From the Revd Alwyn H. G. Jones
Sir, — As a member of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament (CBS), I received a letter from the former Superior saying that they were taking Anglicanism into the Ordinariate. I have since discovered that he is already there. He added that we must pray for discernment, which I take to mean “Wait and see what is the next expedient move to make.”
The priests who have gone have all been using the Roman rite for mass in breach of canon law. I am assured of this by a QC, a retired judge who was chancellor of several dioceses. Rome, doubtless, will be less tolerant.
By using the Roman rite, they have shown contempt for the efforts of the C of E over the past century to reform the liturgy. Common Worship, though perhaps lacking in some respects, is accepted by all in the Church of England. Vibrant and inspiring worship of the solemn mass or the informal breaking of bread is possible with its use.
The only Anglican thing that they are taking with them is their wives, and those ordained in the Ordinariate in future will not have them. As a celibate, I find it offensive that the married state is considered somehow inappropriate for the priesthood.
As a member of the CBS, I would prefer help to be given to those parishes who have been deserted by their priest, who continues to live in the vicarage. Parish income has been reduced, and very probably pressure will be put on them to rescind the resolutions and accept the ministry of a woman priest: who is to blame them if they do?
I hope that the Charity Commissioners will bear all this in mind, and retrieve this money.
ALWYN H. G. JONES
1 Upper York Street
Bristol BS2 8NT
From Mr Adrian F. Sunman
Sir, — On a summer evening in 1990, I was turned away from a ward vespers of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, to which I had gone with the specific intention of hearing the guest speaker, a curate with whom I happened to be on good terms.
Why? Because, although one in all but name, I was not technically an Anglican at that time, a small detail that apparently not only precluded my being a member of CBS, but also attendance at its services, too.
Unpleasant though the experience was, I did not personally blame the priest concerned for taking what he considered to be the only correct — if, in my eyes, bizarre — course of action.
Imagine, therefore, if you will, my consternation on reading in the Church Times that the CBS had apparently given a million pounds to the Ordinariate (News, 8 July), a Roman Catholic cause, if you please.
For the record, I have nothing against either the Ordinariate or the Roman Catholic Church, of which it is a part. That said, £1 million is a lot of money, and one must assume that it was originally given to the CBS by loyal Anglicans in the perfectly reasonable expectation that it would be used for Anglican purposes.
I will not attempt to second-guess the findings of the Charity Commission, should an investigation go ahead. If the CBS is to expend its largesse on causes outside the Anglican Communion, however, I respectfully suggest that it should, as a matter of urgency, broaden both its terms of reference and membership requirements to reflect that.
ADRIAN F. SUNMAN
1 Lunn Lane, Collingham
Newark, Notts NG23 7LP
From Canon John Barnes
Sir, — In my experience, your report (News, 1 July) on parishes where people have left for the Ordinariate was balanced, and bears out what I hear.
At present, I am doing locum work at St Michael’s, Walthamstow. The church has a stunning interior with a long Catholic tradition. On entering, you want to fall on your knees and exclaim: “This is the house of God and gate of heaven.”
I have been astounded by the vibrancy of the parish. The congregation is growing; people are coming forward for confirmation. The worship is well ordered, and the brilliant organist is now one of the churchwardens. Everyone seems to be in good heart and looking to the future.
352 Henley Road
Ilford, Essex IG1 2TJ
From Mr Rodney Wolfe Coe
Sir, — The Revd Gerry Reilly (Letters, 1 July) states that it “is disgraceful” that our Anglican hierarchy has allowed the exodus to the Ordinariate to happen in an “untidy” manner.
In 2000, a guide was published, still referred to by me with increasing frequency, “to parishes in the Church of England where those opposed to women priests can worship with confidence”. Your weekly Gazette pages (including that of 1 July) show that a number of these “safe” parishes are now having women appointed as incumbents. This is also disgraceful.
The effects of the Act of Synod 1993 were meant to be for all time. The same Anglican hierarchy has conveniently forgotten that. Unless it suddenly remembers that, then, I fear, that exodus, tidy or untidy, will only gather pace.
RODNEY WOLFE COE
25 Cecil Court
Upper Queen’s Road
Ashford, Kent TN24 8HG
From Mr A. C. Ryan
Sir, — You report (News, 10 June) that St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Bladensburg, Maryland, is “the first congregation in the United States to decide to withdraw from an Episcopalian diocese and join an Ordinariate”.
The Rector of Mount Calvary Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Maryland, sent his congregation a letter, dated 21 September 2010, stating that “the Archdiocese of Baltimore now stands ready to welcome Mount Calvary as a body into full communion with the successor of St Peter, and the process of establishing ordinariates in various countries, including the US, has begun. . .”
ANTONY CHARLES RYAN
83 Roper Road, Canterbury
Kent CT2 7RS