We welcomed Mgr Andrew Burham this morning to our Group in Bournemouth. The Ordinariate is unevenly distributed across the country, and it is important that we keep in touch. Priests are able to do this through our periods of instruction at Allen Hall and elsewhere, but our lay people need to be kept in the picture.
Accordingly our Ordinary has given his two assistants, both former Anglican Bishops, responsibility in the two halves of the Country, Mgr Burnham in the West and Mgr Broadhurst in the East. They also have other tasks — Fr Andrew helps look after the Oxford Group, and is very involved in liturgical matters for the Ordinariate. So his visit to us today was greatly appreciated.
We had permission to print and distribute copies of the Pastoral Letter on Marriage from the Bishop's Conference rather than read it out, so that there was time for Fr Andrew to preach to us. He gave us a catechetical run-down on the Ten Commandments, and explained how they are numbered differently in different Christian traditions, and how these differences can also reflect different emphases — for instance in Protestantism the command concerning graven images is a separate commandment, whereas in the Catholic tradition it is part of the First Commandment to love and honour God.
After Mass we had a forty minute session which encouraged us greatly. We asked questions about music, reconciliation, versions of Scripture and a wide range of other concerns.
It was good that the three or four members of the parish congregation who worshipped with us today also contributed to the discussion. With their encouragement we are made to feel increasingly at home in Our Lady Queen of Peace.
It will have been a long day for Mgr Burnham, with a two hour drive in each direction, and we all appreciated his coming to us enormously. I hope from the pictures you may see that this was not a totally solemn event.