Catholic Life

Joy as Personal Ordinariate expands

Members of the Coventry ordinariate group outside of St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham with Archbishop Longley

During Holy Week hundreds of people joined the ordinariate and were received into the Catholic Church in dioceses throughout Britain.

More than 900 people joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which up to this point had had a membership of fewer than 20 people.

Ordinariate groups have been set up across the country, including in Kent, Cornwall, Berkshire, Birmingham, Coventry and groups.

Ivan Aquilina, former parish priest of St John the Baptist Anglican church in Sevenoaks, Kent, said: “The Holy Spirit has led us to the Upper Room, to the washing of the feet, to the breaking of the bread. There where the 12 gathered with Jesus, we are gathered too and now, thanks be to God, we are in communion with Peter and the Apostolic College.

“In that Upper Room we too have experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.”

Ian Hellyer, group pastor of the Torbay ordinariate group, said the reception at Buckfast Abbey was “a very beautiful moment, yet one of simplicity too”.

He said: “As I thought about the journeys each of us has been through to bring us to this moment, how wonderful it was to be blessed with such simplicity and peace at the culmination of our preparation. But this is not the end but a beginning. We were reminded in the Epistle reading [1 Cor 12:4-13], that by the gifts of the Holy Spirit each of us is provided with the means of taking our unique part in the Church.

“Specifically, that will be the new ordinariate parish when it is created in due time.”

The ordinations of ex-Anglican clergy for the ordinariate will now begin, with their ordinations to the diaconate and the priesthood continuing until July.

The ordinariate website lists 53 candidates for the priesthood, as well as three candidates for the diaconate.