HISTORY was made last week when the doors of Worcester Cathedral were opened for a Roman Catholic confirmation mass.
An Auxiliary Bishop in the RC archdiocese of Birmingham, the Rt Revd Robert Byrne, confirmed 47 young people from two parishes — Our Lady Queen of Peace, and St George’s — on Wednesday of last week.
Although there have been RC masses in Worcester Cathedral before, it is thought that this is the first RC confirmation mass in a Church of England cathedral since the Reformation.
The parish priest for the two churches, Fr Brian McGinley, approached the Dean of Worcester, the Very Revd Peter Atkinson, after discovering that neither parish church was big enough to host a joint service. It was “another sign of the . . . bonds of friendship and co-operation amongst Worcester Christians”, Fr McGinley said.
“They lent us everything apart from vestments: bread, wine, and candles. It was very magnanimous of them, and a wonderful act of ecumenical co-operation.
“Considering there has been worship and prayer offered on that site for 1000 years, it was lovely that two branches of the Christian Church could work so closely together.”
The Canon Theologian of Worcester Cathedral, the Revd Dr Alvyn Pettersen, said that the service was one of of a “whole host” of examples of collaboration.
“It was an absolute delight to have young people witnessing to their desire to play a more active and full part within the Church, seeking God’s strength and grace to do so,” he said.