*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Clerical vesture and Anglican ecclesiology

by
07 February 2014

iStock

From Mr Roger Doe

Sir, - I am an Anglican, and my wife is, or was, a Baptist. Though we had our two children baptised as infants, we decided that the children would be involved with both traditions until they were able to decide for themselves. So they experienced alternately an Anglican parish eucharist with vestments and servers and a Baptist "family service" with the minister in a grey business suit.

Aged ten, our son asked to come with me to the eucharist every week, and, aged 11, our daughter did likewise. Now on holiday in Devon, we all attended an Anglican parish eucharist celebrated with similar dignity last Sunday, and today (1 February) my wife told me that she wished to be received into the Church. It was all about the dignity of the worship, including the robes.

Unless "robes" mean a crumpled surplice with "I-have-been-to" academic hood and funereal black scarf, robes have great meaning for young people. We suspect, however, that those who do not want to wear them are not thinking about their relevance as much as playing at being more Baptist than Baptists. Let us be proud of our Anglican tradition.

ROGER DOE
Roseland House, Saxonhurst Road
Bournemouth BH10 6JH

 

From Canon John Goodchild

Sir, - The Revd Dr Andrew Atherstone (Comment, 31 January) suggests that congregations be allowed to choose what clergy wear. But local expressions need to be combined with catholic awareness.

The robed minister who has been ordained and licensed by the bishop symbolises a congregation's part in the diocese, the world-wide Anglican Communion, and the history of the Church.

Members of a congregation might wish to express their faith in their own way, but a contemporary worship song should not be allowed to replace the Nicene Creed on every occasion.

The clergy's uniform gives assurance that they are trained and under authority, not just people claiming individual credentials or approved by a local group. The C of E is diocesan, not congregational.

JOHN GOODCHILD
39 St Michaels Road
Liverpool L17 7AN

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

Forthcoming Events

6-7 September 2022
Preaching as Pilgrimage conference
From the College of Preachers.

27-28 September 2022
humbler church Bigger God conference
The HeartEdge Conference in Manchester includes the Theology Slam Live Final.

More events

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four* articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)

*Until the end of June: we’re doubling the number of free articles to eight, to celebrate the publication of our Platinum Jubilee double issue.