The Rite of Election figures have created no end of confusion. Here’s why

The Rite of Election at Westminster Cathedral (Mazur/

The release of the Rite of Election figures for England and Wales yesterday has created no end of confusion as it looks as though the numbers in the press release and in the report don’t tally. According to the press release, around 900 people will be received and registered into the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Holy Week, including 61 Anglican clergy. In the one-page report, the tally of the column listing the numbers of ordinariate people taking part in Rite of Election ceremonies across England and Wales is 795, a far cry from the 900 people of the press release. So is it “close to 800 people” or is it “an estimated 900”?

A quick call to Clare Ward on the home mission desk clarifies the matter. She says that Fr Keith Newton, the leader of the Ordinariate, gave her the 900 figure as his estimate of the number of people who will be received and registered into the ordinariate in Holy Week as not all those joining the ordinariate took part in the Rite of Election ceremonies held at cathedrals across the country last weekend.