Joanna Bogle: Mgr Newton at The Keys

11 11 2011

Joanna Bogle writes:

Mgr Keith Newton of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham spoke at The Keys, the London branch of the Catholic Writers’ Guild, on Thursday. He was excellent – the format was a question-and-answer session in which the interviewer was Fr Peter Newby, chaplain to The Keys and parish priest of St Mary Moorfields where the meeting took place. Things began with Mass in the church, and then dinner. Before the talk began, the winner (Jodie Goss, Ursuline School, Wimbledon) and runner-up (Emma Findlay-Wilson, St Mary’s School, Shaftesbury) for this year’s Catholic Young Writer Award were presented with their prizes by the Master of the Guild, Mary Kenny, and the Shield was presented to the winner by Mgr Keith. Entrants this year were invited to write about love, marriage, and the Wedding at Cana (theme chosen because of the Royal Wedding in April) and the winning entries were of a very high standard. The Award is sponsored by the Catholic Union of Great Britain and you can read the winning entries here and here.

This was a really excellent evening. Mgr Keith is frank, open,and informative. He has no illusions about the challenges facing the Ordinariate. He is most interesting on the history of the Church of England in the latter part of the 20th century, on its current state in the 21st and its prospects. He speaks without any sense of having sort of hidden agenda – he believes in the urgency of evangelising Britain and relishes being part of the universal Church which has this task. He is knowledgeable and unpretentious, and communicates with a great sense of warmth and joy.


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