Prayer Book Helps Revive Toronto Parish: Many Young People Prefer BCP

By Bettson, Bob | Anglican Journal, June 1999 | Go to article overview

Prayer Book Helps Revive Toronto Parish: Many Young People Prefer BCP


Bettson, Bob, Anglican Journal


THE PARISH OF St. Aidan's, Toronto, was in real trouble a few years ago. There was talk of reduced ministry, since the congregation had declined. Now, under the leadership of Rev. Mark Andrews, the parish is thriving and growing. And one of the elements has been the use of the 450-year-old Book of Common Prayer.

Fr. Andrews wouldn't call St. Aidan's a "Prayer Book-parish" but the church does successfully alternate use of the BCP and the Book of Alternative Services at its Sunday services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. His predecessor had been moving the parish towards predominant use of the BAS, with only occasional use of the BCP.

But Fr. Andrews says it wasn't only long-time parishioners who supported increasing use of the BCP. "I've found that many of the younger people we've attracted lately prefer BCP. When a couple comes to me to be married I give them the choice, and I find many young couples prefer BCP."

The popularity of the BCP with younger St. Aidan's parishioners can also be credited to educational efforts Fr. Andrews has made. The parish conducts regular instructed Eucharists where the liturgy is described in detail while it is happening.

Although St. Aidan's alternates BAS with the BCP, the parish follows the Revised Common Lectionary, but follows the BCP church year.

Located in the Beaches area in the east end of Toronto, St. Aidan's has a large building, with all the upkeep that entails. …

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