Roger Scruton

Prayers in stone

The meaning of an English church

No institution is more vividly expressive of the English genius for creative muddle than the Anglican Church. A Protestant church whose liturgy declares it to be Catholic; a national church with a worldwide congregation; a repository of holy sacraments, which is regulated by a secular parliament; an apostolic communion whose authority descends from St Peter, but whose head is the English monarch: looked at from close up it is all nonsense, fragments left over from forgotten conflicts, about as coherent as the heap of broken crockery that remains after a lifetime of marital -quarrels.

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