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Kent parish makes first move towards Ordinariate

An Anglican parish in Kent has announced its intention of taking up the Ordinariate.

The churchwardens of St Peter’s Folkestone, which is in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s diocese, will approach their archbishop in the first step towards joining an ordinariate.

St Peter’s Folkestone falls under the pastoral care of the Rt Rev Bishop Keith Newton of Richborough, one of two “flying bishops” who are likely to be at the vanguard of an Ordinariate.

While many believe the move towards an Ordinariate is predominantly clergy-driven, the decision to take up the offer made to Anglo-Catholics by Pope Benedict in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus at St Peter’s Folkestone came from a lay initiative.

The Parochial Church Council of St Peter’s Folkestone voted unanimously to approach Dr Rowan Williams about the move to take up the Ordinariate at the tend of September.

In the Church of England, the PCC acts as the executive body of a parish and consists of the parish priest, the churchwardens and elected representatives of the laity.

They issued a statement which said: “At its meeting on September 28th, the PCC of Folkestone St Peter unanimously requested the Churchwardens to approach The Archbishop of Canterbury, our Diocesan Bishop, in order to consult about the wish of the PCC and many of the congregation to join the English Ordinariate of the Catholic Church when it is erected.

“We are anxious that this should be made as easy as possible, not only for us, but for the diocesan family of Canterbury that we shall regretfully be leaving behind.”

There was no one available for comment from the parish.

Forward in Faith, the umbrella group for traditionally minded Anglicans holds its National Assembly this weekend.