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Those things which we ought not to have done

23 October 2015


From the Rt Revd Dr Colin Buchanan

Sir, — Two weeks ago, you published a review (Books) by the Revd Professor David Martin of the recent symposium about the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, edited by James Steven, Wrestling with a Godly Order. In respect of my chapter in this volume, Professor Martin described my writing as “abrasive” and “self-serving”.

While I would never want to be over-defensive when criticised by reviewers, these epithets seemed so distant from my objective and unpolemical chapter, that I asked you to read what I had written. I am grateful that you have offered to publish your verdict, which you tell me will follow this letter. Anyone reading the chapter with an open mind will, I am confident, agree with you.

Behind Professor Martin’s review lies, perhaps, a distress at the slow dislodging of the 1662 book from its prominence throughout the Anglican Communion, the message I was conveying in my chapter. The dislodging, of course, cannot be reversed. But distress at the message should not lead to an attack on the messenger.

21 The Drive, Alwoodley
Leeds LS17 7QB


I regret the inclusion of criticisms of Bishop Buchanan in our review of Wrestling with Godly Order, having satisfied myself that they were wholly unjustified, and have apologised to him. Editor

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