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.
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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