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Freedom to choose a topic on the airwaves

11 September 2015


From Mr Quentin Letts

Sir, — What an intellectually dreary fellow your radio critic Edward Wickham seems to be. He is cross with me (Media, 4 September) for suggesting, in my recent Radio 4 programme What’s the Point of . . . the Book of Common Prayer?, that the old Prayer Book might be slightly Eurosceptic.

The English Church split from Rome in part because London bridled at Continental political power. I would go further, and suggest that later British national identity was influenced by the independence of the Church of England. Had we not had our own, trenchantly independent Church with its own, trenchantly monarchist, English-language liturgy, we might not have felt so different from Europeans. That, in turn, has surely had a bearing on today’s Euroscepticism.

This is all little more than harmless pencil-sucking; but why on earth should one not at least float the idea in a conversational Radio 4 programme that is aimed at the general listener? From what I can gather, Comrade Wickham has modern liturgical tastes, but perhaps he missed out on the “happy” part of “happy-clappy”. Lighten up, Teddy!


The Old Mill, How Caple
Herefordshire HR1 4SR

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