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Called To Be One exploration day round-up
About 40 groups took part in the events, which included, typically, the showing of a DVD about the Ordinariate made for the occasion, featuring an interview with the Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton (which can be viewed here and here), input from local lay members, refreshments and Evensong and/or Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. In some cases, Mass was said according to what is known as the "Ordinariate Use" which integrates centuries' old Anglican prayers into the Roman Rite.
In Salisbury more than a hundred people turned out for the day, which was held, thanks to the support of the local parish priest, in the historic Pugin Catholic church of St Osmund's. Mass for the unity Christ wills for his Church was followed by a guided holy hour with Benediction. The leader of the Salisbury Ordinariate group, Fr Keith Robinson, said people spoke afterwards of the strong sense of unity and the beauty of the liturgy, and were asking for copies of the prayers.
Fr Christopher Pearson of the Church of the Most Precious Blood, Borough, London, which is in the care of the Ordinariate, said after the event there: "I had no idea whether 5 or 50 people would respond to the invitation to come and learn more about the Ordinariate. I was therefore delighted that 48 people eventually gathered for the talks and I am grateful to everyone at both a national and local level who made this initiative such a conspicuous success."
A highlight of the event at the Most Precious Blood was an illustrated talk by Fr Scott Anderson of the Ordinariate, who traced the history of the Church of England with particular reference to its relationship with the Catholic Church. He outlined the efforts to achieve unity in the 20th century and spoke of the hopes for unity which he said were ultimately dashed by the actions of the Church of England in ordaining women and embracing the social norms of the time.
Nearly a hundred people, including Ordinariate members, diocesan Catholics and some Anglicans, went to the Walthamstow Mission's event, run in conjunction with the Harlow and Leytonstone missions. The group invited all the local parishes to provide singers to join its choir. They met an hour before the event began and learnt all the music for Evensong, which many of them had never sung before.
Fr Ed Tomlinson reports that his group's event, in Tunbridge Wells, was "a roaring success", with more than 70 people attending, including Anglicans trying to discern their future. Fr Tomlinson gave a talk, which can be read here, on the Ordinariate's unique mission within the Catholic Church.
The Ordinariate in Scotland celebrated the day in grand style at Falkland Palace in Fife, built between 1450 and 1541 as the country residence of the royal court. A Votive Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham was offered in the Chapel Royal, which is today the home of the local Catholic parish. This was followed by the Ordinariate's DVD presentation and group conversation. The Torbay Ordinariate group's plans to buy a redundant Methodist church, which are discussed in the DVD, inspired Scotland's members to investigate doing the same.
The Manchester Ordinariate Mission hosted a cream tea and Choral Evensong. Sixty people of all ages and different church backgrounds enjoyed the tea and songs from local singer and member of the Manchester Ordinariate Mission, Sandra Modric. At Evensong the choir sang Stanford's Canticles in Bb and Tallis' 'If ye love me'. Fr Andrew Starkie, leader of the Mission, noted the maternal care of Our Lady of Walsingham for the unity of all her children.
The Wales South east group, which consists at present of just 10 members, had an Ordinariate Use Mass (sung with a Cantor) followed by refreshments and presentations in the hall and then Afternoon Prayer. Fr Bernard Sixtus, the leader of the group, said: "the whole thing went really well and I had five new expressions of interest from people for further exploration".
The picture shows Fr Jeff Woolnough, leader of the Hockley Ordinariate, answering questions on the DVD at the event held jointly by Hockley and Benfleet missions.
More pictures of events around the country (if you are signed up to Facebook) are on our Facebook page here.
More will be made available on the website in due course.