Thinking allowed

Remembrance resources

Church House has released this pic­ture and video to mark Remembrancetide.

The video can be viewed here on YouTube


2016-17 Common Worship almanac

Once again my annu­al Alman­ac, or cal­en­dar and lec­tion­ary, is published.

Each year since 2002 I have pro­duced a down­load­able cal­en­dar for the forth­com­ing litur­gic­al year, accord­ing to the rules of the Church of England’s Com­mon Wor­ship Cal­en­dar and Lec­tion­ary, and the Book of Com­mon Prayer.

The 2016–17 Alman­ac is now avail­able for Out­look, Apple desktop and iOS Cal­en­dar, Google Cal­en­dar, Android devices and oth­er formats, with your choice of Sunday, week­day, euchar­ist­ic, office, col­lects, Excit­ing Holi­ness lec­tions, for Com­mon Wor­ship and BCP.

Down­load is free, dona­tions are invited.


Further resources for the Queen's 90th birthday

Church House has pub­lished online a set of Litur­gic­al Resources for the Cel­eb­ra­tion of HM The Queen’s Nineti­eth Birth­day con­tain­ing: Notes of Guid­ance; an out­line ser­vice; col­lects and graces; and sug­ges­ted readings.

The resources are avail­able as a PDF here.

The notes say:

It is hoped that many churches and com­munit­ies will be able to cel­eb­rate the nineti­eth birth­day of Her Majesty the Queen. This leaf­let con­tains, by kind per­mis­sion of the Dean and Chapter, the Out­line of the Ser­vice of Cel­eb­ra­tion and Thanks­giv­ing which will be held at St Paul’s Cathed­ral on Fri­day 10 June 2016. Churches are invited to use ele­ments of this out­line in their own pre­par­a­tions, espe­cially the bid­ding pray­er, inter­ces­sions, and act of thanks­giv­ing in the appen­dices. In addi­tion to the resources below, St Paul’s has com­mis­sioned the Mas­ter of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, to com­pose a chor­al anthem, I love all beau­teous things, which can be used in the con­text of a cel­eb­ra­tion ser­vice and is now available.

Also included here are the Col­lects which The Queen has been pleased to approve for use in ser­vices cel­eb­rat­ing her birth­day, and Graces for use at church and com­munity gath­er­ings. Finally, the Litur­gic­al Com­mis­sion sug­gests a num­ber of appro­pri­ate read­ings suited to a cel­eb­rat­ory service.

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New Liturgical Commission

The Litur­gic­al Com­mis­sion of the Church of Eng­land has a five year term, and the term of the present Com­mis­sion ends on 31 March 2016. The mem­ber­ship of the new Com­mis­sion has now been pub­lished on the Church of Eng­land web­site here.

The Bish­op of Exeter

The Bish­op of Sod­or and Man

Ms Shayne Ardron
The Revd Can­on Dr Andrew Atherstone
The Revd Philip Barnes
The Revd Mark Earey
Ms Kash­mir Garton
The Revd Can­on Dr Chris­toph­er Irvine
The Revd Can­on Dr Simon Jones
Mr Simon Kershaw
The Revd George Lane
Mrs Lucy Moore
Dr Brid­get Nichols
The Revd Can­on Dr Jo Spreadbury
The Revd Can­on Dr Samuel Wells

The Com­mis­sion is a per­man­ent Com­mis­sion of the Gen­er­al Syn­od of the Church of Eng­land. It has a four-fold purpose:

  • to pre­pare forms of ser­vice at the request of the House of Bishops
  • to advise on the exper­i­ment­al use of forms of ser­vice and the devel­op­ment of liturgy
  • to exchange inform­a­tion and advice on litur­gic­al mat­ters with oth­er Churches both in the Anglic­an Com­mu­nion and elsewhere
  • to pro­mote the devel­op­ment and under­stand­ing of liturgy and its use in the Church.

I under­stand that the main focus for the next five years will be to encour­age bet­ter stand­ards in the pre­par­a­tion and con­duct of wor­ship. I hope to be able to provide reg­u­lar updates on the work of the new Commission.


Thanksgiving for the Queen's ninetieth birthday

The Litur­gic­al Com­mis­sion has pre­pared two col­lects (one in tra­di­tion­al lan­guage and the oth­er in mod­ern lan­guage) for use at ser­vices cel­eb­rat­ing the nineti­eth birth­day of HM the Queen, which falls on 21 April this year. These have been approved by the Queen, and the Com­mis­sion has asked that they be cir­cu­lated as widely as pos­sible. The Com­mis­sion has also provided two graces for use at church and com­munity gath­er­ings such as street parties.

Heav­enly Fath­er, who hast brought our gra­cious sov­er­eign Queen Eliza­beth to the com­ple­tion of her nineti­eth year, and dost gath­er her people in cel­eb­ra­tion of the same: grant that we, rejoicing before thee with thank­ful hearts, may ever be united in love and ser­vice to one anoth­er, and her king­dom flour­ish in prosper­ity and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Heav­enly Father, 
as we cel­eb­rate the nineti­eth birth­day of Her Majesty the Queen, 
receive our heart­felt thanks
for all that you have giv­en her in these ninety years 
and for all that she has giv­en to her people. 
Con­tin­ue, we pray, your lov­ing pur­poses in her,
and as you gath­er us togeth­er in celebration, 
unite us also in love and ser­vice to one another; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Boun­ti­ful God, giver of all good gifts,
we give thanks for the many years and long reign of our Queen; 
Bless our food, our neighbourhood,
and our enjoy­ment of each other’s company.
Help us to learn from Queen Elizabeth’s com­mit­ment to her people,
so that our com­munity may be strengthened 
and all may flourish.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the King of love.

Gra­cious God, give our Queen con­tin­ued wis­dom and strength
to carry out the prom­ises she has made;
and bless (this food, and) those who are gathered here,
that, sus­tained by ser­vice for others,
we may faith­fully serve you, all the days of our life. 
[With words from The Queen’s First Christ­mas Broad­cast, 1952]


Consultation on Vesture

A res­ol­u­tion was passed at the July 2014 meet­ing of the Gen­er­al Syn­od ask­ing that the Can­ons be amended so that clergy ves­ture be option­al rather than mandatory.

The House of Bish­ops has now put out a short (6‑page) con­sulta­tion paper on this top­ic which can be read here.

The paper asks Syn­od mem­bers wheth­er they sup­port the amend­ment of Can­on B8 to accom­plish this, and if so wheth­er it should fol­low the approach they present:

  • In rela­tion to the Holy Com­mu­nion and Morn­ing and Even­ing Pray­er on Sundays, the min­is­ter would be able to depart on a gen­er­al basis from the nor­mal require­ments as to ves­ture, provided that he or she had first ascer­tained, after con­sulta­tion with the Paro­chi­al Church Coun­cil, that doing so would bene­fit the mis­sion of the Church in the parish.
  • In rela­tion to the Occa­sion­al Offices, the min­is­ter would be able to depart from the nor­mal require­ment as to ves­ture, provided that he or she had the agree­ment of the per­sons con­cerned to do so. It has been sug­ges­ted that the require­ment for the agree­ment of those con­cerned might extend to wed­dings and funer­als but not bap­tisms on the grounds that the lat­ter gen­er­ally take place in a main Sunday ser­vice and should there­fore be with­in the min­ister­’s dis­cre­tion. Since, how­ever, the pre­scribed forms of ves­ture would remain the norm for all three occa­sion­al offices it would seem more straight­for­ward if the rights of those con­cerned were the same in each case.
  • Where the min­is­ter depar­ted from the nor­mal require­ments as to ves­ture, the dress adop­ted by the min­is­ter should be seemly and not such as to be indic­at­ive of any depar­ture from the doc­trine of the Church of England.

The con­sulta­tion is aimed at mem­bers of the Gen­er­al Syn­od who are asked to send in their com­ments by 15 April, so if you have views on this mat­ter you should send them to your dio­ces­an rep­res­ent­at­ives. Copy­ing them to the Clerk to the Syn­od Jac­qui Philips may also help.