Friday 21 January 2011


Jane and I would like to thank everyone who has remembered us in prayer for our Reception today into the Catholic Church. It was a lovely occasion; a beautiful, cold morning, and a very good number of the faithful in church. Anglican friends had turned up (one couple having set off very early indeed from Caversham), another couple who are preparing to be received came from Bournemouth. To my amazement there was a choir, augmented with singers from the Catholic Church in Brockenhurst. Fr Danny, the parish priest, generously stood aside to let Mgr Peter Ryan celebrate the Mass and Confirmation. Peter was an Anglican priest himself, but became a Catholic many years ago and served in Liverpool. Now, like us, he is retired in Lymington. He kindly undertook the task of preparing us in a 'crash course'. He spoke to us this morning with great warmth, and with affection for the Church of England.
I had asked Norah, one of the regular congregation at Our Lady of Mercy, to act as my sponsor; Jane had an old friend, yet another fomer Anglican now a Catholic Priest, to sponsor her, so Fr John Catlin drove over from Winchester to support us. After Mass we had a great reception in the parish room, with tea and coffee and home-made cakes and biscuits; a bun-fight to remember!
It is so good to be in Communion with the Catholic Church, to be part of it. We were so warmly welcomed, not least by two Dominican Sisters from their House in Sway - the picture above is of their Chapel. Thanks to everyone; but above all, Thanks be to God for his loving care for us and for all his children.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Money, Money, Money

Whenever we get together to talk about the Ordinariate, the question of Finance always arises. In his first Press Conference on being appointed as the Ordinary, Fr Keith spoke of the way members of the Ordinariate would have to get used to supporting the ministry of their clergy. It is very good, therefore, to be able to reproduce (from The Anglo-Catholic - thank you, Christian) the following information:

"The Catholic Bishops' Conference has advised that a Restricted Fund has been established to hold donations towards the formation and support of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales, under the auspices of the Catholic Trust for England and Wales (CaTEW). There may be a facility in the future to make donations by standing order, but for the present, donations can be made by cheque, made out to CaTEW, and sent to:

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
39 Eccleston Square

Donors are asked ensure that a note is enclosed with the cheque indicating that the donation is for the Restricted Fund for the Ordinariate".

I have posted off my first cheque today, with a note asking to be told when the Standing Order facility is available; and also saying I would like tax to be reclaimed on this and future payments. If all of us heading for the Ordinariate were to convert our present donations to the CofE into a regular payment to the Ordinariate, and add more as we are able, it would show just how serious we are about getting the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham off to a good start.

Sunday 16 January 2011

Ancient and Modern

Well, it was a lovely Baptism, and Amy Louise behaved impeccably, as did older sister Caitlin. Here they are with mum and dad in the magnificent Norman parish church of Faringdon. There was something of a family service which led up to the Baptism, which was not quite my cup of tea. However, the Vicar must be doing something right for the place was crowded (and not just with our extended family) and there is clearly a good deal of youth involvement. When they one day discover the joy of simply sitting in the presence of the Lord in the Reserved Sacrament - 'He looks at I, and I looks at E' as the old farmhand is reported to have said - then they will have a marvellous balance. At present there seems to be a bit of a disconnect between Ancient and Modern; summed up for me in the picture below of a Tudor lady, removed from the context of the family tomb, and trying to say her prayers and not get distracted by the drum kit next to her.