Posted on the 30th October 2019 in the category News
Priests and people from eight different dioceses filled the nave of Rochester Cathedral on Holy Cross Day, 14 September, as they joined with Bishop Norman Banks for his Richborough Family Festival.
A congregation of over four hundred, including the Bishop of Rochester, first participated prayerfully in a festival Mass, concelebrated by many priest-brothers of the Society of the Holy Cross, which co-sponsored the day as it marked its patronal commemoration.
Younger members of the congregation read and led the intercessions, with gift bags for their junior siblings. All present also took home Richborough Family wristbands, accessories which proved highly popular! In his homily, Bishop Norman reminded the congregation that in the Cross we find life, health and salvation, and thus that we should look for strength to the crucified Saviour in times of trial and distress.
There was time after Mass to explore the cathedral and city, with some pilgrims opting to eat their picnics in the grounds of Rochester Castle, and there to enjoy the day's fine weather. Other members of the Richborough Family visited the arresting "Knife Angel" installation in the cathedral garth, a peripatetic national monument against knife violence and aggression.
But before long it was time once more to worship, at a beautiful service of Choral Evensong with which the Festival drew to its close. Visiting musicians (members of "SiNG - the Travelling Evensong Choir") sang Bruckner, Brewer and Goss, and the diocesan bishop invited Bishop Norman to pronounce the final blessing.
The celebrations continued for some in a number of local restaurants and hostelries, while others boarded their coaches to return to their parishes, full of faith, hope and joy.
A similar celebration is proposed for 2020, to take place at Canterbury Cathedral. Further details will be made available in due course
Posted on the 30th October 2019 in the category News
A record number of people attended the Richborough Family Festival which took place at The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban on Saturday the 10th of August. For many years the Cathedral hosted a monthly Eucharist ‘Attended by members of Forward in Faith’ in the Lady Chapel and the Richborough Festival grew out of that, with a Sung Mass in the Lady Chapel followed by a picnic lunch in the Bishop’s garden at Parkside House. For the Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016 the service was moved into the cathedral nave due to the larger numbers expected, and the following year saw the Lady Chapel overflowing with the result that the service moved back into the nave for 2018 and 2019. This year several-hundred people attended, with many parishes organising coaches from as far afield as Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Walsingham.
The observance this year was St Lawrence, which as Bishop Norman reminded us in his homily, is sometimes spelt as Laurence in the Church of England. Lawrence was one of the seven deacons of the city of Rome under Pope Sixtus II who were martyred in the persecution of Christians that the Roman Emperor Valerian ordered in 258. The actual details of his martyrdom are thin; his examiners are said to have insisted he produce the Church treasures, for which he was responsible. He promptly did so: assembling all the poor, he is reputed to have said, “These are the treasures of the Church.” The story of his being put to death on a gridiron is a much later addition to his story, though he is invariably depicted holding such, as is customary for martyrs to hold the implement of their torture.
Following the Mass the majority of the congregation made the short walk to the Bishop’s garden to consume their picnics, accompanied by plentiful amounts of wine, tea and coffee. As has become the custom, a short Bible Study followed, delivered by Bishop Norman from the conveniently placed balcony, a vista not unlike St Peter’s in Rome (a fact not missed by the Bishop who began ‘Urbi et Orbi..’!). A short exposition of St Paul followed, though many of us had half an eye on the sky, the rain having only just held off.
With an hour or so to spare, many went off to sample all that St Albans had to offer in the way of shopping, before returning to the Cathedral for Choral Evensong at 4 p.m., superbly sung by the choir of St Luke’s, Chelsea, the Cathedral Choir being on their summer holiday.
With many of our churches spread far apart, festivals such as this provide an excellent opportunity for both clergy and people to come together and remind everyone of the importance of the Richborough Family.
Fr Benjamin Weitzmann
Posted on the 5th September 2019 in the category News
The AGM of the Church Union takes place on Wednesday 18th September 2019, at 2A The Cloisters, Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0A For any enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on the 27th June 2019 in the category Announcements
Together Online is an exciting email newsletter that will be launched in August, to keep everyone up to date with what is happening in the Catholic Societies and parishes affiliated to The Society. It will be released quarterly, in addition to the Together newspaper, and will include all of the latest news, as well as upcoming events and other things which we hope will be of interest.
We hope that this will be a great way of communicating all of the latest news from Catholic Anglicans.
To sign up to Together Online, please Click here
Posted on the 21st May 2019 in the category News
We are delighted to announce that Father Mark Catherall has been appointed as Parish Priest of Ss. Philip and James, Up Hatherley (where The Church Union are Patrons).
Please do pray for Fr Mark, and the parish of Up Hatherley. Pray too for Fr Mark's current parish of St Peter in Thornaby-on-Tees, as he prepares to leave. Details of the licensing are still being finalised