Ed Tomlinson encourages us to explore the world of blogs which are not just informative but which can also help to strengthen the links between traditionalist parishes

The confessional is calling. I can no longer deny that it is true! My brothers and sisters in Christ, I must come out of the closet and admit the startling truth: I am engaged in ‘a new way of being church’. I, traditionalist Catholic bag that I am, find myself guilty of creating a fresh expression. And what is more, I love it!

The problem started at General Synod (don’t they all?). I was so enraged at the hypocritical actions of those claiming to be liberal, so incensed at the dismal treatment of orthodox Christians, that I simply had to get things off my chest. And yet this posed a genuine dilemma, for I have long sworn to leave politics out of the pulpit. (I am a firm believer that Sunday Mass needs to offer people the Good News of Jesus Christ and not the rancid news of the Church of England!) How then to communicate my disgust? How to help others see the bigger picture of the scandalous piracy occurring in the Church of my baptism?

The solution I discovered on the end of my fingertips!

Influenced by a certain Maltese cleric, and already hooked on Massinformation, I struck upon my solution. I could create a blog! Open a tiny corner of the internet where my opinions could be publicly aired… And so began an addictive and mesmerizing experience, one that would surprise me by its scope, effectiveness and appeal.

Diverse readership

My first surprise was that people actually read blogs! During the first six months of my daily rant, I have attracted no less than 20,000 hits. Furthermore, the type of visitor is incredibly broad. From exotic Episcopalians to atheistic friends, it seems everyone finds a reason to return. (It took me ages to realise that ‘Fr Inlaw’ who was leaving me comments is indeed my i wife’s daddy!) So there is the first i triumph of blogs. They reach a ) diverse readership, ensuring the Catholic voice reaches ears (or eyes) it would otherwise miss.

My second surprise was that 1 the blog is a welcome friend to the housebound. For the internet literally takes the church into the 1 living room, allowing isolated parishioners to keep abreast of parish news. I cannot overemphasize the pastoral good this can do. Perhaps it is best summarized by a comment left by a parishioner, Ken Boughton, on the blog itself: May I say on behalf of those who were not able to attend St Barnabas church over the Christmass period how much pleasure the photographs and write ups shown on the ‘Blog’ helped us to be part of the celebration of the Feast. The third pleasant surprise was that blogs encourage good practice. No sooner had one site alerted us to the existence of the ‘Proclamation of Christ’s birth’ than it was being sung in churches throughout the land at Midnight Mass. This opportunity for sharing liturgy and theology can only enhance and encourage the Catholic movement, helping us ensure we are linked in prayer and practice.

And this leads to my final message of ‘bloggy’joy! I am amazed and encouraged at how the Anglo-Catholic blogs all affirm and support one another. There is never a hint of competition or one-upmanship. Instead the blogs promote one another and speak with one voice, ensuring our unity as Catholics is visible for all to see.

A unified voice

This was most evident on the day the Manchester Group revealed its blueprint for a Code of Practice. Within hours each and every site proclaimed ‘A code of practice will not do!’ What a powerful and unified voice! A further cause for celebration. The blogs bring Anglo-Catholic parishes closer together, allowing us to develop and refine our theology and practice.

So there you have it! I will not hang my head in shame. In fact I shall hold it up proudly. A new expression’it maybe, but unlike moronic inventions such as ‘Cafe churches’, this is an expression both fertile and effective. So why not join today? If not as an author, then as a reader.

You might then begin in Sunny Tunny with or visit London Docks or take a trip to theological college or learn from the erudite Fr Hunwicke. Else there is St John’s Seven-oaks, De Cura Animarum, Fr Pinnock, Anglican Wanderings, Fr Northing, the women’s guild… The list seems endless so that, whatever your taste, there is bound to be a favourite. Well, what are you waiting for? Get online and enjoy the new and emerging blogging world!