Alcuin Club

The Alcuin Club

Promoting the Study of Liturgy

The Alcuin Club

Promoting the Study of Liturgy

Anglican Confirmation 1820-1845 – Phillip Tovey

My latest research and forthcoming book are what is growing into a series on Anglican Initiation with particular reference to confirmation. The first work was Anglican Confirmation 1662-1820. In it I tried to have a more expansive methodology of the text, not just liturgical text, but text in use and text in a context. By expanding the research into visitation returns, newspapers, and diaries a more rounded view could be taken, and it raised questions about the pessimistic view of the 18th century. This next book Anglican Confirmation 1820-1945 tries to continue that methodology and takes a worldwide view, Anglicanism not just the Church of England. The book is scheduled for publication by Routledge on 3 June. The promotion code SMA22 entitles purchasers to a 20% discount, valid until 31 July 2024.

You may then wonder where I am going. For the next period textual collection was an important aspect. While Colin Buchanan blessed the Communion with a series of volumes of Eucharistic texts, the picture with baptism was much patchier. An Alcuin volume had given a partial selection of texts to the 1960’s, nothing much has been done since then. Anglican Baptismal Liturgies was seen as collecting contemporary texts. I have since found Kevin Flynn’s helpful MA which contains quite a number of older texts. The book was mind-blowingly complicated and while I could comment on almost all provinces not every text is there, but there is a comprehensive collection.

I am working on Anglican Confirmation 1945-2010 which is reasonably advanced but not yet with a publisher. The size of the Communion is now such that an overview is almost impossible as there is growing diversity. It seems to me that the fundamental relationship of baptism and Holy Communion is still a point of contention in many places while others may regard this as solved many years ago. The fracturing of the Communion breaks the network bonds, and thus places for debate and learned discussion.

I ma not intending to do a 1549-1662. One reason is that some key works on confirmation in this period are in Latin and my Latin is not up to reading a book. Another reason is that I think I am coming to the end of confirmation, and it needs fresh eyes. The late Colin Buchanan said to me before he died ‘You appear now to have written more on initiation than me’. Somewhere in that I think was a hidden compliment although we strongly disagreed on many issues. I do hope these books foster more research on Anglican liturgy.