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Aunty o







August 2012

Coming soon to a parish near you...

an Ordinariate

Film Evening IT’S A way of raising funds – and it’s also a good way to bring people together, and to enjoy some superb films that we might not otherwise see.

It began at the 2011 Towards

Advent Festival at Westminster Cathedral Hall. Mgr Keith was one of the speakers, and we met in the hall as I was scurrying about organising things. “Is everything all right for your talk?” I asked. “Yes, of course...” he answered “But I’m not worried about that. What I’m interested in is the DVD you’re carrying. I’ve been wanting to watch that film for ages!”

It was an American film about Blessed John Paul, not

easily available in Britain, and I had been showing a short clip from it as part of another talk at Towards Advent. Tere and then I decided that we’d have an Ordinariate Film evening, and enjoy John Paul.

Everyone enjoyed the film Te evening we booked turned out to be bitterly

cold, and numbers were disappointing. But everyone enjoyed the film, and the whole event went well. We raised quite a bit from sales of coffee and cake. Te next was held at Croydon – in the (glorious and beautiful) church which the Ordinariate group had long loved and cherished and from which they were shortly to embark on a new pilgrimage...We had extremely good numbers on this occasion, lovely refreshments, a very special atmosphere.

All very high-tech Next came Balham, in the Holy Ghost parish in

Nightingale Square where young deacon – oops, now Father – James Bradley was then staying. We used the excellent facilities at Visitation House, right next to the church– all very high-tech with drop-down screen etc. – and everyone enjoyed snacks as they settled to watch the film, which was actually another one about JPII, a different version.


A great number of excellent films “Let’s do more” was the general cry aſter this,

so we certainly shall. Tere are a great number of truly excellent films that deserve to be watched in a communal and Catholic setting. Here are some for starters: Of Gods and men, the powerful depiction of the heroic monks martyred in Algeria in the 1990s, Te Scarlet and the Black, the classic film starring Gregory Peck as the wartime Monsignor who helped Allied prisoners and others in Rome, I Confess,

the ultimate

priest-can’t-reveal-confessional-secrets story, Te Keys of the Kingdom, Te Song of Bernadette, A Man for All Seasons ... and that’s before we even get to Bing Crosby and Going My Way and Te Bells of St Mary’s and all that, and epics such as Te Robe ... Ten think about some of the TV stuff that is now available on DVD – Brideshead, anyone? Brother Cadfael?

A decent venue is essential Interested? Te mix is: pleasant venue, wine, coffee

(NOTINSTANT! Te Real Ting!), light snacks, decent chairs, friendly chat and prompt start. It does require organising, and there are pitfalls (DVD gets stuck, screen is a nightmare to handle, etc.) And a LOT of good advance publicity in the parish and surrounding parishes is required, otherwise you get “Oh, if I’d known I’d have loved to come...I’ve always wanted to see that film” etc. A decent venue is essential – doesn’t have to be large, could even be someone’s home.

No fixed fee, this isn’t a commercial thing, and in any

case the film itself is free – it’s the coffee and snacks etc. for which people offer a donation. And the aim isn’t just to have a get-together or even to put some modest funding into the Ordinariate coffers: it’s also to offer the opportunity of enjoying something worth watching. Contact me at if you think this could work for your group.

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