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.
Madeleine, Masterminder of our fundraising effort, with Assistant Treasurer-to-be, Brian One of the younger clergy who has made the jump is Fr Darryl Jordan. He was ordained in Texas then came to Christchurch as an assistant priest. Now a Catholic Deacon, he is to be ordained Priest at 3pm on December 8th in Portsmouth Catholic Cathedral - and then he is to be given responsibility for the Parish of St Thomas More - the next parish to ours in Bournemouth. Like many other local parishes, St Thomas More has been served by a mission priest - in their case Fr Vitalis Kondo MSP, from Nigeria. He is moving on to Horndean just north of Portsmouth. As a priest of the Ordinariate Fr Darryl will still be connected to our Southbourne Group. We shall have to see how relations between the two parishes might develop with Fr Darryl having, as it were, a foot in both camps.
Today we joined with other Parishioners in the Fairtrade sale(picture above); and now we are preparing for All Saints - our parish priest, Fr Gerry, has asked me to celebrate the 10am Mass on Friday. Peter, our Organist, has promised to be there, so we shan't have to miss "For all the Saints". Our next major Ordinariate event after the Ordination will be an Advent Carol Service (3pm on Sunday December 15th, for your diary).
By way of relaxation I went to the coast this afternoon to see whether the forecast storm has yet arrived. There were many with the same idea - but the real gale is due after midnight. Children and seagulls especially seemed to be enjoying it.

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