Sunday, 24 January 2010

Anglican Use in France

No blog for the last few days. We have been in France, staying not far from Limoges in the house of an old friend in Bellac (not as I previously blogged, Beziers!) It is a lovely old hill-top town, on the river Vincou.

Our friend is Fr Allan Hawkins, parish priest of St Mary the Virgin, Arlington, Texas, an Anglican Use Parish in the Roman Catholic Church. He is just one of many in the USA who is very excited at the prospect of the Ordinariate; and it was to get his take on that provision that Jane and I made the pilgrimage to the Limousin last Wednesday.
Of course, we sight-saw - and there are some great sights there. In the parish church of Bellac is this amazing crib (surviving until Candlemas). Press the light switch, and not only does it come to life in glorious technicolor, there is also a lively and surprising rendition of "O Tannenbaum".

Here is Fr Allan's wife, Jose, is the garden of their house - with another great prospect of the Collegiate Church of Bellac. Jose has found herself well accepted by Roman Catholics in Texas and beyond. Their daughter delights in having a photo of her father on her desk, and then getting her friends to puzzle out how she is the daughter of a Catholic priest.

We went to Mass in a neighbouring village, part of
the Bellac benefice whose several churches are all served by the same solo priest. This chaste Romanesque church was well attended last evening for the first Mass of Sunday - the organist is an Englishman who, in his spare time, writes for the Daily Telegraph. Here Fr Allan poses with my wife Jane just before we went in for Mass. Inside the church was another Crib, elbowing the altar into a slightly off-centre position.

Now I should be telling you all about the Anglican-Use view of the Ordinariate; but that will have to wait for another day. Just now, at close to midnight our time and nearly one a.m. French time, I shall break off; and so to bed.

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