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RCs welcome ‘refugees’ from C of E parish

04 July 2014


From Dr L. Trent

Sir, - My work requires that on weekdays we live in a flat in central London; so that is where our children attend school, but, after the death of my father, my mother gave us the house in a small Kent town where I was born; so that is where our family spend every weekend.

We are Anglicans to the core. Yet every week we walk past the town's parish church, where I was once a boy server, to worship at the Roman Catholic church, where we also find a few other "Anglican refugees", and several children of C of E families in the Sunday school.

The situation has come about because of what has happened at the parish church.

That church had a good all-age congregation with a sung parish eucharist every Sunday, with its attached Sunday school. The present vicar, however, has replaced that with informal consumer-choice Baptist-style services conducted by an assortment of lay people and himself in casual dress. Only once each month is that service a eucharist, and then it is barely discernible as such, since the Kyrie, Creed, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei have been eliminated or replaced with other things.

Some of the few children present, even if not baptised, receive holy communion, but with no preparation; and the vicar says "We don't bother about confirmation here."

It is all so completely un-Anglican. The eucharist at the RC church is very "middle Anglican" in style, and, when we attended the Methodist church near by for a friend's baby's baptism, it was in the context of an Anglican-style eucharist, and the minister wore cassock-alb and stole.

On Easter Day and Pentecost Sunday, the priest at our (RC) church invited us to receive the holy sacrament on the grounds that we have been deprived of the sacrament in our own church.

This is not the only C of E church where the faith and order and practice of the C of E has been replaced by Baptist-style teaching and worship, but what are our bishops, the guardians of the faith, doing about it? Precisely nothing, it seems.

Flat C, Feeney House,
Bolsover Street
London W1W 5DE

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