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13th August 2020

For the first time in its 48-year history the Prayer Book Society (PBS) will conduct its annual
conference online.

Although Coronavirus prevents members meeting this year, on Saturday, September 5, they
will still be able to attend the conference which will be streamed live on YouTube.

The PBS, which encourages rediscovery and use of the majesty and spiritual depth of the
Book of Common Prayer at the heart of the Church of England’s worship, has chosen In
Time of Plague or Sickness at the theme for this year’s conference. The line is adapted from
the title of a specific prayer in the Prayer Book.

The conference will start at 2 pm and full details of the programme, including a link to access
the live stream on the day, can be found at

PBS chairman Prudence Dailey (pictured) explains: ‘The first talk will examine how
pandemics have been seen through the lens of the Book of Common Prayer throughout
history; the second one will have a theological focus, and the final contribution will look at the
ways the Prayer Book has been used in our times in the context of Covid-19.’

The YouTube chat function will enable viewers to put questions to the speakers.

They will include:
- Professor Philip Williamson, professor of modern British history at Durham University,
whose topic will be The Prayer Book and Pandemics;
- the Revd Dr Matthew Olver, assistant professor of liturgics and pastoral theology
at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in the USA, whose subject will be Divine
Visitation: The Prayer Book’s Theology of Sickness and Plague;
- Prayer Book Society member Bradley Smith, who has been co-ordinating the listings of
online Prayer Book worship on the society’s website and whose address is entitled
Comfortable Words for Troubled Times: The Use of the Prayer Book during the
Coronavirus Pandemic.

The conference will conclude with Evening Prayer at 5 pm led by the Rev Dr Daniel
Newman, a PBS trustee.

‘This year’s online conference has one unique advantage,’ says Prudence. ‘It will be
available indefinitely for people to watch online after the event if they miss it live.’

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