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St Richard prayer

07 October 2009


From the Revd Revd Mike Stone

Sir, — Your reviewer of Frederick H. Borsch’s Day by Day: Meditations on Richard of Chichester’s prayer (Books, 2 October) says that the “clearly . . . nearly . . . dearly” triplet derives from Bocking’s Life of Richard. Not so; there is nothing like it in the Life.

My research — published privately, and summarised in the Otter Memorial Paper that you also notice on the same page — showed that only the first part of the prayer can be sourced to Bocking. The triplet was created by George Bullock-Webster in 1913 in a collection of prayers. (“Day by day” was added only in 1931, probably by Percy Dearmer, in a hymn.)

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