Crashed: a theology of Trump and Brexit? | Father Richard Peers

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World

Adam Tooze

Allen Lane, 2018

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Christianity and Social Order is probably the most important Anglican political work of the twentieth century, with it William Temple, (Archbishop of Canterbury 1942-1944) showed how Christianity expressed its best moral impulses in democratic socialism. Previously a member of the Labour party he wrote of the need to meet the demands of workers and create a more just society in which children flourished. It is well worth reading, a fine piece of theology which takes economics and politics…

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Praying the Psalms With Commentaries | Father Richard Peers

Clearing out almost a thousand books recently I had to make some decisions about which should go. Novels took a heavy hit. So did travel guides. Most were well out of date, some I had bought and used as an undergraduate. Most of us would not travel to a strange country without some sort of guide, a phrase book for the local language at least. The book of psalms is in many ways a foreign land. Although it is essential to Christian prayer it needs a guide. At the suggestion of my friend and fellow Sodalist Fr Paul Barlow, as he prepares his Christmas list, here are some recommendations (which…

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Enriching Common Worship (8): Poetry | Father Richard Peers

Here is a somewhat amazing book. I can’t now remember how it made its way to me. It is a book of Day Hours (the Divine Office, excluding Vigils/Matins) published for Anglo-Catholics in the late 19th century as a supplement to Matins and Evensong. A date is written in of 3rd February, 1872 at (how wonderful) Liverpool.

The book was owned by Fr Greatheed, one of the first four professed members of the Society of St John the Evangelist (the Cowley Fathers see here). Later it was owned and used by Fr William of Glasshampton, the great Anglican contemplative. Here you can see Fr…

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Enriching Common Worship (7): Singing the Psalms and Canticles | Father Richard Peers

The essential element of the church’s daily prayer is psalmody. Psalms are at the heart of Christian prayer. I have just been re-reading Rowan Williams’ book Augustine. The chapter on the way in which Augustine is saturated in the psalms is remarkable and bears frequent re-visiting. There are so many passages worth quoting, I will settle for two that capture some of the essence of the importance of praying the psalms:

“Any reader of the Confessions will be aware that, for Augustine, the reading of the Psalms was more than simply a ‘devotional’ reading of a holy text, let alone reading to…

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Listening with love: sex, gender and mutual flourishing with Evangelicals | Father Richard Peers

Living with division and separation is part of the Anglican way. I still remember weeping when, while I was at Theological College, Synod made the decision to ordain women to the priesthood. I knew immediately, had already prepared for the fact, that friendships would be strained. It is 25 years since I was ordained deacon. In that time dear friends have chosen different paths. Some as members of the Ordinariate, others as Roman Catholics, lay and ordained, by the mainstream route. I love to concelebrate the Eucharist with my sister and brother priests; with some of my dearest friends this…

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Enriching Common Worship (6): Celebrating Eucharist Daily | Father Richard Peers

Underneath the large church at Taizé is the crypt. A door from there leads to a corridor and the Orthodox chapel. Each morning, before Morning Prayer,  Brother Pierre-Yves Emery of the community celebrates the Eucharist with the one or two people who turn up each day.

It is the simplest possible form of Eucharist but one of the richest experiences in my life of celebrating Mass. When I am at Taizé I am privileged to concelebrate this Eucharist. When I first did so I was terrified. Pierre-Yves, a Reformed pastor, does not use any books but extemporises the Collect and the Eucharistic Prayer…

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Enriching Common Worship (5): non-Scriptural readings | Father Richard Peers

In addition to the reading of Scripture at the Daily Office there is a long tradition of the lives of the saints and other non-Scriptural readings being used, particularly at the monastic Office of Vigils. On Sundays and significant feasts a commentary on the Gospel was often read in addition to other readings. For more on modern sources for such readings see my former post here, of which the following sections are extracted and adapted focussing on the use of such readings with Common Worship: Daily Prayer. In the monastic tradition the readings are generally linked closely to the Scripture…

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