Saturday, 30 October 2010


P1000109 On Monday we left home around 10.30 a.m. to travel to Walsingham for the Bible Week. We stopped for a brief lunch at Barton Mills and then fought our way through the snarl up of traffic at Brandon.

They seem to have altered the traffic light sequence and the queues stretched in both directions for miles. When we arrived at Walsingham we were allocated our room in the Milner Wing complete with en suite. I discovered there was a Mass in the Shrine Church at 5.00 p.m. so went to that and then stayed in church for Evening Prayer, the first event of the Bible Week when we were given notices and explanations of what was going to happen. After dinner Compline was in the Shrine Church.
Every day there was a Keynote Address based on the Letters to Timothy; two were given by Bishop Lindsay and one by Sister Meg. The Keynote Addresses were held in the Roman Catholic Church in the village. After the address there was just time for a coffee before the Hour of Silence before the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction back at the Shrine Church. Each evening, before dinner, there was a Solemn Mass in the Shrine Church.
At 8.30 p.m. there was a different service in the Shrine Church: on Tuesday there was “Praying with Mary” on Wednesday “Liturgy of Healing and Reconciliation” and on Thursday “Songs of Praise” which was combined with Testimonies. Many people then gathered in the Norton Room bar for a nightcap.
Each afternoon there were optional seminars and we went to two: about the Creation stories in Genesis and about the Covenants in the Old Testament. They were extremely well presented and very interesting.
Those who have been to the Caister Retreat would have noticed the similarities between the Walsingham Bible Week and Caister. Some 200 of us were present including a group of young people who had their own programme joining with the rest of us for worship. It was a most enjoyable, spiritually refreshing week and Ann and I hope it will be held again next year. It was good to see several familiar faces from the Caister Retreats as well as to meet some who had come for the first time.
Friday morning there was a Solemn Mass at 9.15 a.m. after which we made our way home, calling at the Walsingham Farm Shop for some items of groceries first. We then carried on to Swaffham for lunch at “Old Mother Hubbards” one of the best fish and chip shops around. Then it was on to Brandon to wait some 45 minutes to get through the town before an otherwise uneventful trip home.
The week had been prepared by Bishop Lindsay Unwin OGS, the Shrine Administrator, and we were very grateful to him and to the other Shrine staff for all their hard work in making the week so worthwhile.
Pictures taken during the week can be found on the Walsingham Web Site:http//

Sunday, 24 October 2010


This morning I celebrated at the Solemn Mass at St. Barnabas, Woodford Green an ABC and Forward-in-Faith Parish where, after nearly two years, they are still in an Interregnum. Fortunately they have a retired priest Father Donald who has been looking after matters for them but, like all of us, he is getting no younger. I will be returning in November and December. It is always a joy to go to St. Barnabas’ Church where there is skilled choir, well trained and rehearsed and a warm congregation. It seemed to me that numbers have decreased since I was last there several months ago which is hardly surprising with the difficulties they have endured. One can only hope that it will not be too long before matters are resolved for them. Please keep them in your prayers.

After Mass I went to refreshments at St. Augustine’s, Rush Green to see folk there as I haven’t been there on a Sunday for the last two weeks. Next Sunday I will be playing the organ at St. Augustine’s.

Saturday, 23 October 2010


I sometimes wonder if some people have lost all sense of proportion or common sense. Take the announcement today that a certain footballer is to be paid £250,000 a week. Is anybody worth that sort of money for kicking an inflated ball no matter how brilliant he might be? Or the cuts which the politicians say we are sharing but which seem to pick on the poorest of our society with swingeing cuts to benefits. Or the fact, that according to some Treasury Ministers, as a country we are nearly bankrupt yet we still can afford Trident albeit in several years time whilst Housing Benefit is to be cut harshly which could mean something in the region of 80,000 people might be made homeless. They will then become a burden on Local Authorities who have little or no housing stock as so much of it has been sold. So Local Authorities could find themselves in the ludicrous situation of having to pay for these people to reside in hotels and guest houses.

Or to change the subject just slightly, consider those priests and laity in the CofE who are banking their hopes that they can make a change in the provision for Traditionalists to provide a secure future rather than a Code of Conduct. They say that this will come about due to the newly elected General Synod which they are estimating shows an increase in the Catholic and Evangelical members. For once, and probably only once, I think WATCH have it right when they say: WATCH considers that reports that those opposed to women bishops have made gains in the recent Synod elections are premature. There is no evidence that this view is based on an accurate analysis of results. WATCH notes that some significant figures against the consecration of women have lost their seats, and that more women clergy have been elected. Many candidates did not declare their views about the draft legislation for women bishops before the elections.

So what about the new Society of St. Wilfrid and St. Hilda launched at the Sacred Synod in September which in the event turned out, in my opinion, to be anything but a Sacred Synod. First, as I have said before, we don’t need another Catholic Society and the aims seem to me to be futile (but I could be wrong). But my main gripe is why form yet another society and then tell potential members that they will have to wait and see what will emerge in the coming months. Not very helpful!

I still think that the only viable option for Anglo-Catholics is the Ordinariate in the long term, but perhaps it’s me that has lost all sense of proportion or common sense but I really don’t think so.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Ann wrote this Psalm in memory of Chris, the Director of Music at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Barkingside, who died on Saturday 16th October following a period of painful suffering. Chris had been the Director of Music for around 10/12 years and was highly thought of by everyone at St. Francis. Chris was a perfectionist and this showed not only in his playing the organ but in his skilful direction of the Church Choir and the All Saints Festival Choir. May he Rest in Peace.


Have compassion on us O God in our time of sorrow, for you called our brother before his time:

Deep is our grief and the depth of our loss is immense; even though his suffering is over.

Week by week he lead us in song to honour your holy name:

Hour by hour he practiced to make his offering perfect.

He reached our souls with his music, touched our hearts with anthems and carols:

How will we sing to the Lord when our hearts are grieving.

Why was he struck so cruelly O God? Why did he have to suffer so:

So full of life, brightening our encounters with his grin, making us laugh with his jokes; all we have now are memories.

Great is your mercy O Lord, take him to your bosom O God; for there he can join the celestial choirs, be spared out musical errors:

Comfort us, comfort us O God; for great is your gain and devastating our loss.

Ann Jennings

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Risk Managemnt at School

We spent the week-end in the Cotswold visiting our Grandchildren; and as the local group of churches has at least one woman priest I celebrated Mass in the house parts of which date back to the 17th century.

Yesterday I did one of the routine inspections which all the Governors of New Rush Hall Group of Schools do every term. This time my brief was to go to the school to have a look at “Risk Management” and the safe guards in place to ensure that the school is a safe environment for staff and pupils. New Rush Hall is a happy school where pupils can flourish due to the enthusiastic staff. I was able to see the new Food Technology building where children will be taught cooking, food hygiene and safety. I visit the school garden which has been set up so pupils can learn basic horticulture; part of it has been set aside as a Restful Garden complete with small pond. It was a joy to hear all the birds singing there and quite unusual seeing we are based just 16 miles from the City of London. Altogether a most pleasant morning and I was able to report to the Governors that every aspect of Risk Management is under constant consideration.

Friday, 15 October 2010

News from the Forward in Faith Assembly 2010

Today at the Forward in Faith Assembly at the Emmanuel Centre image Bishop John Broadhurst has announced that he intends to resign by the end of the year and join the Ordinariate. He has been the Chairman of Forward in Faith since its inception and will continue in this role for the while being. Recordings of the speeches made at the Assembly can be heard by logging onto:

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Tea, Abbey & Dinner

Yesterday Ann and I went to London to have tea in the House of Commons with our friend Lee Scott and our MP when we lived at the vicarage. We went early so we could do a little shopping and wandered into Westminster Cathedral where we saw a poster advertising Evensong at Westminster Abbey to be sung by the Choirs of the Cathedral and Abbey on the Eve of the Translation of Edward the Confessor.

We enjoyed tea and then went to the gallery to hear Vince Cable answering questions about Lord Roberts report on Student Fees. Sitting opposite the Government we were able to pick out many familiar faces. Although we’ve been to the House of Commons before we’ve never been able to watch the proceedings. We stayed until just before 4.30 p.m. when we left to go to the Abbey. By the time we arrived most of the special chairs facing across the chancel had been taken but a gentleman usher took Ann and me to the Canon’s Stalls so we were in a wonderful position to both see and hear these two famous choirs.

The Introit was Psalm 1 sung by Westminster Cathedral Choir to plainsong. During the Office Westminster Abbey Choir sung the Vesicles and Responses to a setting by Bernard Rose. The Cathedral Choir sang Psalm110 to plainsong and then the Abbey Choir sang Psalm 147 vv 1-12 to Anglican Chant by Stanford. The joint Choirs sang the Magnificat to Palestrina’s Magnificat primi toni a 8 and the Nunc Dimttis to Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Nunc dimittis tertii toni. The combined Choirs sang the Anthem “Blessed city, heavenly Salem” by Edward Bairstow and then led a hymn “This, Christ’s true servant, Edward the Confessor” to Coelites plaudant from the Rouen Antiphoner.

The singing was outstanding and we really enjoyed being able to participate in this wonderful act of worship. For me the highlights were the Anglican Chant of which I am very fond and the tremendous singing of the plainsong and the brilliant performance of the Anthem.

We finished the day by going to the Spaghetti House Restaurant at Victoria for dinner before catching the Tube and train home.

Sunday, 10 October 2010


The next two meetings of the Redbridge and Havering Ordinariate Group will be:-

Wednesday 10th November

Monday 22nd November

They are being held in the Lady Chapel of the Church of St. Augustine, Birbeck Road, Romford.

Both meetings will begin at 7.30 p.m. with a celebration of the Mass and will then start to explore the course Evangelium.

All are welcome.

Friday, 8 October 2010


Those who had any faith in the Code of Practice must feel absolutely shattered by the way the Drafting Group has been set-up with only one Catholic to represent the constituency. How can this be fair or equitable? In today’s edition of the Church Times Father David Houlding SSC a leading member of the Catholic Group in Synod said: “We are all so angry and dismayed. It’s clear from the compilation of this group that there is to be no honoured place in the Church of England for traditionalists — that we are not wanted. This group is set up to fail before it begins. It’s one [Bishop Martin Warner] against seven. To put two members of the revision committee and no members of the Catholic Group — the audacity of it. I think it’s a disaster”

I think it is fairly certain that whatever the Drafting Group eventually agree it will not be acceptable to the majority of Anglo-Catholics. And that was always going to be the case. As I’ve said and written many times over the last few months: A Code of Practice will not do!

Fair or Equitable, I asked, and the answer is it was never going to be. The death knell for Catholics was sounded the day that all reasonable provision for Catholics was rejected by Synod. What really angers me, is all the broken promises: such things as an “honoured place” and a period “of reception” et al. We accepted them as being made by honourable people in good faith prepared to make satisfactory provision for a very sizeable minority. We were mistaken – as Father Houlding says: “there is to be no honoured place in the Church of England for traditionalists”

It seems to me that Anglo-Catholics are regarded as nothing more than a nuisance to be got rid of as soon as possible. I predict that in no more than 10 years there not be a single traditional Catholic Parish left.

The provision we asked from the Church of England has been offered to us by Pope Benedict via the Ordinariate, although we don’t yet know all the details. As we celebrate the feast of Blessed John Newman tomorrow, perhaps we should ask for his prayers.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


Yesterday evening, following a Mass celebrated by Father Martinat the Church of St. Augustine, Rush Green, the Redbridge and Havering Ordinariate Group had their inaugural meeting. I introduced the subject of the Ordinaraite, giving some brief details about its inception and explaining how it was now impossible to consider the Church of England as a Catholic Church with the introduction of women priests, the proposed introduction of Women Bishops and the failure of General Synod to offer anything acceptable to ensure any protection for those who were unable, in conscience, to accept these new innovations. I pointed out that the protection afforded by the Act of Synod would be abolished once the legislation for Women Bishops was passed. The Code of Practice seemed to be totally useless and I explained why. I gave details of those who were forming the Committee to decide what the Code of Practice should be.

During the ensuing discussion, I likened the preparations for the ordinariate to a caravan, using an illustration by Bishop Andrew Burnham, the Bishop of Ebbsfleet. The caravan would set of with perhaps only a few people with more joining as it progressed towards the goal of unity with Rome via the ordinaraite. Some would stay for the whole journey whilst others might feel they had to leave. To join the ordinariate was a matter for each person to consider and to make their own decision but, within the terms of the ordinaraite, initially only groups could join to make “worshipping communities.” I said I rather like the suggestion by Father Hunwicke that the ordinariate be known as “Anglicans in Communion with Rome”

I think it was a good meeting with some interesting questions and discussion. 21 people attended the meeting and they decided that they wanted to form a group and would study the Catholic Catechism using the course known as Evangelium. The date of the next meeting in November has to be arranged and details will be forwarded to all those who attended the first meeting and to several others who had indicated an interest but for various reasons had not been able to attend this time.


Ann had to go to the North Middlesex Hospital yesterday for a consultation with the Consultant who did the operation to pin her bone. He was very pleased with her progress and now she doesn’t have to use her crutches or wear the thigh to toe splint anymore!!!!. For the while being she will need to use a stick but she is delighted to be able to use both her legs normally. Deo Gratias

Sunday, 3 October 2010



The first meeting of the Redbridge and Havering Group for the Ordinariate will meet on Tuesday 5th October with Mass at 7.30 p.m. at the Church of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Rush Green, Romford. This is an open meeting to which anyone interested is very welcome.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Shopping on Crutches

Since Ann has been on crutches I have been very surprised by the way some people have reacted; some are very helpful whilst others are not. For example sometimes we visit our local Tesco’s to do our weekly shopping and they have these electric scooters to assist people who are unable to walk round the store. It has been quite annoying the way some people barge in front almost pushing Ann out of the way as she has steered around the store or they walk in front and stop dead without any consideration for the fact that these scooters take time to stop so she has had to swerve to avoid hitting them. In fact, some of the behaviour has been extremely rude; whilst (a minority) have been very considerate.

Last week we went to Dagenham as petrol was being sold there at £1.10 per litre – the cheapest around and it’s just down the road from St. Augustine’s Church. Next to the petrol station is a large Morrison’s, so, for a change, we decided to go and do our shopping there; Ann was able to use their electric scooter. What really impressed both of us was the way people behaved. It was totally different to our experience at Galloway Corner Tesco’s, Romford. People were polite, getting out of the way with a smile. When we had finished shopping we realised we had left our shopping bags in the car so I went to collect them, leaving Ann in the queue at the Check Out. When I got back a few moments later, the lady in front of us was unpacking the scooter trolley for Ann. I couldn’t believe it.

Locally, people look down their noses at folk from Dagenham as being “not quite nice” or the lowest of society. Utter rubbish – they could teach people in our area, especially some of those who shop at our local Tesco’s elementary good manners. Ann being temporarily disabled has made us appreciate what some people have to put up with all the time.

Friday, 1 October 2010

A Brief Trip to Suffolk

I haven’t been able to write anything for the blog for several days as we’ve been away. Ann and I were intending to go on holiday to the Lake District around now but with Ann’s leg still in a splint from thigh to toe and with mobility restricted to using crutches, we decided it would not be sensible. She had intended to do some walking!!!! So instead we went to a hotel in Suffolk for four nights; we couldn’t go for longer as her next hospital appointment is on Tuesday when we hope she will be allowed to be “weight” bearing again and not have to wear the splint or use her crutches any more. As a bonus we will be able to go to the Harvest Supper tomorrow which otherwise we would have missed.