Do you like the Book of Common Prayer?

Join us in worship this Sunday Evening at 5pm on Facebook or via our online services page for a service of Book of Common Prayer (BCP) Evening Prayer.

It is a service in Traditional Language and with readings from the King James Version of the Bible. Even if you have never experienced  it before it might be something you enjoy. Below is the story of my journey with the BCP, from an article I wrote in the magazine a while back:

When I was a curate, I was in a benefice of seven rural churches. All of them had BCP services regularly, some of them only had BCP services. For my first year of curacy I was ordained deacon, which meant I couldn’t take Communion services. Consequently, each Sunday I would take BCP Matins and Evensong, it was rare for me to attend a modern language service. After I was ordained priest, I added in the 8 O’clock BCP Communion services, but it was still fairly rare for me to do a modern language Communion Service throughout the rest of my curacy – there weren’t all that may of them in the Benefice and my Training Incumbent liked doing them!

My curacy was my very first introduction to BCP. I became a Christian in 1984 and by then it was the Alternative Service Book (ASB) in churches, I had no idea that BCP had ever existed. Being immersed in the strange world of BCP was a fascinating experience.

I must stop at this point and confess that I am nostalgic in the extreme – it is one of my many faults. I love old buildings and their sense of heritage and history. I resist changes sometimes because of this, I have a strange longing for the past, a desire to cling onto it. I wonder whether it is because I grew up without any roots, always moving schools and countries. I longed for things of ‘home’ – English drizzle and red London buses and custard creams… I was hardly ever in the country and whenever I did arrive back in England things had changed and I didn’t like it.

Anyway, needless to say I loved the BCP, I loved the poetry of the language, I was charmed by the way that words have changed their meaning, and I enjoyed using those words with their old meaning. I found particular words and phrases incredibly challenging or comforting or meaningful – they pulled me into the presence of God. I loved the way that words were paired together like peace and concord, celebrating the depth and range of our language and behind that the diversity of all the peoples with their languages over many centuries who have come together to make our complex and many faceted nation. The repetition was also helpful – saying almost exactly the same thing each week meant that I could experience the same words that had so blessed me the previous week and I found that those words continued to bless me from then on, week in and week out.

Alan and I have tried to recreate something of this in the online service. It isn’t all that easy to do, please let us know whether you value this.

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