Thursday, 20 May 2010

For those in Peril...

St Saviour on the Cliff

The SSC Chapter of SS Peter and Paul meets overseas sometimes; that is to say, on the Isle of Wight. We include brethren from the two dioceses of Portsmouth and Winchester. There is a ferry to the Island from Lymington, where I live, so the journey to St Saviour on the Cliff, Shanklin, was not very onerous.

Though I served in the Diocese of Portsmouth for my first three years in the Ministry (and was made a Deacon in Portsmouth Cathedral just fifty years ago this Trinity - my, how time flies when you're having fun!) I'd never before been to St Saviour's. It is an impressive Victorian pile, which has clearly had some wealthy benefactors. The former Vicarage was sold off when the parish was joined with its neighbour of Lake, but fortunately two church families bought it from the diocese and are generous in letting the parish use the garden from time to time. Today, it was a member of one of those families, a Churchwarden, who helped serve us with a ploughman's lunch (though if ploughmen ate lunches like that I doubt if much ploughing would have been done in the afternoon!)

We began with half an hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, then celebrated Mass, ate our lunch in the North Aisle (which serves as a meeting place until the Victorian hall is restored) and then had a good and lively discussion on the matter of the Ordinariate. It is clear that in our chapter at least there will not be one single opinion; some are very keen to take the Holy Father's option at the earliest opportunity, other think they might have to be in the second rather than the first lifeboat. We were all concerned, though, to try to understand one another, and "to keep the brethren of the Society united in love and in faith" as our SSC prayer says.
Window of Christ the King
in the Chancel of St Saviour on the Cliff.

We are fortunate in having Bishop Keith as our PEV, and many of us are looking forward to following his lead at the right time, unmoved by those who mock us saying we are too timorous, or that we are waiting for a better offer from the Synod. I have outlined some of the reasons why the PEVs cannot rush our application to the Holy See. They need our continuing prayers for a calm sea and a prosperous voyage.

No comments:

Post a Comment