I have been asked contribute to the seriesWhat St. Olave’s Means to Me, and my response is that it is not only a church where I can feel at home, in the company of loving, faithful, Christian people, and with them encounter God in prayer and worship, in the peace and beauty of its familiar liturgy and inspiring music, but I also value St. Olave’s because it stands in the tradition of what I believe a church should be.
As the Rector has said, “we love St. Olave’s, but St. Olave’s loves too” — it is a parish which has “great love for its members and community,” and, in fact, it has been described as “the best parish in the diocese!”
I value St. Olave’s, too, because it perpetuates the faith and understanding of generations before us, in part through its use of theBook of Common Prayer. The “Solemn Declaration of 1893” (page viii),summarizes its aim to “transmit the same unimpaired to our posterity.” Although its language is sometimes old-fashioned, the BCP contains truths that can sometimes be lost in modern liturgies. I wish that there were more Prayer Book churches!
It is a joy and privilege to be part of “the blessed company of all faithful people” in a church like St. Olave’s, which provides for us spiritual solace and inspiration, together with the human contact and friendship which hold us together in the love of God in the Body of Christ, and for this we give thanks to God.