THE CRISIS IN THE CHURCH [To the Editor of the
SPECTATOR.] Sot,—The Spectator is apparently of opinion that the Bishops, as a body, will enforce, by legal process if necessary, the restrictive provisions of the Revised Prayer Book if it becomes law. This view is shared by certain hopeful Anglican Evan- gelical clergymen. Why ? Have the Bishops collectively or individually made any public or private pronouncement on the subject ?
it is well known that for many years past in the London Diocese " toleration " has been extended to services and practices which can hardly be described as being within the ambit of the received doctrines of the Church of England. The clergy in that Diocese who have expressed their intention of non-obedience and their eminent lay supporters need not be unduly perturbed. Does anyone really suppose that they will be sent to the stake (in the way of legal proceedings) or become qualified to wear martyrs' crowns ?
A public pronounament by all the Bishops of their intention to enforce, by legal process if necessary, the restrictive pro- visions of the New Book would go far to ensure the passage of the measure through Parliament. Failing such a pronounce- ment it seems .to .me that our legislators should oppose the measure.
It only remains to add that Father Woodcock, an eminent Roman Catholic (along with many others not of his faith)
is not in agreement with the Archbishops' - declaration that the changes in the Prayer Book have no doctrinal significance.