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Hundreds gather to celebrate Ordinariate
On Sunday, by kind permission of Fr Christopher Colven, the Marylebone Ordinariate Group organised Solemn Evensong, Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction at St James, Spanish Place, to celebrate the first anniversary of the erection of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. The Ordinary presided and preached at the celebration at which around 500 people were present.
Around 500 people, from London and further afield, gathered to celebrate the first anniversary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on Sunday.
St James, Spanish Place, was the venue for Solemn Evensong, Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction, presided over by Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate.
The service - a celebration of the traditional Anglican Evening Prayer - brought together Anglicans and Catholics in thanksgiving for the generous response of Pope Benedict XVI, to repeated and insistent calls for a way forward in the ecumenical endeavours of the past fifty years.
Music from the Anglican choral tradition, including pieces by Stanford and Parry,accompanied hymns such as Blessed John Henry Newman's Praise to the holiest in the height.
During his sermon, Mgr Newton said, "This evening we have much to be joyful and thankful for. For the gifts and spiritual riches of Anglicanism which nurtured our faith; for the warmth of welcome and support we have received from so many Catholics; for the vision, love and faith of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict".
Quoting the beautiful General Thanksgiving from the Book of Common Prayer, Mgr Newton continued "But [...] 'above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace and for the hope of glory'".
Afterwards, at a reception, Mgr Newton thanked the Rector for his hospitality and the organisations and faithful who had supported the Ordinariate in this first year, both spiritually and financially.
Also present were Bishop Peter Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne and Episcopal Delegate for the establishment of Personal Ordinariate in Australia, Mgr John Armitage of the Diocese of Brentwood, and many others who wished to join the Ordinariate in celebrating the first of many years.
The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is a jurisdiction of the Catholic Church established by Pope Benedict XVI in January 2011, to allow Anglicans to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church, whilst retaining many elements of their tradition and heritage.