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FROM BRITAIN AND IRELAND NEWS Ordinariate could share Anglican churches Sam Adams

A CHURCH of England bishop has said that he is prepared to consider allowing breakaway ordinariate groups to share Anglican churches in his diocese. The Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, told The Tablet that he was open to the idea of letting members of the ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham – which was established on 15 January – use Church of England churches for worship. Bishop Cottrell, whose diocese covers Essex and east London and is one of the largest in England, also said he was hoping for “conti- nuity” in the housing and payment of those Anglican clergy in his diocese who choose to join the ordinariate. His position on church sharing contrasts with that of the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, who said he would not allow ordinariate groups to share Anglican churches in his diocese. Up to seven parish priests, and as many as

A network of Anglican priests and laity interested in joining the ordinariate is developing in England, writes Qintar Liu. So far 10 “ordinariate groups” are

listed on the internet portal for the ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham which formally came into existence on 15 January when three former Anglican bishops were ordained Catholic priests. The ordinariate groups are

arranging meetings with Anglican priests to explain what parishioners must do if they wish to join.

300 lay people from the Diocese of Chelms - ford are said to be giving serious consideration to joining the new body – a canonical structure erected to allow Anglicans to become Catholics while retaining many of their former Church’s traditions. The group, thought to comprise members of six parishes in the diocese, is the biggest so far to declare interest in joining the ordinariate. “We are prepared to consider ordinariate groups sharing our churches but this would not be possible on Sunday mornings when we use them,” said Bishop Cottrell. “They would have to apply to use them as would any other religious group. The aim is that wherever possible priests would be allowed to stay in their houses until the ordinariate has found them alternative accommodation. “The aim would be to pay the stipend until these priests are ordained at Eastertide, but nothing has been confirmed on that.” Bishop Cottrell said none of the priests concerned

Network begins to take shape In Tunbridge Wells, Kent,

Fr Edward Tomlinson SCC of St Barnabas parish, said 70 to 80 people, including children, are expected to join the ordinariate. In Long Eaton, Derbyshire, Fr Simon Ellis, the vicar of St Laurence church, said about 60 people in the area have expressed interest in joining, including both priests and parishioners. “For many people, it’s like a homecoming from the

had yet resigned, but he confirmed that several had contacted him to discuss their plans. Meanwhile, 12 Church of England bishops issued a message to fellow Anglo-Catholics saying that “even at this late hour” they are seeking special arrangements for those Anglicans who oppose women’s ordination. The bishops want to set up a society dedi- cated to Sts Wilfrid and Hilda whose members would avoid episcopal oversight from women if the Church of England ordains women bish- ops. The society would be co-ordinated by the Bishop of Beverley, Martyn Jarrett. Three more Anglican bishops, David Silk, Edwin Barnes and Robert Mercer, are due to be ordained into the ordinariate in the next few weeks. The Anglo-Catholic group Forward in Faith has pledged £50,000 to help fund the ordi- nariate, while a Catholic church in Brighton, St Mary Magdalen, held a second collection for the ordinariate raising £300. (See Peter Cornwell, page 8.)

Reformation,” Fr Ellis said. In Wellingborough,

Northamptonshire, Fr Anthony Reader-Moore, a retired priest currently working as an honorary assistant priest at St Mary’s Church, said he intends to join the ordinariate and has sent out 100 letters inviting other clergy and laity to join him. In Lewisham, south London,

Fr Geoffrey Kirk, former secretary of

the Church of England traditionalist Anglo-Catholic group Forward in Faith, confirmed that he plans to join the ordinariate but that he had no idea how many people from his parish, St Stephen’s, would join him. Up to 50 of St Stephen’s 150-strong parish have expressed interest. At Kennington Park, south-east

London, Fr Christopher Pearson, parish priest of St Agnes, said he and most parishioners were as yet undecided on the ordinariate. Of about 110 parishioners, 15 to 20 had said they intended to join.

New bill a spur to establishment of Catholic academies

THE EXPECTED publication this week of the coalition Government’s Education and Children’s Bill is likely to pave the way for a growing number of Catholic schools to become academies, writes Jimmy Burns. Discreet negotiations in recent weeks have led to template versions of many of the more important documents needed to establish a church academy being agreed by the Department for Education (DfE), the Catholic Education Service (CES) and the National Society for Promoting Religious Education, representing Anglican Trustees and Dioceses. The CES is optimistic that the new bill, once enacted, will help resolve the outstanding issues with the ultimate decision on a school’s conversion to an academy residing with the local bishop. Oona Stannard, the director and

32 | THE TABLET | 29 January 2011

chief executive of the CES, said that “detailed talks” with the DfE officials and ministers regarding academies had focused on the “safe- guards which we want to see in place to protect the ethos of Catholic schools and the rights of trustees”.

According to Ms Stannard, the decision on

whether an individual Catholic school should apply to become an academy “rests, quite properly, with bishops and trustees”. The mood within government circles following the talks is also upbeat. A DfE spokesman said the DfE and the CSE had worked closely together to agree model articles of association and other relevant documentation to support the con- version of Catholic schools to academy status. “We are confident that Catholic schools should soon be able to gain the freedoms associated

with academy status, while maintaining the strong standards and ethos that has been developed in Catholic schools,” he said. According to information released to The

Tablet by the DfE this week, five Catholic schools have applied for academy status, all of them established by Catholic orders. They are St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School, Barnet; the London Oratory School; St Edward’s College, Liverpool; St Joseph’s College, Stoke-on-Trent; and St Anselm’s College, Wirral. Of the five, an academy order has been issued only for St Joseph’s. According to the DfE, the four Catholic-sponsored acad- emies open already are St Paul’s Academy, Greenwich; St Matthew Academy, Lewisham; De La Salle Academy, Liverpool; and John Henry Newman Catholic College, Solihull.

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