Read this fine post from Fr. John Hunwicke’s blog

The Five Articles of Unity and the Ordinariate

(1) That in the Sacrament of the Altar, by virtue of the words of Christ duly spoken by the priest, is present realiter, under the kinds of bread and wine, the natural Body of Christ, conceived of the Virgin Mary, and also his natural Blood.

(2) That after the consecration there remains not the substance of bread and wine, nor any other substance, but the substance of God and Man.

(3) That in the Mass is offered the true Body of Christ, and his true Blood, a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead.

(4) That to Peter the Apostle, and his lawful successors in the Apostolic See, as Christ’s Vicars, is given the supreme power of feeding and ruling the Church of Christ Militant, and confirming their brethren.

(5) That the authority of handling and defining concerning the things belonging to faith, sacraments, and discipline ecclesiastical, hath hitherto ever belonged, and ought to belong, only to the pastors of the Church; whom the Holy Ghost for this purpose hath set in the Church; and not to laymen.

A beautifully sinewy piece of prose! And very much the property of the Ordinariate. These Articles date from the start of Elizabeth Tudor’s reign; it seems to me that they express the continuity which exists between the Canterbury Convocation of 1559 (which enacted these Articles), and the Ordinariate; the Gathering of those who, from within the Provinces of Canterbury and York, finally shook off the burden and impedimentum of the centuries of schism.

Old St Paul's before the fire of 1561

Old St Paul’s before the fire of 1561

On Saturday 25 February 1559, as the House of Commons in Westminster completed its treatment of a combined Bill for the restoration of a Book of Common Prayer and of the Royal Supremacy, a little way down the river, in Old St Paul’s Cathedral, the Convocation of Canterbury (York could not meet because its bishops were in London for Parliament) met under the presidency of Bishop Bonner and passed these Articles. The first three were, with minor variations, the same articles that had been put together by Queen Mary’s first Convocation in 1553 as the basis of the Disputation being planned in Oxford between Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, and some Catholic divines. The first two Articles related directly to the 1552 Book with, between its covers, the Black Rubric denying “anye reall and essencial presence … of Christ’s naturall fleshe and bloude”. As Parliament hurried towards the re-enactment of the 1552 rite, Convocation in the most specific terms (‘natural'; ‘natural’) renewed its condemnation of the eucharistic doctrine which the Black Rubric expressed.

And on the very day that the Commons finished their work on the Royal Supremacy, Convocation defined unambiguously in its fourth Article the Church of England’s commitment to the Primacy of St Peter. It is hard to think of a more pointed declaration on a more significant day. But the fifth Article is perhaps the most bold and fearless of all (the Universities, when they subscribed the first four Articles, were apparently too nervous to pass this one). The first four Articles, on Eucharist and Primacy, undoubtedly nailed some very dangerous colours to the mast but they were not, when they were passed, actually contrary to Statute law as it stood at that moment. But to deny the competence of the Crown in Parliament to order ecclesiastical matters ran contrary to all the assumptions of all the years since 1533 – assumptions as real in the Marian statutes restoring the Old Religion as they had been in the Henrician and Edwardine statutes varying or abolishing it.

Our forefathers showed their courage at the moment when the regime enacted schism; and courage won the day when Benedict XVI enacted the Ordinariate at the request of three Anglican bishops, two of whom bore the titles of the places of St Augustine’s landfalls in 597 after his journey from Rome.

25 February 1559 – 15 January 2011. What a long and wearisome separation.

Fr. John Hunwicke

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Liturgy as a “Lodger”

The Coventry Ordinariate Mission, hosted at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Canley. The following text taken from their website demonstrates a rich liturgical presence despite their situation as “lodgers”:

Worship is at the centre of the Church’s life; before anything else Christians are called to offer worship to God. Worship is in fact the primary human vocation because human beings were created to be in communion with God and to bless and praise him. The times of our worship are below; you are most welcome to join us.

Sunday 10.30am Morning Prayer (from the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham)
11am SOLEMN MASS & Angelus (followed by refreshments in the hall)

Monday 7pm Mass

Tuesday 10am Mass

Wednesday 10am Mass

Thursday 7pm Mass (Ordinariate Use)
7.30pm Compline (Night Prayer)

Saturday 10am Mass
10.30-11am Eucharistic Adoration & Sacrament of Penance, concluding with Benediction

For other occasional services and devotions such as The Rosary and Stations of the Cross, see our weekly newssheet.

The Ordinariate Use

The Mass

Our Mass on Thursdays, offered for the unity of the Church is celebrated according to what is commonly known as the ‘Ordinariate Use’. This Order of Holy Mass has been devised by a special working party established by the Holy See and was promulged in 2013 for use by the personal ordinariates around the world. These are the structures established by Pope Benedict XVI which allow former Anglicans who wish to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church to do so whilst retaining aspects of their spiritual and liturgical traditions. Benedict XVI described these as “precious gifts” and “treasures to be shared”.

What is celebrated here – approved by the Holy See – is the integration of some of the best of the Anglican tradition, including the hallowed words of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, into the Roman Rite.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham sees this new Ordinariate Use as a small but concrete step towards the healing of one of the most damaging wounds of history, the dividing of Christ’s Body the Church, here in England.

The Divine Office

The daily prayers of the Church – Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer etc – are known as the Divine Office. The Ordinariate has a very beautiful authorised form of the Divine Office which again draws on the best of the Anglican tradition.

At our public celebration of Morning Prayer on Sundays at 10.30am you will hear much of 1662 Prayer Book office including the venerable words of the Coverdale translation of the psalms.

And on Thursday evenings at 7.30pm our (chanted) public celebration of Compline rounds off the day with a liturgy imbued with the beauty and dignity of the Anglican tradition.

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Celebrating Wales – a selection of videos for St. David’s Day

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March 1st – Happy St. David’s Day – Hapus Dydd Gwyl Dewi


Even Google celebrates St. David’s Day

The Independent newspaper reports:’s latest Doodle celebrates Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and his feast day which falls on 1st March every year.

st-davids-day-2015-google doodleLittle is confirmed about the life of the saint, known as Dewi Sant in Welsh, but what we do know is that an aristocratic man from West Wales lived around the 6th century and died.

Kate on St. David's DayMany mark the day by wearing one of the two national emblems of Wales (either a daffodil or leek) or by displaying the flag of St David, which is a yellow cross on a black background.

A small number of heritage sites, including Beaumaris Castle, Caernarfon Castle, Raglan Castle or Tintern Abbey, open for free on the day.

St David, whose father was Sanctus, king of Ceredigion, is thought to have been born in 520. Some believe that his mother, a sainted nun called Nonnita, gave birth to him on the cliffs under a thunderstorm.

During the medieval period it was also believed that St David was the nephew of King Arthur.

st david iconAround 550, St David is thought to have founded a large monastery closeby, the first of 11.

He instructed the monks under him to lead a simple life, abstaining from beer or meat. His vegetarianism and only drinking water, led to his nickname “Dewi Ddyrwr” (the water drinker), or “Aquaticus” in Latin.

The monk was made an archbishop and was among the early saints who spread Christianity in western Britain. He is thought to have died in 569.

In 1120 he was canonised by Pope Callactus II, following which he was declared the patron saint of Wales.

Llanddewi-Brefi-CeredigionThere are various miracles attached to the saint. He is reputed to have returned a boy from the dead by splashing his face with tears and to have restored a blind man’s sight.

His best known miracle occurred in the small village of Llanddewi Brefi: unable to see over the crowd, after a white dove landed on his shoulder the ground rose up to elevate him from the crowd.

His fame spread so much in the years after his death and burial that the Pope decreed that three pilgrimages to his shrine were equivalent to visiting Jerusalem once.

Newly restored shrine to St. David in the ancient Cathedral in St. David's (Menevia) - with icons of Saints Patrick, David and Andrew

The newly-restored shrine to St. David in the ancient Cathedral in St. David’s (Menevia) – with icons of Saints Patrick, David and Andrew

A petition in 2007 to make St David’s Day a bank holiday was rejected by Tony Blair after a poll the year previously found almost 90 per cent of the Welsh wanted it.

P.S. My mother would always bake heaps of Welsh griddle cakes on St. David’s Day (but not only then!) and they looked just like these. She had a huge round griddle iron which she heated on the stove – and I could have eaten Welsh Cakes until they came out of my ears. But I didn’t get over 10 shillings each for them when we sold them on our Scouts stand at the Mayor’s Michaelmas Market in Woolwich Town Hall!

Welsh cakesDavid Murphy

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Snapdragon: The Tools to do the Job

This month’s The Portal publishes an article by “Snapdragon” (I wish I knew who he/she is) which fits well into our recent reflections on the Ordinariates’ need for buildings and financial support. So we are taking the liberty of reposting the article here:

The tools to do the job

Being a ‘lodger’ can be difficult. Snapdragon makes a suggestion about the Ordinariate and buildings. Towards the end of his state visit to the United Kingdom in 2010, Pope Benedict urged the bishops of England and Wales, in an address to them at Oscott College, to support his project of the Ordinariate.

At that point, it was still just words on paper, but very much in the making. As he spoke, groups of Anglicans were excitedly preparing for their reception into the Catholic Church and thanking God for Pope Benedict’s courageous ecumenical vision.

Several months later, the Ordinariate came into being and its first three priests, Fathers John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton, were ordained. A few months later there followed a round of receptions and ordinations. The Ordinariate was well under way, consisting of both laity and clergy.

The following year, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United Kingdom, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, made the fledgling Ordinariate top of his agenda when speaking to the bishops; quite a statement in itself, given that there were plenty of other issues for him and the bishops to be grappling with at the time. Archbishop Mennini said to the bishops, “Do please continue to be generous in support of their endeavours.”

It’s pretty safe to assume that a year after the Ordinariate’s birth, the Pope’s man in the UK was conveying a message from his boss that the Ordinariate was something of great importance and to be given the bishops’ full backing. Soon afterwards, a cheque for £150,000 arrived at Ordinariate HQ from the boss himself, on top of the £250,000 already given by the bishops.

The Ordinariate needs buildings

Be generous. Financially, the bishops were very generous (though it doesn’t take long for an institution just setting out to get through £250,000). But I’m sure that the Holy Father was not just asking for money. He was hoping for a generosity of spirit to be shown to those who would accept his invitation and be part of this unprecedented ecumenical project so close to his own heart.

church buildingMoney is just one of the tools that the Ordinariate needs to succeed in the task it was given. It also needs buildings out of which it can engage in its particular mission and in which it can lead a full and distinctive liturgical life. Isn’t that the same as needing money? Not necessarily. The Catholic Church in England and Wales has plenty of buildings, some of which in most areas of the country it could frankly do without. The Ordinariate needs buildings. It’s not, as they say, rocket science.

Some Ordinariate communities have, under various agreements, been given a church building and parish by the local diocese, including the central church in Warwick Street, London. But others, four years down the road, are still lodgers, and feeling frustrated that a limit is being set on the extent to which they are able to realise Pope Benedict’s vision.

As a member of a group that is feeling curbed, I can fully understand why another group would feel the need to break out and take the plunge in buying its own church, but surely with a bit of generosity of spirit and a measure of common sense, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yes, we didn’t come in droves; no, we are not as big numerically as we had hoped to be. But Pope Benedict’s plan was more imaginative and visionary than simply getting as many Anglicans into the Catholic Church as possible.

Even a modest number of small and fragile Ordinariate communities living the Catholic life in a distinctively ‘best of Anglican’ way can realise the Holy Father’s ambition of a Catholic unity that celebrates diversity. If, that is, there’s a generosity of spirit to give them the tools they need to do the job.

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The Portal – March 2015

This month’s The Portal can be accessed by clicking on the front page photo below and then following the links to “Read The Portal”. Happy reading!

The Portal - March 2015

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The Wales (South East) Group’s new webpage

The Cardiff-based Wales (South East) Group of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is the largest of the three small Welsh groups and with their new chapel in Cardiff Cathedral and their young and dynamic pastor, Father Bernard Sixtus, they are now hoping to flourish and grow.

You can read more about the group on their newly-designed page on the Ordinariate website.

Here is the most recent extrat from the webpage:

Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham

At our meeting on Sunday 25th January 2015, we decided to commission a statue to be made especially for our reredos rather than buy something ‘off the shelf’. The statue is to be hand-carved in lindenwood, with polychrome colouring including gold leaf, by Mr Josef Albl of Oberammergau (Bavaria) – see his website for examples of his work. While this means we will have to continue ‘saving up’ for a while longer (we currently have just under half of the funds needed in our account and/or pledged in donations and grants), it will ensure we have a statue worthy of the reredos and altar already in place.

If you would like to contribute to our appeal, please contact Fr Bernard!

Fr Bernard Sixtus
T: 02920-362599
M: 07720 272137

I am particularly pleased at this news, because it was I who made the original contact to Josef Albl in Oberammergau and provided all the details for Fr. Sixtus, so I feel that I will have some part in the Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham which will one day stand in the Metropolitan Cathedral in my father’s native Wales.

David Murphy

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