Some more short reports

(The first three reports are taken from the Ordinariate facebook page)


Fr David Mawson writes:

“The Shrewsbury Group held a ‘Called To Be One Day’ exploration meeting at St Winfride’s Catholic Church in Shrewsbury which is part of the Shrewsbury Cathedral parish. Led by Father David Mawson it was attended by about 15 people – roughly half of whom were Catholics from the Cathedral parish and half Anglicans. After an introduction about the background to the Ordinariate and a clarification of terminology which might be found confusing the DVD was shown. Father David shared his own story and a discussion followed which was found very helpful by all involved. Many misunderstandings seem to have been resolved and misconceptions corrected. Refreshments were followed by Evening Prayer in the Anglican tradition. An encouraging exercise which may well bear useful fruit.”


Fr Ivan Dominic Aquilina writes:

“Around twenty people gathered for our event in Westerham Catholic Church organised by the Sevenoaks Ordinariate Group. We started by prayers from our devotional patrimony and followed with the DVD done for the occasion. Two members of the group gave their testimony about why they did the journey into the Catholic Church. Both said that it was one of the best things they did in their life and expressed their joy in doing so. The testimony of these two members was truly moving. The event ended with opportunity for comments and questions and the Angelus followed by a prayer to Blessed John Henry Newman. Tea and cake was enjoyed by all. As a follow-up we are going to organise the “Why course”. There are potential candidates as a result considering their reception in the Catholic Church.


Father David Elliott writes:

CTB1 2014 Reading 3“At Reading we had a very successful Evensong and Benediction service at St James’ by the Forbury. A good number of local Anglicans and Catholics attended as well as one or two from other denominations. The sermon focused on how we can work together more as Catholics and Anglicans in Reading to influence the area in which we live, create a sense of unity as regards national debates, and pray more together for current international situations such as the catastrophe in Iraq at this time. The choir sang Walmisley’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D minor, ‘O thou the Central Orb’ by Charles Wood, and Herbert Howells’ ‘Salve Regina’.”


Jackie Brooks writes:

“Our preparations for “The Day” consisted of organizing with the John Fisher School – over a long period of time – for their choir to sing BCP Evensong and Benediction for us (they had not done this before so it was quite unfamiliar to them). Printing the necessary service books for the congregation, and the suggested Mass Cards to be given out. Making arrangements for the Lunch. Arranging for a speaker and introduction for the DVD.
Advertising was mainly with the posters supplied. The Croydon Visitors Centre were eager to take an A3 poster and the threefold leaflets. It was difficult to persuade others to put up posters. Some were taken to the local hospital by one of our group. The local paper put a piece in their paper on the 5th September.
There was a pleasing turnout (over 70) of interested people who shared fully in the day. There was a very motivated question time with interesting and sensible questions (which Mgr. Keith was able to answer).
Mgr. Keith sang Evensong and Benediction with the choir which numbered around 30 – 35 boys and of course their parents and relations came to hear them making our numbers up to well over 100 and many joined us for some refreshments afterwards.
In all it was a very pleasant day which everybody seemed to enjoy and appreciate. (Hard work but hopefully worth it!!)”

The Black Country (Wombourne)

Fr John Lungley writes:

CTB1 2014 Black Country 1“The Black Country Group, at the prompting of its pastor, decided to organise a modest event suited to its size. A small church and hall were selected as more appropriate and less intimidating than Our Lady’s, Cannock Road, where we meet for the monthly mass. The three Ordinariate groups in the Birmingham Archdiocese, Black Country, Coventry and North Birmingham, placed a joint advert in the Diocesan monthly newspaper, which certainly provoked some attention. Some forty people attended, of whom several were former converts from Anglicanism. The video, despite technical imperfections, was very useful. Unfortunately the power supply of the computer failed half way through, but the interview with the Ordinary provided more than enough material for questions. These had to be curtailed to make time for tea before Benediction in church. The local diocesan church choir sang Elgar’s Ave Verum and led the singing having carefully learnt Blessed & Praised be Jesus Christ etc. from the Anglo-Catholic repertoire. Thank you, Saint Bernadette’s, Wombourne!
Some expressed interest in a follow-up event, which has yet to be decided.
As we are a very small group, our initial reaction to the Called to be One project was not very favourable, but eventually we decided to go ahead not to let the side down, although only six members were able to offer practical support. As it turned out, we would say that the Called to be One project was worth doing and more enjoyable than we feared, but still hard work!”

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7 Responses to Some more short reports

  1. EPMS says:

    So, Mr Murphy, are you going to give us any take on this? The ICN headline was “Hundreds Attend Ordinariate Events”, which was a bit reminiscent of “Small Earthquake in Chile; Not Many Dead” to my cynical ear but I do not want to be the first one to wade in.

    • Personally I did not intend to comment on the individual reports of the Called to be One Day. I thought I would let them speak for themselves.

      But since you request my comment, here are some observations:

      – Based on my expectations, which were not that the groups could expect enormous numbers of interested persons, the actual results are noteworthy.
      – First of all, the vast majority of Ordinariate groups in the UK took part in the project, whether they be large, medium-sized or small (even one person)
      – Most of the larger groups had a correspondingly high attendance.
      – Those attending showed a good spread of cradle Catholics, former Anglicans, current Anglicans and others.
      – The groups themselves benefitted enormously from the enthusiasm they developed for themselves by being involved in the project (advertising, canvassing, door-to-door delivery, etc.) and actually taking part in the event itself.
      – The reports are all rather upbeat and enthusiastic, even those from smaller groups (e.g. the Black Country) who had been reticent before.
      – Some persons interested in joining the Ordinariate have already made themselves known, though not in staggering numbers
      – Misconceptions among cradle Catholics appear to have been countered.
      – This was an opportunity to show Ordinariate Use liturgy at its best and most groups took advantage of this, especially regarding music and activating choirs.
      – The reactions and comments of individual visitors would suggest that people were duly impressed.
      – The video (DVD) produced for the event was very effective though it could have been more professional (particularly the interviews with the lay people were badly rehearsed and displayed nervousness rather than dynamism).
      – This day gave the groups the opportunity to hold events in different churches from those which they usually use and thus reach more Catholic parishes.
      – In general this project has shown itself to be an excellent way of mobilising groups, of creating a feeling of nationwide solidarity, and needs to be repeated annually.

      I think I have mentioned the most important areas where imporovement could be achieved. In general my feelings are positive, and most certainly those of the groups themselves are, and that is great!

      David Murphy

      • EPMS says:

        Certainly the team-building element is important. Regardless of the turnout, the process of preparing for such a day encourages members to think about their message and audience, which is always a good thing. The frequent references to “misunderstandings” suggests that the PR effort to date has made some false steps, and this is also important information.

      • Please read my comments again as I have just added a few more. Then you can wade in with constructive comment, if you wish.

        By the way, the ICN story was taken word for word from Catherine Utley’s official Ordinariate Press Release quoted fully on this website. And if you “do the math”, hundreds would seem to be an understatement. Attendance was well into four figures.

    • Rev22:17 says:


      You wrote: But since you request my comment, here are some observations…

      Your observations generally seem to be on target! Here are a few additional thoughts.

      >> 1. The community-building and team-building aspects of preparing for the program are very important, and will serve the respective groups and the ordinariates well in the future.

      >> 2. This is undoubtedly the first real exposure to the ordinariate itself for many of the participants. The fact that a significant number expressed immediate interest is good, and many of the rest will take some time to discern their way forward. This event is not the harvest, but rather the sowing of seeds for a future harvest.

      >> 3. When one tries something for the first time, some missteps and miscalculations are inevitable. I still remember going to a local restaurant with my dad just over a decade ago to arrange a luncheon after my mother’s funeral mass, and explaining to the manager the predicament that we had no idea whether there would be ten guests or a hundred — and I’m sure that many of the groups faced similar uncertainties in planning this event! The lessons learned from doing an event of this type will facilitate planning of future events of a similar nature. Perhaps “Ordinariate Exploration Day” will become an annual event!

      >> 4. And positive experiences of those who came undoubtedly will spread by word of mouth, hopefully leading to greater participation in the future.

      The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” Let all who hear say, “Come!” Let all who desire it come forward and accept the gift of life-giving water. — Revelation 22:17


  2. EPMS says:

    You make many excellent points, some of which you may not have thought of in your own initial reading of the reports, so I will regard this as my constructive contribution.

  3. I think it is great that all groups took this opportunity to evangelise and stepped out in faith. Maybe the whole idea was very daunting and somewhat frightening for them, but by being a day for participation by the whole Ordinariate they knew they had support from the national level. Everything the Ordinariate is doing is pioneering and new and as a diocesan Catholic I greatly admire and fully support them. God also seems to love to start small and at a level where personal relationships can easily be formed so I think anyone obsessing about numbers is missing the point. He only sent out the 12 originally and with the help of the Holy Spirit they did OK! More faith and less hand-wringing would be my only comment.

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