Marking 350 years of the book which divided the church

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To mark the 350th anniversary of the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer, Colgate parish church is holding a service of Evensong on Sunday September 30 at 4pm.

Just as the King James Bible was celebrated as a national treasure last year when the world the book reached its 400th anniversary, so many feel this book deserves special attention.

St Saviour’s Church in Colgate has decided to celebrate this living legacy of the Book of Common Prayer with a different emphasis.

Rector of St Saviour’s Father Nick Flint said: “Sadly, the year 1662 which saw the publication of this great gift to worship, marked one of the darker passages in the Church’s history.

“Many Christians could not in conscience accept the imposition of this set form and were expelled by the Anglican Church to form their own churches.”

The service of Evensong according to the 1662 book will reflect the beauty of that style of worship, but seek to reconcile it with the failures of the past.

To this end the preacher, representing the nonconformist tradition will be the Rev Peter Flint, of the United Reformed Church in Dorking, whose chapel congregation celebrate their 350th anniversary this year.

Ftr Nick said it was a delightful twist that the occasion will bring together two ministers who although unrelated share the name of Flint, and especially pleasing to the Anglican clergyman in this instance who can trace his descent from a long line of nonconformists.