Religion: Prayer & Controversy

A month ago, parlor conversation in Great Britain was confined largely to the incredibly bad weather (TIME, Jan. 9). Last week, all over England, people talked religion. Catholicism vs. Anglicanism, high-church vs. low-church, once abstract topics for addled theologians, had overnight become contests of national importance. From king to country squire, every church goer in Great Britain was hotly excited.

The excitement had begun a month ago when the House of Commons refused to authorize a new Anglican prayer book, on the grounds that it was too sympathetic with practices of a...