Fr Edwin Barnes reports on Rite of Election in Portsmouth

12 03 2011

Fr Edwin Barnes writes on the Anglo-Catholic:

[…] for the first time in St John’s Portsmouth, there were Candidates not for the Diocese but for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsinhgam.  Fr Keith Newton had asked me to stand in for him and present those from our three Ordinariate Groups in Portsmouth Diocese who are preparing for reception into the fulness of the Catholic Communion at the end of Lent – from Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, from the Bournemouth Area, and from Reading.  Just sixty in this first wave, but the fore-runners, I expect, of hundreds more.  The diocesan website should be full of pictures from today.  Very properly, only the official photographers were allowed to take photos during the ceremony. Here is just one from the rehearsal – the Dean on the left, the Signer for the Deaf in the centre, and the Cantor/Animateur on the right.

One former Anglican Priest said he had expected it to be very formal and legalistic; but in fact he found himself very moved as he and his group were called forward to meet the Bishop.  Like him, I was more stirred than I had expected, seeing so many old friends coming forward.  I am sure there will be many more surprises as we step further along this path towards reunion.