Sound practice

From Fr Barrie Newton

In ‘The way we live now’ [September], Geoffrey Kirk writes ‘If school admission committees anywhere ask to see the Baptism certificates of either children or parents … I have yet to hear of it.’ Take heart! The parish school of the Annunciation, Marble Arch always asks for proof of the child’s Baptism.

Parents who ‘can’t find it’ are gently advised to go back to the church in question and get a certified copy. What troubles me more about church schools is that we can demand commitment from the parents and children, but not from the staff. Ironic or what?

Barrie Newton

Church of the Annunciation, Bryanston Street, London

Continuing splits

From Fr James Chantler

From Elsewhere [August] had a report on the Canadian Church which would lead ND readers to believe that there is overwhelming support amongst Canadian continuing Anglicans for Anglicanorum Coetibus. The endorsement of the Ordinariate project was overwhelming only because many of the clergy and laity refused to attend Synod, as they want nothing to do with the College of Bishops’ misadventure.

Clearly the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada people who do not wish to follow the Bishops over to Rome did not go to Synod and they are leaving. We are determined to preserve and grow the faithful Anglican remnant and we’ll be better off, in the long run, without the Anglo-Papalist fifth column in our midst. The ACCoC and several other provinces of the TAC are collapsing but a uniting Continuing Church is emerging out of the painful and confusing situation caused by the TAC’s College of Bishops.

ND readers ought to know that enthusiasm for Rome’s offer is anything but overwhelming in Canada. In the impaired Church (the Anglican Church of Canada) it is even less popular amongst those traditionalists who have not yet fled to the Continuum or the Eastern Orthodox. True reunion between sister Churches – that is between traditional Anglicans and Roman Catholics – is achievable and I hope and pray for it, but Anglicanorum Coetibus for most Anglican Catholics in the Continuum is not the way forward.

James A. Chantler

The Church of the Resurrection, Walkerville, Ontario

Full restoration

From Mrs Elaine Bishop

Patrick Henry Reardon makes the point that, in spite of the immense benefits repentance brings us, our past actions still have their consequences. I would only take issue with him on his quotation from Joel. It is God who is speaking these words, saying, ‘I will restore to you the years the locust hath consumed…’

We feel the consequences of our sins and look at the waste land of our lives and resign ourselves to God’s judgement. Then we find that he ‘makes the wilderness a standing water, and water springs of a dry ground.’ I would not for one moment try to lessen the gravity of God as our Judge, but I would emphasise the joy of God our Redeemer.

Elaine Bishop

188b Orchard St, Chichester

Beware the con man

From the Chairman of FiF Australia

New Directions has performed a serious disservice to both Orthodoxy and vulnerable Anglicans who may currently be considering a move in that direction by printing the article headed ‘Recruitment Drive’ in the July issue, and adding insult to injury by providing a picture of the ‘Superior of St Petroc’s Monastery in Cascades, Tasmania’ etc.

Superior of what and over whom? Monastery? Its a two-bedroom flat inhabited by a persuasive and obsessive con man whose mission in life, these days, is his particular brand of questionable Western Rite Orthodoxy and planting his so-called missions around the world to that effect. You are certainly right, however, in your heading – Recruitment Drive – though the recruits often do not last too long.

I am glad that you printed Fr Gregory Carpenter’s letter in the August issue. He gently raises important liturgical and pastoral concerns about this Orthodox cuckoo in the nest. You will see that Fr Michael completely ignores Bishop Mark, his proper authority in the UK, because he has successfully conned Archbishop Hilarion, who gives him free reign – much to the distress of many people, especially clergy and religious, in Australia and elsewhere.

+ David Robarts

New kids on the block

Fr Christopher Smith

Having attended the meeting of clergy in Westminster on 24th September in the long-familiar surroundings of the Emmanuel Centre, I was intrigued to see a number of new faces, in particular among those on the platform. We would perhaps be a stronger AngloCatholic movement now if they had felt able to march with us to Lambeth Palace in 1993, or attend those early Forward in Faith Assemblies, or play an active part in the pre-existing Catholic Societies like SSC.

It would have been a blessing if they had been as prepared as many of the parochial clergy have been over these last twenty years to speak truth to power. Those who now would seek to lead whatever remains of the Catholic Movement must be prepared to do that and more. We have been offered nothing of any consequence by the synodical Church of England. Do these new would-be leaders have the courage to create what we need in spite of it? If we still don’t want to upset the establishment even when we have nothing left to lose, there will be no corporate future outside the Ordinariate, society or no society.

Fr Christopher Smith

The Vicarage, Beckenham