Letter: Becket and I

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The Independent Online
Sir: David Aaronovitch (comment, 15 February) attributes to me several weird views which I certainly do not hold.

It is because I believe my fellow citizens deserve and can appreciate the best that has been thought and said in the realm of doctrine, liturgy and worship, that I am a member of the Prayer Book Society, which aims to keep the Book of Common Prayer in use in the church.

At the time I was approached for comment, I was given the impression that the Becket relic was to be permanently returned to the Cathedral, not just for exhibition purposes. I stick to the belief that the shifting of human remains from one venue to another, except for some dire necessity, is lacking in respect. The placing of them on open display for the purpose of tourism is similarly disrespectful, and if it is done to encourage pilgrimage or prayer then it indicates a pre-Reformation theology in which prayer offered in the presence of relics has more validity than other prayer.

MARGARET THOMPSON

Secretary, The Prayer Book Society

London EC4

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