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19th May 2019

An event in Cambridge originally planned to help ordinands from different traditions explore
the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) before they need to start using it in parishes has proved
to have wider-than-expected appeal.

Organisers report that many of those planning to attend the free evening seminar at St
Botolph’s church in Trumpington Street on June 10 are either young or newly-ordained
clergy – or laity who are asked to take services in the absence of clergy – faced with the
reality of using the Prayer Book in parish life but are unsure how to do so.

The title of the event – Old Wine – is inspired by a line in St Luke’s Gospel: ‘No man also
having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.’
Use of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in parish churches around the country is proving to
be a key to attracting worshippers, reports John Service, the clergy and churches
coordinator at the Prayer Book Society with whom St Botolph's is organising the event

Says Fr Stephen Anderson, priest-in-charge at St Botolph’s and chairman of the Ely Diocese
Branch of the Prayer Book Society (PBS): ‘We are delighted to host Old Wine with the
Prayer Book Society, supporting its contribution to the diversity of worshipping formats in the
church today.’

He added: ‘Young people and clergy are rediscovering what a rich resource the Prayer Book
is for private prayer and public worship, with its uplifting language and deep scriptural
theology, yet many clergy and lay people have little experience of how to use it in parish life.

‘In view of the church‘s current preoccupation with Fresh Expressions – the new forms of
church emerging within contemporary culture and engaging primarily with those who are not
churchgoers – it is important not to discard much-loved traditional formats which speak
more directly to the majesty and mystery of God and the economy of salvation.’

Old Wine will have an illustrious panel of speakers, headed by former Archbishop of
Canterbury and current Master of Magdalene College, Bishop Rowan Williams.

Following Evensong, at which the bishop will officiate and preach, there will be an
opportunity for delegates to network during a buffet supper. The seminar will start at 7.15 pm
with a welcome by the bishop.

Speakers will include the Rev Dr Cally Hammond, dean of Gonville and Caius College,
Cambridge. Her topic – Speaking the Prayer Book – will be followed by Singing the Prayer
Book by the musician, conductor, teacher and examiner Andrew Morris.

Following a talk about use of the Prayer Book in parish life by the Rev Dr Mark Smith, dean
of Clare College, Cambridge, the Rev Dr Robert Mackley, vicar of Little St Mary’s Cambridge
and rural dean of Cambridge South, will discuss its use for occasional offices.

The final speaker – the Rev Fergus Butler-Gallie from the Liverpool church of Our Lady and
St Nicholas – will offer A Curate’s View on using the Prayer Book.

A regular media commentator on church affairs with almost 7,000 followers on Twitter, Fr
Fergus is the author of the recently-published best-seller A Field Guide to the English Clergy
which he describes as ‘a compendium of diverse eccentrics, pirates, prelates and

The Old Wine event will conclude with the service of Compline from the monastic tradition of
completion at the end of the working day.

To book a place at the Old Wine seminar – there is no charge – visit Alternatively call the Rev Stephen Anderson on 07889
003588 or email him at

Pictured are former Archbishop of Canterbury Bishop Rowan Williams (left) with
Fr Stephen Anderson, priest-in-charge at St Botolph’s Church in Cambridge, venue for the
Prayer Book Society’s Old Wine event on June 10

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