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Ad Clerum Passiontide 2013

24th Mar 2013


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

A new Archbishop of Canterbury and a new Holy Father, both to inaugurate their new ministries in the same week, both renewing their commitment to Christ, his Church and the world in Passiontide. Both walking the Way of the Cross before proclaiming afresh the Good News of the Resurrection at Easter.

 

For both the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church, these are complex and challenging times. How to proclaim the truth revealed in the Scriptures and in the received tradition of the Church while recognizing and responding to the needs and demands of twenty first century life. Folks want simple answers to complex questions and are rightly impatient and frustrated with answers that seem to look to the past rather than to the future. Yet as Anglican Catholics, as we know to our cost, how difficult it is to hold the balance between the demands of contemporary society and the core teachings of the Christian faith.

 

‘What’s in a name?’ to quote Shakespeare.  ‘That which we call a rose 
by any other name would smell as sweet.’ Yet by choosing to be called Francis I, the Holy Father has signalled  that a new and fresh chapter is opening in the life of the Church. For most of us, we initially assumed that he was aligning himself with Saint Francis of Assisi, the most radically orthodox of medieval saints. Then we were told that for this Jesuit Pope, it is Saint Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Society of Jesus, missionary  and evangelist, who is both his inspiration and guide. We are now back to Saint Francis of Assisi, but I’m sure  we will discover that the charism of both saints will be expressed and lived out in the life and ministry of the new Holy Father.

 

Archbishop Justin may not have had the option to choose a new name at his enthronement in Canterbury but the first few months of his archiepiscopate with be crucial as he sets the agenda for our own Church of England. He has a proven track record in reconciliation and mediation both in the secular world and in the Church.  Let’s hope he can steer us in a way that allows  minority voices within the Church to be heard, valued and safeguarded.

Both Pope Francis I and Archbishop Justin need our daily prayer and intercession.

 

And so in this Year of Faith, within the See of Richborough, there are going to be six gatherings so that together we can affirm our faith and commit ourselves afresh to the person of Jesus. Five cathedrals and Saint Peter’s Harold Wood in Chelmsford diocese. The pattern of the day will be the same at each cathedral with a Eucharist, time  for lunch and then a short Bible study.

At Saint Peter’s there will be a word service in the morning followed by a picnic lunch and Bible study.

 

I am now well into my second year as Bishop of Richborough and it is a real joy and pleasure to be returning to parishes for a second and even third time. Thank you for your welcome, support and encouragement and for the steady flow of confirmation candidates. And if I have yet to visit you please invite me. One parish asked if I was willing to come on a ‘green Sunday’. Of course!

 

My work with the Catholic Societies Vocations initiative is developing and this year as well as the Vocations Conference at Saint Stephen’s House we have a BAP Preparation Day organized for 20 July and a Vocation Day on 30 November. And thanks to a generous grant from the Cleaver Trust there will be another IME conference in Walsingham this October.

 

Our time together in Chapters, as members of SSC and FCP and CBS continues to be crucial and we all need to make every effort to attend. I greatly value joining you at these meeting and look forward to them, even if it means several hours on the road!

 

Father Brian Tubbs has asked me to draw your attention to this year’s FCP residential in Walsingham. The Pilgrimage takes place from October 14 to 17 and has as its theme: Immersed in Priesthood: The Priest and Worship. As usual there are some first-rate speakers, and Bishop Martyn Jarrett has agreed to act as chaplain.

 

My new PA and Lay Chaplain, Guy Marshall is now working in the office on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.   If you havn’t had a chance to visit the new web site at Richborough Episcopal Area, it is worth a look. Please send Guy any material you think might be of interest. The office e mail is secretary@richborough.org.uk

 

I look forward to seeing you at one of the Chrism Masses, and please make every effort to bring your parish to a Year of Faith Celebration later in the year.

With  blessings,

 

Vacant Parishes

 

Ss Peter and Paul Fareham

Holy Cross Marsh Farm Luton

S. Mary Magdalene Harlow and S. Andrew North Weald

S. James Clacton

S. Augustine Grimsby

 

 

 

Chrism Masses

Leicester     S. Hugh Eyres Monsell    Wednesday   20 March at 7.30 pm
Portsmouth   Cathedral      Saturday 23 March at 11.00 am  
Chelsmford    Cathedral      Monday 
25 March at 12 noon
Canterbury   Cathedral      Tuesday 26 March at 12 noon
Walsingham Shrine  Wednesday 27 March at 12 noon

 

 

(Please take special note that the Leicester Chrism Mass has been changed to Wednesday 20 March

and at Walsingham you need to order your lunch in advance by telephoning  01328 820239)

 

 

Year of Faith Festivals

Norwich Cathedral    Saturday 18 May at noon
Harold Wood   Saint Peter  Saturday 25 May at 10.30
S. Albans  Cathedral    Saturday 10 August at noon
Canterbury  Cathedral    Saturday 24 August at 12.30
Lincoln Cathedral    Saturday 14 September at 12.30 (revised time)
Winchester Cathedral    Saturday 26 October at 12 noon

 

 

Prayer for the Year of Faith

 

Heavenly Father
 you have called us to pass through the door of faith into the fullness of life, and have shown us that faith bears fruit in hope and love. Arouse in us a deep desire for these gifts, which your Son bestows upon all who come to him. Help us to understand his teaching: proclaimed by the Apostles, confirmed by the Spirit, alive in the Scriptures, active in the Church, professed in the Creeds. Increase in us the love that casts out fear, that the whole Church may profess the faith with confidence and joy.
Enable us to hold open the door of faith, with its promise of salvation, to all people. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



 

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