Overview of the results of the Survey of our European readers

survey - drawingOn Sunday the seven-day survey of our European readers ended.

Unfortunately it did not provide as much information as we had hoped. As it turned out, only 32 persons took part, representing perhaps one third of our mainland European readership.

Nobody took advantage of the possibility to give multiple answers, thus reducing significantly the amount of information which the survey provided. Here are the results in detail:

  • 17 persons (i.e. 53%) identified themselves as Roman Catholics with an interest in the Ordinariates, of whom one said that he is a priest, and one is a journalist.
  • 1 person is a former Anglican, now an Orthodox.
  • Apart from this, nobody at all stated that they are Anglicans, former Anglicans or non-Catholics of any kind.
  • Similarly nobody identified themselves as members of the Ordinariate living either temporarily or permanently in Europe (these last two groups have actually been our main target groups so far)
  • 9 persons out of the 32 (that’s 28%) stated that they ere interested in the specific ecclesiological role of the Ordinariates, namely to bring elements of the Anglican patrimony into the Catholic Church as a treasure to be shared, and 1 person professed to be impressed by the witness of the former Anglicans who have entered the Church. However none of these persons indicated which denomination (or none) they belong to.
  • Of the 32 only 4 answered that they are interested in supporting the Ordinariates in some way (by donating, becoming a member, priest affiliate or friend of Ordinariate Expats) or that they would make contact with Ordinariate Expats by eMail. But as yet none of these has actually got in touch with us

and now:thumbnail_from-answers-to-actionWhat do these results tell us?

  1. Firstly that we do not seem to be reaching those people in Europe who are contemplating leaving the Anglican Church, meaning that we might need to examine and revise our strategy (or maybe it merely shows that there are very few of these people).
  2. That we have an important apostolate of informing Roman Catholics of the nature and mission of the Ordinariates and winning their support.
  3. That already a significant percentage of our readership is aware and values that the Ordinariates have an important ecclesiological and ecumenical role to play and are not merely a means for non-Catholics to enter the Catholic Church with minimum inconvenience, what I often refer to as the “decompression chamber”.
  4. And that there is a certain reluctance among those who are considering supporting the Ordinariates in a concrete way to actually take the first step of getting in touch with us.

Let me therefore specifically encourage those who expressed their interest (and of course any others) to put finger to keyboard and send us an eMail to ordinariateexpats@gmx.de .

Thank you for taking part in this survey and God bless you.

David Murphy

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5 Responses to Overview of the results of the Survey of our European readers

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    David,

    You wrote: 1.Firstly that we do not seem to be reaching those people in Europe who are contemplating leaving the Anglican Church, meaning that we might need to examine and revise our strategy (or maybe it merely shows that there are very few of these people).

    This is absolutely essential, and I would add that you also might want to target those who have already left the churches of the Anglican Communion, either for the Catholic Church or for another denomination.

    JTOL, it seems that few of your target audience are likely to stumble onto a web site named “Ordinariate Expats” on their own, and that those who do are not likely to understand the concept of an ordinariate. There’s a need for news that’s worthy of publication in major media where it will gain broad attention — major newspapers (preferably “up front”), television news, etc. Here, an overt effort to invite the press when you are holding special events such as your recent event in France, or on significant occasions such as anniversaries and pilgrimages, certainly can help. Of course, “human interest” stories about individual journeys into the ordinariates also can play a significant role.

    I’m not suggesting that you can, or should, take this on personally. You are already doing far more than your share by maintaining this blog and reporting news about all of the ordinariates for former Anglicans in a timely manner. But perhaps another of the ordinariate members who is living on the continent can take on the role of being a media liaison, with the responsibility of notifying the major media outlets of events in advance and of supplying press releases with photographs when there are significant events, and perhaps supplying “human interest” stories as well.

    Norm.

  2. EPMS says:

    Preumably for most Anglicans in Europe, leaving the Anglican church would also mean leaving the opportunity to worship in English. In fact I imagine there are English-speaking members of other denominations, including Catholics, attending Anglican churches in Europe because worshipping in English is the important thing to them. If an Anglican living in Europe is prepared to join the Church locally, worshipping with a non-English-speaking congregation, he or she is probably not concerned about losing elements of the Anglican tradition in the process. I would imagine the primary European audience for this blog would be those who, like Mr Murphy, have long been Catholics but welcome the opportunity to reconnect with their Anglican past in a Catholic context.

    • You have hit the nail on the head, EPMS.

      These people who had belonged to a C of E “Diocese in Europe” parish or a parish of The Episcopal Church in Europe or a British or American armed forces chaplaincy, have been worshipping up to now in English. If they join the Catholic Church locally, they are going to have either to learn the foreign language or – if they are already fluent – to use it liturgically and socially in the Church.

      This is why we Ordinariate Expats have decided to try to put toogether a data base of all the places in Europe where the Mass is currently being celebrated in English and then, where we recognise a particular need, to approach the local bishop and encourage him to provide Mass in English in his diocese.

      The first bishop we approached was my own local bishop who, after a few letters in each direction and one massive misunderstanding on the diocese’s part, has now notified us (without giving a reason) that Mass in English will not be offered in his diocese, despite the fact that there are quite a number of British ex-service personnel who have remained here after the departure of the Brits. My home diocese and the adjoining one had in fact the largest concentration of British troops and families of anywhere in the world, even more than in Aldershot, the principal troop town in the UK, where the Military Ordinariate’s Cathedral is located.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        David,

        You wrote: This is why we Ordinariate Expats have decided to try to put toogether a data base of all the places in Europe where the Mass is currently being celebrated in English and then, where we recognise a particular need, to approach the local bishop and encourage him to provide Mass in English in his diocese.

        I suspect that there’s at least one mass in English somewhere in most major metropolitan areas of Europe. Unfortunately, it might be rather difficult to compile a list of those celebrations.

        You wrote: The first bishop we approached was my own local bishop who, after a few letters in each direction and one massive misunderstanding on the diocese’s part, has now notified us (without giving a reason) that Mass in English will not be offered in his diocese, despite the fact that there are quite a number of British ex-service personnel who have remained here after the departure of the Brits.

        This is very unfortunate. If the situation is as you describe it, this bishop has abdicated his pastoral responsibility to meet the spiritual needs of all persons present in his diocese. If there are enough native speakers of another language present in a region of his diocese to support it, the pastoral response would be to make mass available in that language. In my own archdiocese here in the States, mass is celebrated in over thirty languages other than English every weekend.

        Norm.

  3. EPMS says:

    Oh dear, not a promising beginning. But perhaps one would have more luck with a diocese if the perception was that the English mass would be primarily of interest to tourists rather than to unassimilated local residents.

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