In Their Own Words: More Priests in the UK Say Yes to Anglicanorum Coetibus

We already had an earlier post from our new resident deacon about some of the weekend's developments in the UK as priests in four Church of England parishes announced their intention to enter the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Here's what they had to say in their own words:

From Fr. Ivan Aquilina of St. John the Baptist, Sevenoaks:

Christ is the human face of God; the fullness of Revelation. He lives in his church and operates through the baptised who are his hands, his feet and his merciful face. What the Church believes across all nations, by everyone and down the centuries is his unmistakable voice.

Christ is the human face of God; the fullness of Revelation. He lives in his church and operates through the baptised who are his hands, his feet and his merciful face. What the Church believes across all nations, by everyone and down the centuries is his unmistakable voice.

With the recent developments in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion I have increasingly found myself in a situation where I cannot preach the Gospel of Christ and celebrate his sacraments with any integrity. It is the generous offer of Pope Benedict XVI in the form of the Ordinariate that gives me the joy of continuing this faithfulness to this Gospel. The move to the Ordinariate also gives me the opportunity to offer to you the greatest witness I can possibly give you.

For this reason I have written to the Bishop of Rochester notifying him that I intend to resign from this Parish in order to become a Roman Catholic in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Fr James has notified the same bishop that he intends to resign for the same noble reason.

Read the entire statement.>>>

Fr Ed Tomlinson of St. Barnabas, Tunbridge Wells writes:

After consultation with the Bishop of Rochester, and with his blessing, I can now publically announce that it is my intention to resign as vicar of Saint Barnabas in Tunbridge Wells on Palm Sunday and to cease public Anglican ministry from Ash Wednesday.

I will then undertake a period of preparation to enter the Roman Catholic Church as a member of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham alongside my family and the majority of my current parishioners.

My intention to resign is made public in the pastoral interests of all, both those remaining Anglican and those seeking a new life within the Catholic church.

Your prayers are encouraged at this time for both groups.

Follow future developments at the Tunbridge Wells Ordinariate Blog.>>>

In Derbyshire, Fr. Simon Ellis of  St. Laurence, Long Eaton, and Holy Trinity, Ilkeston wrote in part:

Many have come to see, by contrast, that the Catholic Church in this country has become the main conscience of the nation, able to offer biblical truth and the gospel life of true freedom which people so desperately seek in this age of relativism, despair and fundamentalism.   More importantly, the offer from the Catholic Church to Anglicans [Anglicanorum Coetibus,  announced November, 2009] to move as groups in to the fullness of communion with Catholicism – whilst maintaining their spiritual patrimony – is something we have prayed for over many years and is, I believe, a prophetic moment for the wider church and the world.

As for the Church of England, I assure all those who continue to serve within it of my prayers and best wishes. Friendships will still remain and I shall continue to attempt to build positive ecumenical relations with all of God’s holy people. God (and you) forgive me for the times of failure which we pastors feel keenly.  We are, indeed, earthen vessels.

I am so overwhelmed with thanks for so many blessings and hope that you will hold Kate, Rebecca and Anastasia and I in your prayers as we prepare for this new chapter in our lives and in the life of God’s Church.

Read the entire letter at Ordinariate Portal.>>>

Finally, The Northern Echo carries a story about the visits of Fr. Keith Newton to the parish of St. James the Great, Darlington and the announcement of its priest, Father Ian Grieves, that he intends to enter the Ordinariate:

In the 22 years he has been priest, Fr Grieves has increased the size of the followers from just 18 and helped fund hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of improvements to the church which was previously at risk of closure.

However a new Catholic congregation may have to find a new building for worship.

Fr Grieves added: "It is the most monumental decision of my life. We are not afraid because we have been here before. We started with nothing."

Read the entire article.>>>

So it Grows

Line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little; just a few months ago it seemed impossibly slow, the move towards the ordinariate.  Now it is underway, and we find it hard to keep up.  Today's announcement from Sevenoaks is especially welcome; Fr Ivan, the married parish-priest, and Fr James, his unmarried Deacon, are offering themselves for the Ordinariate.  It will have taken both of them a great deal of prayer and effort to reach this point in their journey.  Now we must pray for them that the way ahead may be made clear, that they will have the prayerful and practical support of their laity, that they may have a warm welcome from their catholic friends.

Of this last I have no shadow of doubt.  This morning in Lymington as I stumblingly deaconed the Mass the parishioners were warm and wholehearted in their greeting to Jane and to me.  Bishop Crispian, who ordained me to the diaconate on Friday, was embarrassingly generous in what he said about my previous ministry.  For retired geriatrics like me, the step is not difficult; for younger men it must be a fearful time.  Yet the Lord's hand is so clearly in all this that we must be reassured.

Later this week we head off West to Buckfast Abbey for the Priesting of David Silk, one-time Bishop of Ballarat – and before that as Archdeacon of Leicester, scourge of the General Synod.  Pray for him and Joyce, and for Bishop Christopher of Plymouth who is to ordain him.  That we should have lived to see these days!  We shall not be around to witness the fulness of this great ecumenical experiment; but already the first-fruits are more than promising.  Thanks be to God, for answering so many prayers down the years, 'that they may be one, that the world might believe'.