What is the ‘Book of Common Prayer’?
This is the traditional prayer book of the Church of England which has been used since 1662. Large parts of it are even older. Until forty years ago, all Church of England services were from this book.
The Book of Common Prayer (or BCP) is marked by beautiful and dignified language which speaks deeply to our human experience. It honours the awe and majesty of God, and reminds us that He is a loving Father, close to each of us. It also reminds us that sin is serious but God assures forgiveness and restoration to all those who turn to him in faith.
The BCP was called ‘Common’ because it was written in the language used and understood by everyone at the time. Many of its phrases have become familiar parts of the English language: ‘Till death do us do part’, ‘read, mark, learn and inwardly digest’, ‘peace in our time’. It is known to, and loved by, generations of people around the world. We continue to use it as a part of our worship at our 8:00am and 6:00pm services. The 10:45am Communion Services use Common Worship (CW)
What is ‘Common Worship’?
The Book of Common Prayer remains beautiful and resonant but it is no longer in the ‘common’ language. For some people this language is a barrier to their worship of, and connection with God. Because of this, the Church of England introduced modern language services in the 1970s then launched ‘Common Worship’ (or CW) services in the new millennium.
These use more modern language which provides greater clarity and meaning for many people. They are also more flexible and can be adapted to the needs of the congregation and occasion.
However we still need carefully considered words to share, express and explore both what we believe about God, and our deepest thoughts and emotions. Because of this the CW services are still marked by poetry and a depth of thought and reflection. We use this Common Worship format at our 9:30am All Age Worship.