The Prayer Book Tradition in the Free Churches

By A.E. Peaston

An examination of the history of the Book of Common Prayer in the Nonconformist churches.

ISBN: 9780718891206


In this book, Peaston challenges the common assumption that the Prayer Book is the exclusive possession of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, and researches its adoption in the Free Churches of England. Peaston acknowledges the Catholic revisions of the Prayer Book since its establishment during the reign of Elizabeth I, but concentrates predominantly on the Protestant revisions which ultimately heralded the way for much liturgical revision in the Free Churches. He also focuses upon the development of liturgical worship in those communions which were generally regarded as belonging to the strict Protestant tradition.

Peaston explores how the Prayer Book found a new home amongst Methodists, Moravians, Congregationalists, and Swedenborgians, as well as several others. He explores its traditional importance to them, and its modern relevance. Free Churchmen may have left the Establishment with or without regret, but the cadences of Cranmer and ancient Anglican piety have lingered in unforgotten memory amongst Nonconformists.

In his Foreword the late Professor E.C. Ratcliff comments that: “It is no exaggeration to say that Peaston has completed the extra-Anglican history of the Prayer Book. In so doing, he has made a notable contribution to the history of English religion.”

Additional information

Dimensions 216 × 140 mm
Pages 216


Trade Information LPOD


Foreword by Professor E.C. Ratcliff

Part I. The Anglican Tradition
I. The Genesis of Prayer Book Worship in English Nonconformity
II. The Puritans
III. The Methodists
IV. The Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion
V. The Free Church of England

Part II. The Dissenting Tradition
VI. The Moravians
VII. The Congregationalists
VIII. The Baptists
IX. The Churches of Christ

Part III. The Heterodox Tradition
X. The New Church (Swedenborgian)

Part IV. The Catholic Tradition
XI. The Catholic Apostolic Church
XII. The Free Catholics

Index of Persons
Prayer Books Index
Index of Places