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Two new deacons for the Ordinariate
On Saturday 3 January the Revd James Houghton and the Revd David Butler were ordained as deacons for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham at a Mass arranged by the Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, at the Ordinariate's central church, Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, London.
Bishop Robert Byrne Cong. Orat., an Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Birmingham, presided. Father Roger Nesbitt and Father Robert Copsey, diocesan priests of the Dover deanery, joined seven Ordinariate priests to concelebrate and the Revd James Patrick assisted as deacon.
In his homily, Bishop Byrne paid tribute to James Houghton and David Butler's wide experience of ministry in the Church of England and welcomed the fact that this had now been brought into the fullness of communion with the Catholic Church. Speaking specifically of the diaconate, he likened the deacon's dalmatic to the apron, symbolising the deacons' readiness to serve.
The choir sang William Byrd's Mass for Four Voices and the hymns were: Christians, awake, salute the happy morn, Of the Father's love begotten, O Bread of Heaven, beneath this veil and All hail the power of Jesus' name!.
The Mass was followed by a reception for family and friends, laid on by the parish.
Deacon James Houghton served for 42 years as an Anglican priest before being received into the Ordinariate Group in Folkestone in April 2011. He had wide experience of youth and school chaplaincies and then spent the last 10 years of his ministry in parish life. Before his retirement, he served on The General Synod of the Church of England as part of the Catholic Group.
The date has been set for James Houghton's ordination to the priesthood. This will take place at the church of Our Lady Help of Christians, Folkestone, on Saturday 28 February at 12 noon, with Archbishop Peter Smith, the Archbishop of Southwark, presiding.
David Butler, also formerly an Anglican priest, was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church before the Ordinariate was established. When it came into being, he was registered as a member and wanted his religious vows to be under the jurisdiction of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Deacon David has been living a simple eremitical life for some years. In March 2014, he took temporary vows as a hermit during a Mass at Warwick Street.
Picture (from left to right, front row): Deacon David Butler, Bishop Robert Byrne, Deacon James Houghton. The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, is behind Deacon Houghton; Deacon James Patrick is behind Deacon Butler.