The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, has visited the Torbay Ordinariate Mission and told them of the importance of their initiative to buy a redundant Methodist church in Torquay and of his prayers that it will be brought to fruition.
As of today (13 January) the Torbay mission have raised more than £77,000 in donations and pledges towards the church and adjoining buildings, for which the Methodist community are asking £150,000.
Mgr Newton was speaking in a sermon he delivered in the Methodist church – which the Torbay Ordinariate Mission already use for their Sunday Mass – on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Sunday 11 January). He said that too often adults thought of Baptism and Confirmation as events in their distant past, but that these should instead be seen as present realities through which God calls us for a unique and particular task in the Mission of the Church.
When Pope Benedict set up the Ordinariate, Mgr Newton said, he called it a prophetic gesture which pointed to the unity of the whole Church, where Christians could be united but retain some aspects of the tradition in which they had been nurtured. “We have a particular mission in evangelising our country by expressing and living a particular form of English Christianity within the wider Catholic Church”, Mgr Newton said.
“That is why the purchase of this building, which hopefully in time will fully express our particular contribution to the life of the Church in this country, is so important. I am totally supportive of this initiative and pray that you will bring it to fruition”.
Fr David Lashbrooke, pastor of the Torbay Mission, said Mgr Newton’s visit had been a great boost to the appeal efforts and everyone had thoroughly enjoyed it . “We are so grateful to Mgr Keith for coming, as well as for all the support we have received from him as well as from the many Ordinariate and diocesan Catholics who have already written to us and donated. We are now more than half way towards buying the church, which is very encouraging”.
After lunch with the Torbay Mission in one of the two halls which adjoins the Methodist church, Mgr Newton, accompanied by Fr Lashbrooke, went on to celebrate the evening Mass with the Cornwall Ordinariate Group at the Church of St Augustine of Hippo, St Austell.
NOTE: An Epiphany party for the Torbay appeal, held in the home of former Anglican priest Geoffrey Kirk of the Ordinariate, who worships at the Most Precious Blood church, Borough, has raised £350. Thanks to all concerned.