St Mary's Uttoxeter


25 Sep 2022 • Articles

There seem to be surprisingly few historical anniversaries this year, apart from the year 122 AD when Hadrian's wall started to be built, separating the north of England from the Scots, and 1872 when the secret ballot was first introduced in Britain, guaranteeing that voters could be safe from bullying or bribes.

One British anniversary dear to many people's hearts is the Platinum Jubilee, just seventy years since Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the British throne in 1952. This, and the founding of the BBC 100 years ago in 1922, stirs more cheerful thoughts than the sinking of the Titanic and the death of Captain Scott, the famous Antarctic explorer, both in 1912. One hundred years before that, in October 1812, the French Emperor Napoleon was forced to begin his retreat from Moscow, later prompting Tchaikovsky to write the 1812 Overture. More cheerfully again, in the same year of 1812, the great British author, Charles Dickens, was born.

The pen is mightier than the sword – Dickens is better remembered even than Napoleon, and books such as 'A Tale of Two Cities' about events in Paris and London, are read more often than the history books about the French Revolution.

In 1662 another important book was published : the Book of Common Prayer. After the Church of England was established by Henry VIII, Henry was succeeded by his young son, Edward VI, who issued a prayer book in 1552. During the next century there were many different ideas about the proper conduct of worship, but in 1662 Charles II combined the best of the wishes of the reformed Protestant churches with the best of the old Catholic ideas in the Book of Common Prayer. Not everyone liked the 'BCP' at first; some preferred the old latin services, while others did not want anything written down, preferring to make up prayers according to their need. Even so, the Book of Common Prayer was soon in every English church and home. It has lasted 360 years and is still a popular present when babies are baptised, even though the services in most churches are in more modern language now.

With every blessing for you in any anniversaries you are celebrating,