Friday 20 September 2013

Frank Erskine RIP

I was shocked and saddened to hear at lunchtime that Frank Erskine had died. I`d learnt recently that Frank had cancer. I last heard from him on Tuesday by email: Frank wrote to ask how the Brinkburn Mass had gone and again to hope all went well at Ryhope where it was my turn for the Missa Cantata on Wednesday. I`ve know Frank for as long as I`ve been celebrating the Tridentine Mass in the diocese which is since 1992. He was always supportive and, a keen photographer, he took many of the pictures of our Masses which appeared on Forest Murmurs. Our paths hadn`t crossed as much recently with me being out of the mainstream of the Extraordinary Form during my years in Forest Hall. For years Frank offered lifts to others with no transport to take them to Latin Masses. His dog, Pericles, often went with him and waited outside church. Frank was quiet but with a good sense of humour and kept up to date with developments regarding the Extraordinary Form. He was 65 years old.

His Requiem in the Extraordinary Form will be held at St Patrick`s, Ryhope on Tuesday 1st October at 9.30am and Fr Dickson will be the celebrant. Sympathy to his sister Bernadette and all the family. He will be missed. May he rest in peace.

Letter from Mgr Newton on the Ordinariate

Our own Ordinariate community at Gainford contnues to thrive. New members were recently received. I can`t find a webpage with a link to the story so here is the entry from the Ordinariate site

A former priest of the Traditional Anglican Communion, Ian Westby, was among four people received and confirmed into the Darlington Ordinariate group at St Osmund’s Church, Gainford in August. Music for the occasion included Gounod's Messe du Sacré Coeur dé Jesus, Brahms’ How lovely are thy dwellings fair; and Elgar’s Imperial March. The new members bring to nine the number received into the Darlington group this year.

 Mgr Newton has written a letter which Archbishop Nichols has asked we make available this weekend by reading or displaying it. The request is all a bit vague and may be ovelooked so I post here the text of Mgr Newton`s letter.

 Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Next Tuesday, September 24th, the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, is an
opportune moment to be invited to write to you about the Personal Ordinariate of
Our Lady of Walsingham, established two and a half years ago. I am grateful to your
bishop for giving me this opportunity to tell you about the contribution the
Ordinariate makes to the life and mission of the Catholic Church in our country.
Pope Benedict XVI established this new structure in 2011. He wanted to help groups
of Anglicans, who wished to bring with them some of the traditions and beauty of
the Anglican heritage in which they were nurtu-red, the ability to enter into full
communion of the Catholic Church.

Since then more than eighty former Anglican clergy have been ordained as Catholic
priests of the Ordinariate in England and Wales. They lead about 40 groups of former
Anglican lay people, as well as serving the wider Catholic Church as chaplains in
hospitals, prisons or schools or as diocesan priests. In London two churches have
been entrusted to us. Elsewhere, our groups celebrate Ordinariate Masses in
diocesan Catholic churches. We now have our own Ordinariate rite, which draws on
those elements of the Anglican tradition which are consistent with Catholic teaching.
As it is gradually introduced, it will add to the distinctive character of our worship.
Already, one of the jewels of the Anglican tradition, choral Evensong, is being
regularly celebrated by the Ordinariate in some Catholic churches.

The Ordinariate adds to the rich diversity of the Catholic Church. Any Catholic is free
to take part in the life and liturgy of the Ordinariate and receive the Sacraments from
its clergy. Our priests are just like any other Catholic priests. By attending an
Ordinariate Mass, you are fulfilling your obligation, just as you would by going to any
Catholic church in the world. Members of the Ordinariate are likewise free to attend
Mass in any Catholic church, being truly and fully members of the Catholic Church.
People coming to our Masses have spoken positively about the conviction of our
preaching, our strong musical tradition and hymn singing, our pastoral outreach and
the welcoming nature of our gatherings afterwards. This puts us in a strong position
to play a full part, with the whole Church, in the urgent task of the New

Like many members of the Church of England, in which I was ordained for over 35
years, I longed and prayed for union with the Catholic Church and the Ordinariate
was a personal fulfilment of those prayers. It has been an incredible and uplifting
journey for us all, full of grace, joy and blessings. Of course, we have experienced
hardship and sacrifice as well. For many, especially those of our priests who are
married with families, there has been great financial uncertainty; for us alt it has
meant leaving friends and familiar places of worship in the Church of England. We
ask for your encouragement, your support and your prayers.

You may ask why we did not become Catholics in the usual way. It is a reasonable
question but misses the most important point about the Ordinariate, that it is "a
prophetic gesture that can contribute positively to the developing relations between
Anglicans and Catholics" and "It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all
ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of
which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves
as an enrichment to us all" (Benedict XVI, Address to the Bishops, Oscott College,
September 2010}.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has begun in a small way but it
is a concrete expression of the Church's desire to fulfil our Lord's command that
'they may all be one'. It is a small step towards healing one of the most damaging
wounds of our history: the dividing of Christ's Body, the Church in this land.
With the assurance of my prayers for the whole Church as we all seek to be faithful
to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monsignor Keith~

More information about the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham can be found
on our website

Friday 13 September 2013

A trip to Chislehurst

Last weekend I enjoyed a brief stay at St Mary`s, Chislehurst with Fr Briggs. On Sunday we were joined for lunch by Fr Finigan and later by Mulier Fortis. There is a photo of we three priests out there somewhere but it`s not emerged yet.  Chislehurst has a lovely parish church, a very congenial liturgy and a most informative website, which is well worth a visit. The above picure is of Fr Briggs` Silver Jubilee Mass in 2011. St Joseph`s, Gateshead has a website too but I`ve yet to meet the webmaster. My Silver Jubilee is drawing close and I must start thinking about it but first I have my induction Mass on Thursday.

UPDATE; 15.09.13
Thanks to the Mulier Fortis for the plug. Here is the picture I mentioned by Michael Davies` grave.

Wednesday 11 September 2013


Rather late but I hope everyone who is thinking of coming knows that the annual Solemn High Mass at Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland takes place this Saturday at noon. The Schola Sancti Bedae will sing the proper and the Rudgates will sing Byrd`s Mass for Four Voices. Here`s some footage  from 2008`s Mass.

Me too.

Here we go

Thought I better put smoething here just to show it is starting up. This is only a first draft of the template. I have a few posts in mind so will be back soon.