Thursday, 18 September 2008

Lauds at 9am was followed by the Requiem Mass for Dorothy at 10am. Dorothy was a member of our congregation whose life was underpinned by her Faith. She touched many lives and this was evident by the participation of the faithful to her funeral. Our prayers continue for the repose of her soul and for her family in this difficult time. After Mass we went to Cranbrook Cemetery, about 26 miles away in deep Kent countryside, where Dorothy was laid to rest awaiting the day of Glory.
From Cranbook Fr Mark drove to Rochester where some concerned priests had a meeting with the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali. Bishop Michael is a man of great knowledge and wisdom. I was encouraged about the way he stands up for the Faith. He listened to us, encouraged us and gave us wise counsel. He understands our position and shares in our concerns. Bishop Michael kindly gave us lunch and we ended by receiving his blessing. I left reassured that the Bishop of this diocese understands and appreciates my position. I look forward to welcome him at St John’s when he will preach to us on All Saints’ Day.
It is sad news that we receive from Wales. The bench of bishops (though with two vacant sees) have decided that no Episcopal provision will be given to those like me who in conscience can not accept the ordination of women. How can we believe those who constantly say that our relationship with the rest of the Church is one of trust when now the Welsh bishops say that the Provincial Episcopal Visitor (flying bishop) is not consistent with Anglican ecclesiology? This is exactly what will happen here when the statutory code of practice will be imposed. The code of practice is needed by statute but it will not be statutory to follow it.
A code of practice, statutory or not, will not do. We shall pray and fight for what we need.

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