Thursday, February 15, 2007

D. R. Davies XX: On to Anglicanism

As his year at Richmond Road, Cardiff, came to an end, Davies had decided that he would leave the Congregational Church. Initially he had considered the Methodists or the English Presbyterian Church, but a conversation with Bishop Walter Carey convinced his that the Church of England could meet Davies' every need. Most appealing was the connexional structure of the Anglican Church. What problems Davies did have with the Church of England were adressed by Archbishop Temple, who advised Davies to pay a visit to the Gladstone Library at St. Deiniol's Library, Hawarden and meet the Rev. Alec Vidler, the librarian.

It was June 1940 when Davies paid the visit. He attended Matins at the library chapel. It was as if he had come home. Davies stayed up late into the night reading The Book of Common Prayer. Davies, who had experienced much trouble in extempore prayer, was impressed by the book's language and theology. A second visit to the library in October only served to confirm the decision. He was confirmed, and began a book on the prayer-book's General Confession, which was later published as Down Peacock's Feathers. He found the Confession thrilling in its truth, describing it as: 'a magnificent sledge-hammer.' In the book, Davies described the unity of mankind in corruption and stresed that only God has the power to rescue man from his predicament. It is clear from the book that it was written by a former Socialist, but it is a useful book, nevertheless.
When he spoke with Vidler about the possiblity of ordination, Vidler told the Archbishop that Davies was now a whole-hearted believer in the Thirty-nine Articles.
In Lent 1941, Davies was ordained deacon by Archbishop Temple in York Minster. A year later, Davies was given his priest's orders.



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