminder of one of the principal title-deeds of Anglicanism — liturgically, “the rock from whence we were hewn”.
As the Preface to Common Worship explains “the Book of Common Prayer remains the permanently authorized provision for public worship in the Church of England, whereas the new liturgies are authorized until further resolution of the General Synod.”
The gift would be not only appreciated, but valued.
(Canon) Terry Palmer
The phrase “They gnashed their teeth at him” occurs several times in scripture. What do we do to gnash our teeth? D. D.
Address: Out of the Question, Church Times, 13-17 Long Lane, London EC1A 9PN.