The St Barnabas Society has pledged £100,000 to help Church of England clergy joining the personal ordinariate.
Together with Mgr Keith Newton, the leader of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and its existing clergy, the St Barnabas Society will distribute the money to clergy and religious according to their needs during the period between their reception into the Church during Holy Week and their ordination at Pentecost.
The St Barnabas Society, which was set up to help former clergy and religious from a number of denominations, is funded by donations from Catholic congregations. The organisation helps clerics and religious who enter the Church and lose homes and incomes as a result of their conversion, spending almost half a million pounds annually to support them.
The ordinariate is due swells in numbers in the period from Monday of Holy Week to the Easter Vigil; growing from around 20 members to almost 1,000.
In addition to the sum, members of the St Barnabas Society expect to provide additional sums of money to address future needs. They have expressed their trust in “the unfailing generosity of the Catholic faithful will underwrite this continuing support for those whom God calls into full communion with the Catholic Church and help to replenish its reserves.”
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said: “May I express my deep appreciation to the Board of The St Barnabas Society for the allocation of £100,000 for the needs of the clergy of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
“It is a very generous gesture and one that will be widely appreciated, It is a concrete expression of the generosity which the Holy Father asked us to show towards those who are seeking full communion in the Catholic Church”.
Mgr Newton said that he was absolutely delighted with the generosity of the St Barnabas Society in helping those clergy from the Church of England who will be received into Church this Easter and are hoping to be ordained as priests of the ordinariate around Pentecost. “They are making great sacrifices and it is a relief to know that the St Barnabas Society is so willing to help in cases of financial need.”
The St Barnabas Society is the CatholicCharity which helps clergy and religious of other denominations whose conversion to Catholicism will often be costly both financially and psychologically.
The Bishops of England and Wales have also pledged a quarter of a million pounds towards the needs of the ordinariate.