‘Understanded of the People’ – St Paul’s marks 350 years of Book of Common Prayer
The BCP remains the classic worship book of the Church of England. It has shaped the worship and doctrine of the Church of England and the Global Anglican Communion, and remains the cornerstone of Anglican identity. Although contemporary prayer books have been introduced, many churches and most cathedrals still use the BCP alongside these modern forms. The 1662 version still has a strong hold on people’s affections and even people with little faith still see merit in its venerable language and historical associations.
The exhibition will include prayer books from the First World War, a prayer book carried by a bride at her wedding instead of flowers, the gift of a brother to his sister as he left for active service in World War II, and prayer books special to people like PD James, Terry Waite, Frank Field and many others. Readers of the Church Times were also invited to submit their prayer book stories and some of these readers will have their books on display.
The Reverend Canon Michael Hampel, Precentor of St Paul’s, said: “The language of the Book of Common Prayer runs like a golden thread through the history of the English language. For many of the contributors to this exhibition, it shaped who they are and it’s a privilege for St Paul’s to be able to share personal stories alongside people’s prayer books.” The exhibition will be on display in the North Quire Aisle of St Paul’s Cathedral from Tuesday 1 to Thursday 31 May from 8.30am to 4pm. Please see the website for visitor information.
(It would have been nice if, in their press release, St Paul's had thought to give His Grace just a passing mention).