Ordinariate groups across Britain attended an exploration day last Saturday which aimed to increase understanding of the Ordinariate’s purpose and reach out to those who may feel called to join it.
About 40 groups took part in the “Called to Be One Day” events across the country. These included a video interview with the head of the Ordinariate, Monsignor Keith Newton, input from local lay members, refreshments, evensong and Benediction. In some cases, Mass was said according to the “Ordinariate Use” which integrates centuries’ old Anglican prayers into the Roman Rite.
The “Anglican Ordinariate” is a canonical structure within the Catholic Church established by Benedict XVI in 2009 to enable groups of Anglicans to join the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their liturgical and spiritual patrimony.
In Salisbury more than a hundred people, including members of the Ordinariate, diocesan Catholics and Anglicans from neighbouring parishes turned out for the day, which was held, thanks to the support of the local parish priest, in the historic Pugin Catholic church of St Osmund’s. The leader of the Salisbury Ordinariate group, Father Keith Robinson, said people spoke afterwards of the strong sense of unity and the beauty of the liturgy, and were asking for copies of the prayers.
Father Scott Anderson of the Ordinariate gave a talk at the Church of the Most Precioius Blood, Borough, London, which is in the care of the Ordinariate and whose parish priest is Fr Christopher Pearson, leader of the London South Group. Fr Anderson’s talk traced the history of the Church of England with particular reference to its relationship with the Catholic Church. He outlined the efforts to achieve unity in the 20th century and spoke of the hopes for unity which he said were ultimately dashed by the actions of the Church of England in ordaining women and embracing the social norms of the time.
Father Ed Tomlinson described his group’s meeting in Tunbridge Wells as “a roaring success”, with more than 70 people attending, including Anglicans trying to discern their future.
The Ordinariate in Scotland celebrated the day in grand style at Falkland Palace in Fife where a Votive Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham was offered in the Chapel Royal, the home of the local Catholic parish. Scotland’s members were inspired by the discussion in the DVD about the Torbay Ordinariate group’s plans to buy a redundant Methodist church and will investigate doing the same.
The Wales South east group, which consists at present of just 10 members, had an Ordinariate Use Mass (sung with a Cantor) followed by refreshments and presentations in the hall and then Afternoon Prayer. Fr Bernard Sixtus, the leader of the group, said: “the whole thing went really well and I had five new expressions of interest from people for further exploration”.
A more detailed account and further information are available on the Ordinariate website here:
The video/DVD which has been brought out for the occasion, is available here (part one):
The talk delivered by Father Ed Tomlinson at the Tunbridge Wells group event if available here: