Articles by Joel W. West

Joel W. West

Joel is director of Mission Communities for the Diocese of the Holy Trinity of the Anglican Catholic Church, and also serves on the Continuing Forward task force for mission & evangelism of the G-4 Continuing Anglican jurisdictions. A researcher on Anglican and ecumenical hymn singing and the author of the Anglican Music weblog, he holds an M.A. in Religion from Cranmer Theological House.


Introducing Cranmer Theological Journal

Cranmer Theological Journal (, a new peer-reviewed journal of Anglican theology, recently published its first issue. CTJ was created to fill a void by addressing the needs of biblically orthodox Anglicans in North America, at a time when the existing journals reflect the same doctrinal issues that prompted numerous Anglicans to leave the Episcopal Church…


Singing Together for the Advent of our Lord

Many liturgical Christians find that the beginning of the church year — Advent — is their favorite time of the year. I think this is particularly true for those who love Anglican hymnody, as I do. Christmas and Easter get all the attention — with the embarrassment of riches that is too much to fit…


Church Planting in Covidtide: Moral Courage and Sacramental Witness, Part II

Part I of this story reported on efforts of the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) to double its size, as part of its REC 100 initiative unveiled in 2017, and discussed the Covidtide experience of two new REC churches. Within Anglicanism, the REC has a similar theology and liturgy to the Continuing Anglican churches; Part II…


Church Planting in Covidtide: Moral Courage and Sacramental Witness, Part I

As the disruption of Covidtide begins to wane and possibly end, the Church must now reorient itself from survival back to the Great Commission. However, some churches have been hurt more than others. A nationwide study of offertory collections by The Pillar showed that giving was down dramatically during Lent and Easter in 2020, but…


Celebrating the Penitential: Music for Ash Wednesday

On Wednesday, Anglicans and other liturgical Christians will begin their second Lent during the interminable season of Covidtide. If ever there were a time to turn our focus away from things temporal to things eternal, now would be it. Even in normal times, picking a hymn for Ash Wednesday poses some unique problems. Many churches…


Hymns ‘of’ Thanksgiving and ‘for’ Thanksgiving

As we near the end of a surreal year of turmoil and disruption, it may be a little harder for Americans to give thanks this year (other than for a temporary cessation of political advertising). But of course God’s people have been commanded to give thanks for thousands of years, whether Noah’s family after the…

Singing of the Baptist Every June 24

One of the potential (but now rarely realized) delights of the Anglican lectionary is the number of saints and other holy days during the year, and the opportunities it presents for the choir or even the congregation to sing the faith. If you’re an English cathedral musician running a tourist service — or a medieval…


Hymnal Choices for North American Anglicans

While Watts and Wesley got an earlier start, the Church of England didn’t really begin its widespread use of hymnals until the mid-19th century. In part it was due to doctrinal reasons, in part due to cost, and partly because there weren’t any good Anglican hymnals. One of the earliest examples of the latter was…


Virtual Daily Office in a Time of Viral Pandemic

For Anglicans and other liturgical Christians around the world, Lent is normally a time for penitence, spiritual discipline, and reflection. At the same time, in the face of an increasingly hostile culture, various Christian writers have advocated that an increased spiritual discipline is required today to inculcate and nourish a faith that can withstand the…

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