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Out of the question

06 December 2013


Your answers

When in Advent should the Christmas crib be placed in the church?

As it is a Christmas feature rather than an Advent feature, it should be placed there as near to Christmas as is possible. Even if it is placed there somewhat earlier, the Christ-child should not be placed there until the blessing of the crib at the midnight mass.

The three wise men are not placed in the crib until the eve of Epiphany, when the shepherds and cattle are removed, and the wise men take their place.

In the church at Landkey in north Devon, the three wise men are traditionally placed on a ledge at the back of the church on Christmas Day (having "seen the star"), and arrive at the crib at the Epiphany.

The Christmas crib is a wonderful teaching aid if the placement of the Christ-child and shepherds with animals and wise men takes place at the correct time.

(The Revd) Geoffrey Squire SSC
Goodleigh, Barnstaple, Devon


Our parish was established by an Act of Parliament in Victorian times. Why was it necessary for an Act of Parliament to be passed for the parish to come into being?

In the Victorian Church of England, the formation of new parishes was controlled by parliamentary statutes. By the beginning of the 19th century, besides pastoral care in spiritual matters, parishes had acquired considerable public social functions and responsibilities, all of which had legal implications, and for which the State had concern and interest.

Parishes had become important units of civil administration in the locality: the business of many parish vestries extended far beyond levying church rates, and embraced many of the secular needs of the community Another matter of importance was the parish boundary: this had always been jealously guarded, but,when new parishes were established, it was essential that their limits were precisely drawn and recorded for the legalities of marriages and burial rights of parishioners.

For these reasons, and to meet the growth and changing distribution of the nation's population, new parishes were formed under the New Parish Acts of 1843 and 1856, whereby schemes submitted to the newly established Church Commissioners (1836) were confirmed by Acts of Parliament and an Order in Council.

(Canon) Terry Palmer
Magor, Monmouthshire


Your questions

Do pew rents survive anywhere in the Church of England? If not, how were they eradicated? M. S.

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.


Mon 08 Aug @ 00:18
Hope of transfiguration https://t.co/Jjp8JHNUbo

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