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Ad multos annos!

Thursday, September 20, 2018




I started this blogling 13 years ago come December. I was then only slightly disillusioned a member of the CofE and was shortly to embark upon my journey out of Babel and towards the Unknown Region. Two years later, following a Synod Mass with Ordination, I was introduced briefly to a large and, to my mind, rather imposing Vicar General of what appeared to be a very grave and very earnest group of Christians. I left that Mass with the seeds of affinity down in me.

A further year later, that serious and imposing Vicar General was consecrated Bishop on 20th September 2008. It took a further three years before, following some initial enquiries, for that bishop to contact me, invite me to Mass and to talk.

I found that the grave Vicar General was personable, easy to talk to. He listened and understood. He had felt my pain at least a decade-and-a-half earlier than I had. And he presented me with a Church that sought authenticity.

I joined.

And I haven't looked back.

The priest, dear Fr Tim Perkins, whose ordination I attended back in 2007 which introduced me to the ACC, has since been gathered to God. Other priests have come and gone seeking their own devices and desires. I have seen Bishop Damien Mead suffer that pain on each occasion.

He has suffered injury, ill-health and even the odd brush with the Reaper. He has been defamed, denounced, and derided even by people whom he held dear.

He has given this Diocese stability and purpose. He has also given it a lot of work to do but he has rolled up his sleeves and done it too.

To many, this may all sound glib and nice and gooey and sentimental. Yet, if you check, I have given facts. A quick look back on this blogling may be in order.

I don't know what the future holds, but the Church has been given a mechanism to cope with uncertainty: it is called Hope. I truly perceive it in my Diocese and I hope Bishop Damien perceives it too for it is the fruit of his labour and the labour of those whom he has encouraged.

I pray to God asking the prayers of St Augustine of Canterbury, St Anselm, St Thomas Becket and St Damien of Molokai, that Bishop Damien may be given the strength to bear the maniple of tears and sorrow and that he may receive the true reward of his labours. I pray also for many more happy years as my bishop!

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