Saturday 9 July 2011

Across the Pond

Isn't technology wonderful? We can watch our Ordinary addressing a conference in Texas as he is doing it, and we can listen to John Hunwicke's humour (not 'humor' surely) direct from that same Anglican Use/Ordinariate gathering. You can go there via the Ordinariate website, or directly at

There were one or two little glitches (I believe that is the technical term) - people asking questions without using a microphone, so that we could not hear them though plainly those in the hall could. Or my pressing the wrong button and hearing Msgr Newton and an organ recital at the same time. Still, it is worth persisting. Nor is it just present members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham who should listen to John Hunwicke, or see what Texan locals such as Fr Chuck Hough have to say. Anyone remotely interested in relations between the Catholic Church and the Church of England should tune in. The Anglican Use has flourished in the States for a couple of decades now, and we in England can learn from them, whether we belong to the Ordinariate or to the Church of England. So some of our groups in England are small? They were small in Arlington or San Antonio at the outset; now their congregations are numbered in the hundreds, even the thousands.

Of course, our situation is different; we have left a Church by Law Established, and at present there is little chance that we shall have the use of any of our former church buildings - but that might not always be the case. There will come a time when the Church of England may have to share what it inherited from our common Catholic past. Today the papers report that General Synod has been debating how to check the decline in worshippers - some even predicted the total demise of the Anglican Church. This is not just a problem for the Church of England. In our secularised society, all faith groups have similar battles. We can learn a great deal from the Churches in the USA.

Our Ordinary was very well received in Arlington. He gave his hearers advice that we must all keep in touch with one another, not just with Ordinariate groups around the world, but also with our former colleagues at present remaining in the Anglican Church. The link with the Arlington Conference is one more way of doing just that.

(The picture at the top of this blog is of Fr Allan Hawkins, Convenor and Host of the Arlington Conference, at his lectern during a visit I made there earlier this year)