Wednesday, 27 July 2011


Yesterday evening I received a reply from Father Christopher Pearson, Superior-General of the CBS concerning the letter I sent to him recently and published on this blog. In his brief reply he refers me to a pdf of Questions & Answers on the CBS Website. To read this click here.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Today as we celebrate the Memorial of St Joachim and St Anne let us pray for Grandparents, remembering that as well as being the parents of Our Lady, they were also the Grandparents of our Blessed Lord.

Lord Jesus,
you were born of the Virgin Mary,
the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them! They are a source of enrichment
for families, for the Church and for all of society.
Support them! As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardian of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on to future generations the fruits
of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Lord Jesus,
help families and society
to value the presence and roles of grandparents.
May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed
in all the years of life which you give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living,
keep grandparents constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families
may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity
for the great embrace of live without end. Amen

Pope Benedict XVI Prayer for Grandparents 2008

Monday, 25 July 2011


Our hearts and our prayers go out to the people of Norway in their grief at the vicious bomb atrocity in Oslo and the brutal murder of young people at a Youth Camp by suspect Anders Behring Breivik's. Latest figures indicate that 93 have died as a result of the massacre. It appears that the most a court could sentence the suspect to, if found guilty, is 21 years and reports indicate that he could be released as early as 2021. (A prisoner in Norway is required to spend 10 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.)

Sunday, 24 July 2011


We returned from 5 days in Somerset on Friday evening. The weather here has been pretty awful our neighbours have told us but, for once, we hit the jackpot and enjoyed quite reasonable weather – it rained hard on Wednesday morning but apart from that, it was dry and very occasionally, sunny.

I wondered if I might have received a reply to the letter I sent to the Superior-General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament by the time I arrived home but so far nothing. Perhaps I might hear something in the future; perhaps not! However in this week’s Church Times there appeared the following:-


When asked to respond to

Anglicans who have expressed anger

about the donation from the CBS,

Monsignor Newton said: “There are

obviously some vociferous people

who feel very hurt and annoyed

about it. On the other hand, I think

that the trustees thought this was a

way to further their aims and

objectives. That may be debatable,

but they behaved in good faith.

First of all, I don’t see myself or many of the others who are querying this donation as “vociferous”; we are asking why this matter was not put to the membership especially in view of the fact that all of the Trustees, with one exception, are members of the Ordinariate. That in itself makes it “debatable” .They may very well have acted in good faith as Monsignor Newton expresses it but I still query the wisdom of making such a large donation amounting to in excess of half the CBS Funds without a mandate from the membership. As members have recently received circulars from the CBS surely it would have been entirely possible to have posed a suitable question with a reply slip.

Would it not have been better to have made several donations of smaller amounts over a period of time? I want to re-emphasise that I support the Ordinariate, and want to see it succeed.

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Yesterday, 12 members of the Redbridge and Havering Ordinariate Group went to Walsingham to join the Pilgrimage of Reparation and Consecration organised by the Ordinariate and led by Monsignor Keith Newton. We stopped en route for breakfast at Walkers in Brandon Woods where we met others making the same journey. Sadly the weather became worse and when we arrived at Walsingham it was just pouring with rain. We made our way to the Anglican Shrine Café for Coffee and some of us indulged in the wonderful Norfolk Shortbread they sell.

We had arranged to hold Mass at the Barn Chapel as, of course, we were not allowed to receive at the Mass at the RC National Shrine. It had been our intention to eat lunch, after Mass, in the Shrine Grounds but it was really pouring with rain so we enjoyed our lunch in the Barn Chapel. We thought that the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament would be cancelled although we were unable to actually find out any details, so we decided to visit the Flower Festival taking place in the village this week-end

The flowers in the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and the Church of St. Mary were absolutely stunning. Sadly I didn’t have my camera with me so I wasn’t able to photograph any but one of the group had theirs so it may be that I will be able to put some on the blog in the future.

We returned to the Abbey Grounds but again were unable to get much information except, as we thought, Benediction had been cancelled. We decided to go to the Shrine Grounds and wait and see what would happen. Eventually the Procession arrived carrying a Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham and then there was a service of Sprinkling in the Shrine Church which we attended.

Whilst we were in Walsingham it was good to see Bishop Lindsay Urwin whilst we were waiting in the village. After a quick cup of tea/coffee in the Shrine Café, we left and drove to Swaffham for a Fish & Chip supper at Old Mother Hubbards which was excellent.

It was not what we had intended but the weather ruined our plans but never-the-less we had a really enjoyable day.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Ann receives her Certificate at the Cathedral


Yesterday evening at a special service in Chelmsford Cathedral Ann, together with all the other students who had undertaken the two year course of Christian Studies, received her Certificate from the Bishop of Chelmsford at the completion of her studies. Ann’s received the highest possible mark of “highly commended”. Father Mervyn, Father Martin, Jan and Carol were there to share the evening with Ann.

Many congratulations, Ann on this splendid achievement.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011



12th July 2011

Dear Father

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.

Yours sincerely

Father Mervyn Jennings SSC

Sunday, 10 July 2011


Some while ago Ann and her brother went to their old Hampshire Village of Rowland Castle where they grew up, to meet up with some of the folk with whom they had been at primary school.Many years have past and I think they had a great time reminiscing. They decided that they would meet again at the Village Fete which Ann was assured was on the 9th July. So fairly recently I booked us in to a hotel in Chichester for the night of the 8th only to discover later that the actual date was the 2nd July. So on Friday Ann and I went to Chichester to stay at the Premier Inn as I had booked and paid for the room and we decided we didn’t want to waste the fee I had paid.

Yesterday after enjoying an excellent Chinese Meal in the Fortune Inn on Friday evening, a very good night’s sleep and a really super breakfast, we set out to walk round Chichester. We visited the exhibition of sculptures in the Cathedral which was excellent..

We then drove up to Charlton for a quick half of HSB at the Red Lion before going on to the South Down site for the Wood Exhibition. We had a lovely day and returned home feeling quite refreshed.

Friday, 8 July 2011

CBS–a further comment!

As the co-ordinator of the Redbridge and Havering Ordinariate Exploratory Group I am obviously not against the Ordinariate – quite the reverse! But, following on from my comments on my blog on Tuesday, I am really surprised that the Trustees of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament were unwise enough to make a grant of half the assets of CBS to the Ordinariate without some consultation amongst the membership. It seems to have been done with undue haste and what makes it even more questionable is that most of the Trustees are now priests of the Ordinariate.

I understand that this has now been referred to the Charity Commissioners

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

CBS make a Grant of £1 million to the Ordinariate!

I came home from our local Chapter of SSC yesterday absolutely seething. and now, after sleeping on it, I am still seething. What’s the cause of my wrath? Yesterday I was given the opportunity to read a Statement by the Superior General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. (Ann and I are Life members of CBS.)It appears that the Trustees have given a grant to the Ordinariate of ………wait for it……………£1 million. This was as a result by an appeal by the Ordinary Monsignor Keith Newton for financial assistance from the Confraternity. Neither we, nor as far as I can establish any other members, were consulted about this.

According to its Web Site the Objects of the Confraternity are as follows:
The Confraternity is established for the advancement of the catholic faith in the Anglican Tradition and in particular to promote:-
· the honour due to Jesus Christ our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of his Body and Blood,
· prayer for one another at the Eucharist,
· careful preparation for and reception
of Holy Communion, including the Eucharistic fast,

· the reverent and dignified celebration of the Eucharist and the reservation and
veneration of the Blessed Sacrament,

· the continuance of the catholic priesthood, and catholic theological teaching,
learning and development.

Perhaps I am being obtuse but I can’t see how this grant to the Ordinariate fulfils any of these objects.
To achieve the Objects grants are made:-

To support our objects we are able, from time to time, to make Grants of vessels, vestments and tabernacles to poor and populous parishes both at home and overseas. Applications should be made to the Secetary General.

I have no problem with CBS making a grant to the Ordinariate but I do have an objection to the size of the grant made; in this instance by the Trustees with out any reference to the membership. The money held in trust by the Confraternity has been established over many years and I don’t believe it was the intention of many, if any, of the donors, that it should be used like this.

On the Web Site it says this: The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament (CBS) was founded in 1862 as part of the Catholic Revival in the Church of England. Its aim was to be, first of all, a confraternity (brotherhood) of men and women praying and working for a greater devotion to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Today it is no longer confined to England alone but has spread to many places within the Anglican Communion of churches, especially in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and parts of Africa. There is a separate, self-governing CBS in the USA.Wherever possible members of CBS meet together in local Wards for prayer, worship and mutual support under the guidance of a priest as Ward Superior.

Interestingly, there is nothing about this grant of £1 million on the current CBS Web Site!!!!

It is intended to hold an urgent meeting of CBS members in the Redbridge, Havering, and North London areas as soon as practical to consider this.

Sunday, 3 July 2011


It’s been a real roller-coaster of a weekend. Yesterday I celebrated my Silver Jubilee with a Solemn Concelebrated Mass at St. Augustine’s Church, Rush Green. It was really lovely to see so many friends from far and near who came to share this occasion with me. Father Rowland Webb SSC preached a wonderful sermon and Father Martin Howse SSC, Father John Corbyn SSC, Father Gary Jenkins SSC and Father Donald May were the concelebrants. Pamela and Vicky read the Lessons and Ann acted as Intercessor. Brian and Joan, Lay Readers assisted with the administration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Before the service Brian Atkinson played the organ and he also played the final voluntary at the end; Jon Polden our Church Organist accompanied the Mass and the Hymns. Afterwards, there was a reception for a 100 in the Church Hall which had been prepared mainly by my wife Ann. My daughter and son-in-law provided champagne for a toast which was proposed by Father Martin who presented me with a card from the parish and a gift of the new Sacramentary which is to be published shortly. I then cut the cake which Ann had cooked and decorated.

Amongst the many guests were Michael and his wife Janet. Michael was one of my Choir Boys when I was the organist of St. Wilfrid’s, Cowplain way back in 1955. Since then Michael has had quite a distinguished musical career having been awarded the MBE in the latest Honours List for his services to music.

Many thanks to the Organists, the Choir, the Servers, the Readers, to Father Martin and my co-concelebrants, to the Churchwardens and PCC, to my wife Ann and her helpers, and to all those who took time out to come to St. Augustine’s on a Saturday afternoon to share this wonderful occasion with me.



There was a concert at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Barkingside this afternoon in memory of Chris Stevenson, Organist and Choirmaster of St. Francis who died very sadly last year. As well as his role at St. Francis, Chris was a member of the Ilford Choral Society, and Chorale Cantando and they took part, with St. Francis Church Choir in this varied and enjoyable concert. John Rippin was the Organist/ Accompanist; as well as accompanying the Choirs, John played two recital pieces. John taught Chris the organ when he was a youngster in Chingford. There was a retiring collection in aid of ORCHID – Fighting Male Cancer at the end of the concert and then refreshments were served in the Church Hall.