Another Former Anglican Bishop

So now we have a sixth ex-Anglican bishop in the Ordinariate — and a very distinguished one indeed — Robert Mercer C.R. no less.  It was so good to be present with a number of Ordinariate priests at his Ordination to the Catholic Priesthood in Portsmouth Cathedral yesterday, the Feast of the Annunciation, transferred to Monday.

Fr Mercer flanked by Mgr Newton and Bishop Alan Hopes

There will, I am sure, be many more 'official' photographs of the occasion.  I have some taken at odd moments which might give a sense of the very happy day when I can get them downloaded!

Vesting for the Ordination: Frs Robinson & Smith of the Ordinariate, & Fr Glaysher, parish priest from the Isle of Wight

There was some Anglican Patrimony in the hymnody — "Sing of Mary, pure and lowly" written by a Cowley Father, Roland Palmer, (and sung lustily to Beethoven's 'Hymn of Joy'), and, at the end, Percy Dearmer's "Jesus, good above all other" sung to Quem Pastores.  The Cantor throughout the Mass was Catherine Christmas, who fulfilled the same duty at my ordination a year ago.  Where has that time gone?

Also traditional was the Cathedral Bunfight — good to be celebrating on a Solemnity so that we could all enjoy a glass of wine with a clear conscience.  Especially good, too, that there were many present from the TAC congregation which worships at St Agatha's Portsea — several of them will very soon, I hear, be following Fr Mercer into the Ordinariate.  So let's keep our prayers going for them, and all who are soon to be following this path.

Among those enjoying the hospitality were the Parish Priest of St James' Spanish Place and the Chaplain to the University of Canterbury — trail-blazers both, one the former Master of SSC, the other the one-time Secretary General of the Church Union.  Ah, those were the days!  I have pictures of them; but for some reason I cannot download them, so I shall cut this post short and try to insert pictures into my own Ancient Richborough site.  Sorry!

Author: Fr. Edwin Barnes

Bishop Barnes read theology for three years at Oxford before finishing his studies at Cuddesdon College (at the time a theological college with a rather monastic character). He subsequently served two urban curacies in Portsmouth and Woking. During his first curacy, and after the statutory three years of celibacy, he married his wife Jane (with whom he has two children, Nicola and Matthew). In 1967, Bishop Barnes received his first incumbency as Rector of Farncombe in the Diocese of Guildford. After eleven years, the family moved to Hessle, in the Diocese of York, for another nine years as vicar. In 1987, he became Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford. In 1995, he was asked by then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, to become the second PEV for the Province. He was based in St. Alban’s and charged with ministering to faithful Anglo-Catholics spread over the length of Southern England, from the Humber Estuary to the Channel Islands. After six years of service as a PEV, Bishop Barnes retired to Lymington on the south coast where he holds the Bishop of Winchester’s license as an honorary assistant bishop. On the retirement of the late and much lamented Bishop Eric Kemp, he was honored to be asked to succeed him as President of the Church Union. Both these appointments he resigned on becoming a Catholic in 2010. Fr. Barnes is now a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, caring for an Ordinariate Group in Southbourne, Bournemouth.

7 thoughts on “Another Former Anglican Bishop”

  1. Could you please confirm if its the same Fr Mercer that served the Anglican Church in Southern Africa in the Parish of St Marys Stellenbosch during the sixties?

  2. Thank you for this posting, Father.
    I had hoped to attend Father Mercer's ordination, but, alas, business interfered.
    Knowing Father's intention, (he was, of course, our Leader for many years), some of us in Canada have already taken the bridge over the Tiber, and many more are about to follow.
    We intend to invite him 'home' to celebrate Mass for us, in the near future.

  3. This man, now a fully ordained Roman Catholic priest, remains a brother of the ANGLICAN Community of the Resurrection and continues to live entirely rent free in accommodation owned by that Anglican Community and purchased by them specifically for him.

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