Letter: Black is chic, but colour has its place

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The Independent Online
Sir: Nicholas Roe commands the clergy 'Wear any colour except black'. We do. Regularly. Recently, for Eastertide, the vestments I wore were white and gold; this coming Sunday, it will be uncompromising red symbolising the fire of Pentecost; next week, a fetching rural green for ferial or ordinary Sundays. Yesterday, I wore bright purple (not black) at the request of a young friend whose funeral I was taking, and occasionally I wear a rainbow stole to remind myself there is hope amid the horrors of HIV and other modern tragedies.

All these colours have their meanings, and if Mr Roe steps into his local church on Sunday, anyone will explain them to him.

Yours faithfully,


Master of the Royal Foundation

of Saint Katharine

London, E14

17 May