12th July 2011
Thank you for your letter of the 5th July setting out the recent decision by the Council-General to inaugurate an Advisory Committee to discern the future of the Confraternity in the light of the present situation now that it appears that many of the Associates have joined the Ordinariate. I support the Ordinariate and co-ordinate the Redbridge and Havering Ordinariate Exploratory Group and my wife and I are Life Members of CBS.
Notwithstanding that I feel very strongly that the decision to make a grant to the Ordinariate of £1 million, by the Trustees of the CBS, with what I consider to be inordinate haste and without the prior consultation of the membership, to be totally wrong. This figure represents more than half of the assets of the Confraternity and whilst it may be argued that the Ordinariate continues the Anglican Tradition or Patrimony, I cannot see how giving away 50% of the assets of the Confraternity to the Ordinariate, a Roman Catholic body, furthers the objects of maintaining a Catholic Priesthood within the Church of England, which is what is stated in the Objectives of the CBS on the Annual Report and Accounts as registered with the Charity Commissioners.
It would have been more expedient if a series of grants had been made over a period of time rather than such a large amount immediately. It would not surprise me if the Charity Commissioners decide that the Grant of £1 million must be repaid and this will be of no help to the Ordinariate and an embarrassment to the Trustees. I thought it was the intention of those who have decided to become members of the Ordinariate to maintain friendship and fellowship with those who, for what ever reason, decide to remain, temporarily or permanently, within the Church of England. One can only hope that this decision by the Trustees will not cause that intention to break down which it shows every sign of doing at present.
Father Mervyn Jennings SSC