Vol I No. 7

Goodness had Nothing to do With It Classical Anglicanism from Elizabeth I to Mae West Part II

William Noble McKeachie

Dean William McKeachie, in the Second part of his article based on his address to the Prayer Book Society’s most recent conference, pays tribute to the remarkable personality and erudition of the late Fr. William Ralston and the faith he upheld.

“For Anglicans today, when all else may seem to be verging on the indulgently decadent, the proudly heretical, or the merely vapid, one can still look to the classical Book of Common Prayer as our pre-eminent, once-and-future resource of “re-construction” in a fallen and sinful world… Such is classical Anglicanism and such was and is the witness of WilliamHenry Ralston, Jr.”


I first met Fr. Ralston that summer of 1960, following a concert of Haydn and Schönberg at the Edinburgh Festival. At the time, he was the Episcopal Church Fellow of St. Augustine’s College, Canterbury. Fr. Ralston in turn introduced me to Dr. C. FitzSimons Allison, Sewanee’s church historian, then on leave at Oxford. These four became my enduring guides into the classic Book of Common Prayer and the Anglican Way of Christian faith and life.

In long views of Christian and specifically Reformation history, the “brokenness” of the Body of Christ has often exhibited itself in contentious

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