Eight months ago yesterday also fell on a Sunday. It was Sunday 6th March 2011. It was for a group of us a significant Sunday. It was our last Sunday as Anglicans. It was the day I celebrated my last Eucharist as an Anglican priest. It was an emotional day. It was a day of thanksgiving for all the years and faces that led to it. It was a day of trepidation as we looked into the face of the unknown. It was a day of joy as it led us nearer to unity and communion with the See of Peter, whose occupant is the sign and servant of the unity of the universal Church. It was a day of sadness as we left behind people who mean a lot for us even though some of them decided to misunderstand us and misrepresent us as our lack of hesitation made them uncomfortable. For me it was a day that I led out of the Church of England a band of 40 good people and left behind 50 good people. Forty accepted the call from God and the Church for unity; we still love and pray for the other 50 and when they accept God’s call for unity they will find us welcoming them with open arms. No more no less. Our sincere prayer is for them to open their eyes.
Eight months later here we are. No misgivings at all but sheer joy that we have received so much as we followed Christ our Good Shepherd. There was no reason to doubt God’s providence. We left the CofE with nothing, even though the forty gave so much to it. God provided and the Catholic Church surrounded us by love and acceptance. We are now fed with the symphony of the true and full teaching of the Catholic Faith, served by a truly Catholic Priesthood, nourished by the Sacraments of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. We were never made to feel as second class Catholics as some might have suggested, not for a minute. The Sevenoaks Ordinariate Group is in good heart. With most now worshipping each Sunday in Westerham and new patterns of worship in Sevenoaks being explored, we are getting ready to receive the first new members since we were received during Holy Week.
God is good indeed and faithful to his word. We are living proof of this. If you are still undecided or maybe hesitant as you did not join the first wave, please do not be afraid to take the plunge. However daunting you may feel, and easy it most certainly is not, trust God, your new family awaits you with joy. I really cannot put words to the joy and relief that one experiences when being united or re-united with the See of Peter. Blessed be God for ever; he has done great things with us!