Sunday, 27 October 2013
Tea and Sympathy
TEA was Saturday afternoon in the Church Hall in Southbourne. Despite squally weather, the crowds turned out. There were bookstalls, plant stalls, bric-a-brac stalls, cakes, marmalades and jams and a good deal more. That is the TEA part -and it raised £350 in a couple of hours. The SYMPATHY concerns the purpose of this fundraiser; we were responding to Mgr Keith's appeal for sick and needy priests. One of his biggest concerns is how he can raise enough for priests who will retire with no occupational pension. Those of us who served a full term (it was 37 years - probably by now it is fifty or more) as clergy of the Church of England have a pension to supplement our State Pension, but the younger men who joined us soon after their Anglican Ordination will have no such provision. It will be an ongoing concern to provide for them and their families. There are, too, others still 'shivering on the brink' (as Issac Watts has it) waiting to see the outcome of General Synod and what provision it makes, or fails to make, for those who persist in holding to traditional Anglican catholicism. We used to say "a Code of Practice will not do": so is it enough that the decision of an Ombudsman will have to do? Fortunately that is no longer our business - though we still pray for our Anglican friends, and understand their dilemma. What is more,we can assure them of a great welcome; and the Roman Catholic Priesthood is very fulfilling.