Tuesday 17 February 2015

Clear the Decks

Kingston Lacey
Anglican bishops look for moral leadership in politics. Catholic bloggers worry about the Pope. Egypt tries to defeat Isis by bombing Syria. And Lent begins.

Snowdrops in the Fernery

To clear our heads, and prepare for the next forty days, we headed for the country- specifically the ancient Bankes estate [now National Trust] of Kingston Lacey near Wimborne - and these pictures might give you a moment to consider that Spring, and Easter, really are on the way.

Lime Walk
Tomorrow the Bournemouth Ordinariate has a morning Mass, but I shall be celebrating for the Parish at 6.30pm since Fr Darryl, their Parish Priest, has to say Mass at the Hospital at that time.

Aconites: lovely, but deadly
Sometimes you need to a close-up to see the beauty of creation.

Cherry Bark

As we left the notice said that annual membership of the Trust for a year was something over £90. When I bought life membership for my wife it cost £75. There are advantages to growing old.
                                                        Have a happy and holy Lent.

Thursday 12 February 2015

Out of the Ordinaries

Fr Ian Hellyer
Westminster Cathedral Hall, and the ordinariate priests of England and Wales (and Scotland) met in conclave with Mgr Keith Newton, our Ordinary, together with two extra Ordinaries, from North America and Australasia. These plenary session are great occasions for catching up with friends, discovering how their Groups or Missions are flourishing, what new ideas are coming up. From Plymouth
Mgr Keith intent on Mgr Mark Langham's exposition
we heard about the developments in catechetical opportunities given us by Buckfast Abbey -opportunities which the Abbot and his Community hope we will use with enthusiasm.

We also had visitors; the Chaplain to Cambridge University, Mgr Mark Langham, has long experience in ecumenical matters, so it was good to hear him speak about the Ordinariate as a great new venture in the search for Christian Unity. He is well versed in classical Anglican spirituality, and is pleased to have readings from Thomas Traherne of John Keble to lighten the load of St Augustine's interminable sermon on the Shepherds.

After a picnic lunch we turned our attention overseas. We complain about the cost of getting to
[l/rt] Mgrs Entwistel, Steenson and Newton: OZ, US,  and us.
London, and the time it takes; but it is trivial compared with Mgr Harry Entwistle's travels. He lives in Perth, on the West Coast of Australia; to get his clergy together (and they are numbered only in tens rather than hundreds) it costs around £6000. It was not so much the differences between the three Ordinariates so much as the similarities which were striking. We are all having to help Catholics of long standing understand what we are about. Of course if they had simply read what the Pope said in Anglicanorum Coetibus it would be perfectly clear.......
Fr Bould between the Pembury duo
As always it was less the set pieces than comparing notes with other priests which was really helpful today. I shall post pictures of some of them on Facebook, but here are a couple for this blog.
Frs Graham Smith & Jonathan R-Harris

And because Fr Allan Hawkins would expect no less, I did raise with the three Ordinaries the question of married clergy. Are our wives a gift to the Catholic Church, or an impediment to be borne? I believe they are a gift to the whole Church, not to be hidden away or spoken about as an embarrassment.Perhaps, though, we do well to let them speak for themselves, and, as they become better known in Catholic Parishes their lives of dedication and service will become increasingly appreciated.

Sunday 8 February 2015

Wisdom from Texas

Fr Allan Hawkins, until fairly recently a Parish Priest in Texas and now retired (much as I am retired, that is seldom saying Mass more than six times a week) has returned to blogging. You can find him at http://www.salveteatquevalete.wordpress.com/ and he is well worth reading - his latest piece concerns clerical marriage, and as a son of an Anglican cleric he understands more than most  the pressures of life in a parsonage. Do read him and, if you will, respond. He and I were seminarians together at a long- vanished institution called Cuddesdon - there is some sort of establishment occupying the old buildings and calling itself "Ripon College Cuddesdon" - it is the heir of the liberal Protestant place formerly on Boar's Hill (Ripon Hall). Back in the 1950s Cuddesdon was properly monastic; I had to get special permission to allow my mother to see the Common Room. I am told that now it more resembles a branch of a ladies' sewing bee. O Tempora, O Mores!

On a more local note, we welcomed the local Catenian Circle at Mass today, and very jolly it was, with some great singing. Usually our Ordinariate Mass is a rather intimate gathering with no more than thirty or forty in Church, so it was lovely to have the place almost full today. Some have said they would like to return when we are using the Ordinariate form for the Mass. That will begin again on the first Sunday in Lent..

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Just a Question

Twenty years ago when Flying Bishops were first appointed the Archbishop ensured that there was a full turnout of Bishops to endorse this new ministry, and show it had the support of the whole of the Church of England. Apparently there were several present at the consecration of Philip North in York Minster. Yet it seems only three (Chichester the sole diocesan bishop, Beverley the only Flying Bishop, and Pontefract, another Suffragan bishop) were permitted (or willing?) to lay on hands. So where were the other traditionalist bishops? Or are there so few left? It's just a question - maybe someone can answer, but it seemed so markedly different when Libby Lane was all but lost under a welter of episcopal hands only a few days earlier. Bishop Philip has made encouraging noises for those still unpersuaded by women's ordination. His voice sounds a bit lonely and it would be especially helpful to know how and whether the Bishops of the Society of SS Wilfred and Hilda mean to support him.