Authority to change the Prayer Books

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by AnglicanAgnostic, Jul 14, 2022.

  1. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I cannot say with absolute certainty what C of E canon, measure or other law permits the use of 1928.

    It's no great secret the UK Parliament refused to pass it. (As an aside I would like the C of E to be disestablished. The UK Parliament should not be legislating for the C of E).

    Nonetheless many parishes still have their green 1928 BCPs. Indeed, in my experience if the BCP is used then it's 1928 that's used.

    I grew up with Choral Evensong every Sunday using 1928.

    There must be some provision that enables it to be used or a lot of people in the C of E are breaking the law. Perhaps they should build a prison especially for us.
     
    Elmo and bwallac2335 like this.
  2. Br. Thomas

    Br. Thomas Active Member

    Posts:
    122
    Likes Received:
    85
    Country:
    U.S.A.
    Religion:
    Anglican Catholic
    Our parish is of the ACC and we utilize the 1928 version exclusively.
     
  3. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    275
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    The American Prayer Book of 1928 is a different book to the English Prayer Book of 1928 that was rejected by the British Parliament.
    Yikes!! Who would you have crowning the Monarch; A Cardinal, head of the Salvation Army, or maybe a druid?

    I'll need to check but I would have thought wanting the Church disestablished would contravene the

    "I, A.B., Do here declare my unfeigned assent, and consent to all, and every thing contained, and prescribed in, and by the Book intituled, The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites, and Ceremonies of the Church,...."

    oath that you took.

    I'm still researching the post 1965 prayer book situation. Academicy research is not my forte.
     
  4. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I note, Br. Thomas, you are in the USA. Does your church use the Church of England's 1928 proposed Book of Common Prayer OR a 1928 editon of the Book of Common Prayer of another church?
     
  5. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    Is there any need to be this silly?

    If the Church of England was no longer the established church I see no reason to change the constitutional requirement that the British sovereign be a member of the Church of England. If the Church was disestablished there is no reason why the Coronation Rite could not continue to take place as previously. Indeed, it pre-dates the Reformation. Again, there is no reason why the Archbishop of Canterbury cannot still be the person who crowns the sovereign.

    How on earth does it contravene that oath? I know plenty of Anglicans, including clergy, who want the Church of England disestablished. The other 45 Anglican churches are neither established nor state churches. Wanting the Church of England disestablished does not make one a faithless Anglican. What nonsense!
     
    Elmo likes this.
  6. Br. Thomas

    Br. Thomas Active Member

    Posts:
    122
    Likes Received:
    85
    Country:
    U.S.A.
    Religion:
    Anglican Catholic
    The forward states: "...ISBN: 1-886412-13-8....This edition of the Book of Common Prayer was photographically reproduced from a certified edition of the Book of Common Prayer that conforms to the Standard Book of Common Prayer adopted by the General Convention of 1928, as amended by subsequent actions of General Convention with the exception that sections from the original 1928 Book of Common Prayer are included herewith...".....I am not a student of history of the ACC other than to know when its inception took place. I am not of knowledge of the avenues taken to bring the Book of Common Prayer to the ACC.
     
  7. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    275
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    What you have Br Thomas is the American Prayer Book of 1928. Apparently the 1928 book was never copyrighted so all books to be used in church are prefaced by a "certificate", and as my book says "from an authority of the Episcopal Church affirming that the book has been checked for accuracy against a copy of the Standard Book". I think you don't belong to the Episcopal Church so your forward may be your churches equivalent.
     
    Br. Thomas likes this.
  8. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    The question has been answered for my purposes. It's not the C of E 1928 Prayer Book.
     
    Br. Thomas likes this.
  9. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    All published copies of the Book of Common Prayer of the TEC must include a certificate to state that it has been checked against the Standard Copy held by the Custodian and must say, "... has been compared with a certified copy of the Standard Book, as the Canon directs, and that it conforms thereto". After that statement comes the name of the person who is/was the Custodian on the date it was printed.
     
    Br. Thomas and AnglicanAgnostic like this.
  10. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    275
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    Firstly I must apologise. Earlier in this thread I said
    "Measures can't amend Acts of Parliament you probably meant amend other Measures, but even this is incorrect. I understand you can't amend a Measure, to change it you have to abolish the Measure and introduce a new one."

    This is incorrect, Measures can change Acts of Parliament and I assume other Measures. The Measure I'm about to mention changed the Act of Uniformity of 1662 as well as the Acts of the same name of 1558 and 1548, for example.

    And when I said You can't amend a measure you need to introduce a new measure, I misread what my book said.
    You can (probably) amend a Measure, what Parliament can't do is amend a Measure upon its introduction to Parliament before it is passed. It can send measures back to Synod for "consideration" as happened in 1983 when a badly drafted Clergy Pensions Measure had the opposite effect to that intended.
    ----------------------------
    We now move on to the "Church of England (Worship and Doctrine) Measure 1974 No.3"

    And clause 1 subsection 1(a) of it says (and this is the bit PDL wants to hear)

    Provision by Canon for worship in the Church of England
    . (1) It shall be lawful for the General Synod—
    (a) to make provision by Canon with respect to worship in the Church of England, including provision for empowering the General Synod to approve, amend, continue or discontinue forms of service;

    So PDL is correct The CoE can have alternative church services to the 1662 one.

    BUT here is the underhand bit. Section 1(b) says

    "but the powers of the General Synod under this subsection shall be so exercised as to ensure that the forms of service contained in the Book of Common Prayer continue to be available for use in the Church of England."

    I ask PDL and Tiffy, is the 1662 available in your churches as proscribe by law?

    but wait there's more!

    Section 3 subsections (a) & (b) says

    (3) The General Synod shall provide by Canon—
    (a) that decisions as to which of the forms of service authorised by or approved under Canon are to be used in any church in a parish or in any guild church shall be taken jointly by the incumbent and the parochial church council or, as the case may be, by the vicar of the guild church and the guild church council; and (b) that in case of disagreement and so long as the disagreement continues, the forms of service to be used in that church shall be those contained in the Book of Common Prayer unless other forms of service so approved were in regular use therein during at least two of the four years immediately preceding the date when the disagreement arose and the said council resolves that those other forms of service shall be used either to the exclusion of, or in addition to, the forms of service contained in the said Book.


    So PDL and Tiffy has your church council voted on this issue? Did you even know you could or should?

    Maybe PDL is right "Perhaps they should build a prison especially for us.":D
     
  11. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    May I enquire, AnglicanAgnostic, if you are a qualified in and permitted to practise law, particularly with a specialty in the jurisprudence of Church of England Ecclesiastical Law? Because if you are not then you are very likely to make errors and jump to false conclusions. The wording of laws do not always have the same meaning as the plain words would individually mean in everyday English. Similarly, you need to be trained in Law to understand laws and be able to interpret them correctly.

    I did not need you to cite for me any measure of the Church of England. I already knew full well that the Church of England had all the authority it required to authorise forms of service other than those found in the 1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England.

    Because I doubt you are going to respond to my opening question in this post in the affirmative, it is only a matter of your, probably poorly informed, opinion that 1.1(a) of the cited measure is underhand. The Oxford English Dictionary says 'underhand' means secret or clandestine. Perhaps you can explain how a measure of the Church of England, approved by the General Synod, then by the UK Parliament, having received the Royal Assent, and is now a public law of England is secret and clandestine.

    I also think you have not thought this through very well. The Measure is saying that the Church of England may introduce services alternative to the Book of Common Prayer but cannot abolish the Book of Common Prayer. The Book of Common Prayer must continue to be available as a form of service that may be used. I do not think the Church of England made a measure that follows your illogical train of thought. You appear to be saying the measure irrationally says the General Synod of the Church of England may introduce alternative forms of service to the Book of Common Prayer but it will not and shall always use the Book of Common Prayer.

    I had no need for you to cite any part of any measure of law for me. I know that the Church of England is not corporately acting illegally by introducing alternative forms of service or by failing to enforce the use of the Book of Common Prayer.

    The choice of the forms of service used in Church of England parish churches are jointly made by the incumbent and the parochial church council. I can assure you that if incumbents try to use forms of service the parochial church council do not want they will make their views very clear.

    I am afraid you are going nowhere sensible with this pointless obsession.

    The Church of England has the necessary authority to approve and commend forms of service derived from the Worship and Doctrine Measure 1974. It exercises that authority in Section B of the Canons of the Church of England, Seventh Edition. The Church of England publishes a list of authorised and commended services on its website here: https://www.churchofengland.org/abo...ns-church-england/supplementary-material#p186
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
    Elmo likes this.
  12. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    275
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    Back again:D

    No I have no legal training whatsoever.(Hence I'm not an expert on the Torah :p )
    I would ask Lowly Layman for an opinion as he says he's a contract lawyer, but you can't pm him and he seems to be absent at the moment.
    But however PDL if you think I have wrongly interpreted legislation let me know what bit and I'm more than happy to write again to the New Zealand Anglican Priest, Professor Noel Cox, lawyer, Batchelor and Master of Laws, PhD, etc., and with a M.A. in Ecclesiastical Law from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
    No it is not section 1.1(a) that I think is underhand it is section 1.1(b) which states;

    "but the powers of the General Synod under this subsection shall be so exercised as to ensure that the forms of service contained in the Book of Common Prayer continue to be available for use in the Church of England."
    I think this measure was written with the intention of effectively doing away with the 1662 service but keeping a legal facade that it was still available, but only because they couldn't legally abolish it.
    Can I go to your church PDL and hear the 1662 service?

    What I am saying is the Church may legally use alternative services. But only lip service is being paid to protecting the use of the 1662 service as legally required.

    No it's not acting illegally (probably) but it is acting against the spirit of the law as pertains to the 1662 service.
    And don't forget Archbishop Ramsey admitted the church had been acting illegally, as Hansard states, and it is of course illegal to lie to Parliament.

    Well you're sort of right --"What do I care?" ---(about this Prayer Book issue)

    But I'ld like to think there are people in England who are saying "why can't I go to a 1662 service? I know, perhaps there's an Anglican forum that might explain why this is so"
    And lo it appears only an agnostic is informing them why.

    You may think I am the only one who thinks this way about this issue, but there are others. Wait for the next exiting post in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
  13. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I am not waiting for the next exciting post in this thread. I certainly will not be excited. Indeed, I am ignoring it from now on. It is going round in pointless circles.

    No one is acting illegally. No one is acting in an underhand way. Whilst the Book of Common Prayer remains legally a form of service in the Church of England there is no mandate that it must be used nor is there any legal right for an individual to demand it. Nowhere have you adduced any evidence to the contrary.

    The decision as to what forms of service are used in a Church of England parish church rests jointly with the incumbent and the parochial church council.

    If you are requesting an occasional office I am sure you can ask for the Prayer Book form of the service.

    If you want to find a service celebrated according to the Prayer Book I do not think you would struggle. I cannot prove everywhere with Choral Evensong uses the Prayer Book but I would be prepared to wager next month's salary the great majority do. You can go to any Church of England cathedral and probably get Prayer Book Choral Evensong on most evenings per week. You can also go to The Prayer Book Society website and use its function BCP Near Me to find where services are according to the BCP.

    I do not believe anyone in the Church of England is breaking any law if they do not use the Prayer Book. I believe this to be a fruitless discussion and the obsession of someone who lives as far away from England as you can probably get, is not a Christian let alone an Anglican (of any flavour) who is getting worked up over something and nothing. I do not know any member of the Church of England who is up in arms about this. Indeed, the Book of Common Pryaer was created, inter alia, so that people could worship in their language. I do not speak Early Modern English (the form of English in the Prayer Book) so I see no reason why I should not be able to worship in a contemporary form of English.

    I am now going to Unwatch Thread this thread. There is a life out there to be lived.

    Edited: To add - do not rely on The Prayer Book Society website. I tried it, put my postcode in, searched within a 50-mile radius and it did not list one church near me and I know churches near me that use it, our church uses it! My diocesan cathedral was not listed and they use the Prayer Book, too. I suspect a church will only be listed if it is a member of The Prayer Book Society.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
  14. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    275
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    Well no, not circles it is going in chronological order; 1928,1965 and 1974. We now move onto the exciting year of 1981, when; Charles married Diana, Raiders of the Lost Ark was first shown, the DeLorean DMC-12 was first built and the Prayer Book Protection Bill was introduced into Parliament.

    And why was this Bill introduced if as PDL says
    It's because of the

    "but the powers of the General Synod under this subsection shall be so exercised as to ensure that the forms of service contained in the Book of Common Prayer continue to be available for use in the Church of England."

    part of the Measure was not being adhered to.

    Some MPs felt they had been ambushed by this church legislation from the Synod (yes I know, ironic isn't it, it's alright for them to ambush the public) that they set up an informal group in 1975 to get advanced intel from Synod, chaired by the then Bishop of Norwich.

    So despite PDL's intimation that everything was tickety boo there was enough angst for Viscount Cranborne to introduce the "Prayer Book Protection Bill" to Parliament on 8/4/1981 (that's 8th April for those not so pro British as me :D)

    And when this Bill was introduced what did Cranborne say-
    Hansard again

    I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to provide for parishioners in any parish to require certain forms of service to be used in the parish. It is a sad occasion when any hon. Member should feel impelled to seek leave to introduce a Bill such as this.......

    Until recently the Book of Common Prayer was available to all people who wished to use it. Many hon. Members have ackowledged the beauty of the Book of Common Prayer. They have expressed the hope that its language and form of service would not be lost and would not remain unavailable to those who wished to use it in their worship in the Church of England.....

    However, I feel a trifle sorry for my hon. Friend because he will be supporting a point of view which, in retrospect, has managed to achieve the slow murder of the Book of Common Prayer since the passing of the 1974 measure...


    My proposed Bill is moderate. It will merely ensure that if 20 people in a parish so petition an incumbent, that incumbent should hold one service a month—the principal service of the morning—according to the right of 1662. I hope that the House will support me in ensuring that the 1662 prayer book can be enjoyed by everyone who wishes to do so, instead of its being consigned to the muniment rooms, where only scholars and the cognoscenti may appreciate it.....

    What has happened—there is evidence of this in the colossal amount of correspondence that I have received during the regrettable publicity prior to my application this afternoon—is that more and more people throughout the country find it impossible to attend a service in which the Book of Common Prayer is used. The clerics of the Church of England have brought about the beginnings of the slow strangulation of one of the greatest glories that this country enjoys. If the House needs an example, I have it on good authority that in the majority of theological colleges in the provinces of Canterbury and York the 1662 prayer book, or, indeed, the 1928 prayer book, are not in use at all. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."] There is a new generation of Church of England priests who do not know of the prayer book and who are, therefore, all too happy to override the evident rights of parochial church councils, as my hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham pointed out in 1974, to decide whether to use the 1662 liturgy or alternative services.


    Mr William Van Straubenzee then fact checked and corrected Cranborne's colleges statement.

    Furthermore, I can reassure my hon. Friend on one matter of fact upon which he relied. I accept, of course, that he gave his facts in all possible good faith. I have, however, checked the practice at the 14 theological colleges. It is true—I regret this—that in four of them the 1662 Holy Communion service is not in use, but in four others it is used occasionally and in six it is used regularly. That is a very different picture from the one that my hon. Friend painted.

    Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 13 (Motions for leave to bring in Bills and nomination of Select Committees at commencement of public business):

    §The House divided:Ayes 152, Noes 130.


    So I hope people can see there was objection to the unavailability of the 1662 service as the time. The bill was passed for a second reading and seems to have resurfaced in 1984. I tried to preview a printout of the the Hansard 1984 debate but my printer then printed out 60 A4 pages of it. So I will "Readers Digest" a version for you.

    Did you notice that Hansard misspelt Acknowledged? There is a link to the UK parliament to correct Hansard at the bottom of its page, which I will do, and I would like to thank PDL in his encouragement to study this issue and to correct Parliamentary records.
     
  15. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I was not going to keep following this thread. However, despite 'unwatching' it still came up in alerts. Therefore, I thought I might as well read the latest nonsense. Nonsense it certainly is.

    The last post gives support to the fact the Church of England should be disestblished and the UK Parliament not dictate its worship, especially its undemocratic and unelected House of Lords.

    The OP continues to fail to adduce any evidence that it is illegal not to use the Book of Common Prayer. It is not. The fact that rich, unelected, conservatives have nothing better to do than attempt to introduce legislation like this when there are so many problems to be resolved in this country is just evidence of why the House of Lords should be abolished and replaced with an elected chamber.
     
  16. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    275
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    I guess it is true , the good Lord does move in mysterious ways.:clap:
    But Viscount Cranborne who introduced this Bill, was an elected member of the House of Commons. He was the member for Dorset South.
    I'm not saying it is illegal to not use the BoCP. I'm saying the legislation says
    "but the powers of the General Synod under this subsection shall be so exercised as to ensure that the forms of service contained in the Book of Common Prayer continue to be available for use in the Church of England.".
    It's the "not being available" bit that I think is not being adhered to. It's the bit that MPs also thought wasn't being adhered to and wanted to bring in legislation to ensure that the C.o.E. did obey this part of the law.

    Completely off topic, I have emailed the UK parliament about their typo "ackowledged", they have ackowledged acknowledged my e-mail and will send it to the appropriate department to correct it.

    I've now got 60 pages of Hansard to wade through now for your and PDL's benefit. Or should I just take his advice.
     
  17. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I do not know who Viscount Cranborne is. It is a peerage title and peers cannot sit in the House of Commons. Therefore, I do not know why he was there. Perhaps when citing Hansard it would help if you could state which house of Parliament is being reported or, if it is a committee, which committee of which house.

    It is available!
     
  18. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    498
    Likes Received:
    472
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Neither do I, but Wikipedia tells me he was an MP from '79-'87, and was accelerated to the Lords in '92. I think it's pretty mental they can appoint a hereditary peer as a life peer, and then the Lord can let their heir sit in the house using their hereditary title while they sit as an appointed one. Absolute madness.
     
  19. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I have just read the Wikipedia article. All it did was confirm my belief the House of Lords needs to be abolished. If replaced it needs replacing my an elected chamber.
     
  20. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    275
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    I'm sure a peer can be elected to the commons or sit in the Lords, but a person can definitely not sit in both houses at the same time.

    Yeah I know this Lords thing in some ways, is dodgy. I remember one Lords member saying bemusedly that he was only there because one of his ancestors slept with Charles II. But I also remember a time when the Lords was the only obstacle between the Govt doing what it wanted, in opposition to the large majority wishes of the public.

    I'm slowly getting through my Hansard reading ( I'm meant to be reading Alister McGraths "Christian Theology an Introduction). There is also a confusing situation as I think there are two different Bills called Prayer book Protection. One introduced in the Commons by Viscount Cranborne and one introduced in the Lords.

    But the point I'm generally getting at is people felt the 1662 was being "ghosted" and felt laws were the only way to correct it.