Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A CHURCH THAT WAS- by Peter Hitchens

From First Things-

Yes, I remember the Church of England, much more than a name, a living thing. As it happens, my own religiously confused family was not churchgoing. By the early 1950s, most of the respectable English middle class had ceased to be especially religious, though they continued to respect faith. Church attendance had ceased to be normal in most of Britain around the time of the 1914–18 war, and had begun to be abnormal after the 1939–45 war. But parents brought up in the lost age of faith still felt it right that their children should be taught beliefs they themselves had lost, but be taught them by someone else.

So through various schools I was exposed to the last enchantments of Anglicanism as it once was, full of the might, majesty, dominion, and power granted to it by the first Queen Elizabeth. These men had crowned the second Elizabeth before an astonished world in 1953, and made an ordinary young woman our anointed monarch in a ceremony of grandeur, mystery, and poetry, a vast moth-eaten musical brocade that in those days still comfortingly covered up the peeling wallpaper and cracked plaster of our national home.

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