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This article is taken from PN Review 74, Volume 16 Number 6, July - August 1990.

A Decade On David Martin

The articles in PN Review by Michael Schmidt and Charles Sisson remind us of the central role played by PN Review ten years ago in the debate over the place of the Book of Common Prayer and the Authorised Version in the English Church and among English people. Michael Schmidt writes of the need to defend, or rather promote, Prayer Book and Bible within a wider project of gaining access to a whole literature and sensibility as embodied in a series of mostly unread classics. Charles Sisson writes of the necessary role of the learned in serious communication and maintaining our intellectual resources. Clearly the two articles reinforce each other, and as one of the partisans of English Prayer Book and Bible over the past dozen years or so, I am very much in agreement with them.

I would also like, after so many years of effort in this cause, to indicate what have been our difficulties and what our successes. In doing this I want to speak personally, knowing that others hold only some of the positions I put forward and, in any case, arrive at them by a variety of routes. In other words I realise that the 'we' in the paragraphs that follow is problematic. I am going to begin by asking what kind of people 'we' are, before proceeding to itemise the difficulties and the partial successes.*

* What follows is a revised version of an address to the annual conference ...


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