3 SEPTEMBER 1898, Page 3

The Bishop of Winchester, writing in Monday's Times, makes a

very important contribution to another side of the problem. He points out that even if the Act is strictly interpreted, it only applies to alterations in the regular services, and does not prevent the use of additional services. That is a perfectly sound argument. If not, and according to Sir William Harcourt, a church becomes a jealously guarded shrine in which the words of the Book of Common Prayer, and none other, can be need. That is not, to our mind, a very Protestant view of what a church should be. In our view, a church is, or ought to be, the home of the religions life of the parish, and its uses should expand and develop with the expansion and development of that religious life. We do not want it to become a stalactite cavern with petrified services. But though we refuse to insist on petri- faction, we may still prevent the use of superstitious rites and reremonials. As the Bishop of Winchester shows, however, the new and extra services are by no means confined to the ritualists. The bulk of them are due to harmless, and indeed necessary, developments in church work, and belong to no one party in the Church.