Friday, 1 April 2011

The Ordinariate in Scotland.

The Ordinariate evidently exists in Scotland: indeed the Lord Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness has a comment on its after effects on his blog (  To save hunting, I print the relevant section below:

"Ash Wednesday... 10.30am Eucharist in St Finbarr’s, Dornoch with a congregation form across Sutherland, 12.00 noon Eucharist in St Ninian’s, Invergordon and the people of North Ross-Shire, 4.15pm and I was leading the L’Arche community Ash Wednesday Service in Inverness and finally 7.30pm Mass at St Michael and All Angels, Inverness. This last service was important because this was the day that their former priest and a number of the congregation had crossed over to the Ordinariate. The congregation which gathered in this small and beautiful church were feeling lost, angry, abandoned but also determined to keep going. Twenty One people came together, one server doing the work of four, and a Deacon also playing the Organ (thank you Michael) and a Bishop trying to remember everything he needed to do. The congregation included three children and a teenager, as well as those who have worshipped here for many years; the faithfulness was powerful, the future beginning to look brighter.
Sunday and I was back at St Michael’s,  Sung Mass, lots of Incense, an interesting rendition of the Angelus and then a congregational meeting to elect new members to the vestry, to find a Lay Rep, to discover if the Sunday School would keep going, to recruit new servers, to prepare rotas and to discuss the future. I am delighted to report a full vestry, lay rep and alternate, Sunday school running and even a boat boy to train. Oh and one final vote, this one ended their membership of Forward in Faith!!"
Now, St Michael's Inverness isn't one of the bigger charges in the Province: indeed, it hasn't had a full time stipendiary Rector for most of the departing one's time there (he supplemented his part stipend with Chaplaincy and broadcasting work for many years.).  If there are 21 left in the pews, that is probably the majority of the regular congregation.  So the Scottish Ordinariate based in Inverness is probably less of a rush to Rome than a bus trip to Carfin in terms of numbers.  It has probably killed stone dead any continuing tolerance at an official level for Scotland's FiF.  Either fall in properly or fall out - you will no longer be negotiated with or given much credence as a voice of genuine dissent.  It now means that there are NO (read zilch, zip or nada as you prefer) FiF parishes anywhere north of Hadrian's Wall.  English liberals might like to apply for Scottish jobs soon.  FiF types need not bother in all probability.  The myth that was the unbending Catholicity of the SEC (if you understand Catholicity purely as an adherence to conservative Anglo-Catholic principles) has ended.  Instead, we move on as.. something interesting and rather Anglican.  Which we have been since 1689!


  1. I read this entry as well as the previous one on the ordinariate. I am a Roman Catholic, but I think that this initiative by Rome is too much like poaching.

    Everyone who wants to be able to make the change (and it can go either way) should be able to do so. Here in the US, there are some RC Anglican Usage parishes that use a modified form of the ECUSA BCP. This is fine for those who want that continuity, BUT I'm not sure if I agree with taking advantage of the current problems in the Anglican Communion to entice an exodus.

    I did spend some time in the Episcopal Church here and I do have a certain affinity for the Anglican spirituality. I must say that if I had been in Scotland among priests such as yourself and Fr. Kenny, I probably would have stayed. I was always rather Anglo-Catholic in my practice, but I was at a "snake-belly low" parish here. This probably contributed to my return to Rome.

    I do hope that the Anglican Communion maintains the diversity it has had and continues to flourish. God bless you, Fr. John.

    David Costa

  2. Interesting David. I have several friends who for a variety of reason have "crossed over" and have no problem with that. We are still friends. After all, a spiritual journey may lead you to unexpected places. But the whiff of poaching is too strong for my taste. and the Episcopal Church in Scotland is less liturgically diverse than some provinces. Few have incense frequently, but even fewer don't do vestments, Eucharist & Reserved Sacrament as the norm. We have a good collection of fromer Roman Catholics in the Church and they fir right in. We also generally get on well with our RC neighbours.. Diversity is a treasure that we like in small measure!

  3. Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for dropping by Inspector!

  5. "It now means that there are NO (read zilch, zip or nada as you prefer) FiF parishes anywhere north of Hadrian's Wall."

    According to the FiF website there is St Salvador's in Dundee, St Margaret's in Aberdeen and Greyfriars (St. Bride's) in Dumfries.

  6. Re St Salvador's a quote from their own web site; "St. Salvador’s is a small, friendly, traditional congregation of the Scottish Episcopal (Anglican) Church. We have a conservative catholic perspective, and many of our members are sympathetic toward (but we are not corporately affiliated to) “Forward in Faith”. " There is nothing on the St Margaret's web site to describe their status. However, the FiF website makes it clear that FiF affiliated parishes have a little FiF symbol next to them and none of the Churches listed in Scotland have this symbol. So it is actually correct to say that there are NO FiF parishes in Scotland in the sense that none are formally affiliated, save St Bride's Dumfries which only camre into existence in 2008 and has never claimed to be part of the SEC. Their website makes this clear: "The Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church have consistently refused to provide traditional Anglicans in Scotland with any level of Episcopal care. This action forfeits any claim that they have to be the sole representative of Anglicanism in Scotland. A balanced and Christian stance by the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church would have seen proper provision for traditionalists. For this reason we have been forced to look outwith Scotland for care.". I suppose they would be Anglican in the "Continuing" or "Traditional" sense and would appear in the Anglicans Online "Not in the Communion" section

  7. There is no such person as a 'Lord Bishop' in the Scottish Episcopal Church. The title 'Lord Bishop' applies to the English Church where diocesans are members of the government, i.e., the House of Lords. Such English titles bely the fact that the UK Government control the C of E.

  8. Well, crc my copy of the 1967 Scottish Episcopal yearbook disagrees with you - all 7 are referred to as "Lord Bishop". Check Crockfords for form: it applies to all Bishops including suffragans and not just those with seats in the Upper House. Debretts is clear:

    For England it says: "The recommended (social) style of address is as follows:
    Beginning of letter Dear Bishop/Dear Lord Bishop
    End of letter Yours sincerely
    Envelope The Rt Rev the Lord Bishop of Blank (or The Rt Rev the Bishop of Blank)
    Verbal address Bishop (or My Lord Bishop)
    Invitation The Bishop of Blank
    Joint invitation* The Bishop of Blank and Mrs Smith
    Description in conversation The Bishop of Blank
    List of Directors or Patrons The Bishop of Blank
    Place card The Bishop of Blank"

    Also: "Scottish Bishops are addressed in the same way as Irish Bishops, except for the Primus of Scotland who acts as the Presiding Bishop". And of the Irish it says: "Bishops are styled as for Diocesan Bishops in the Church of England, except for the Bishop of Meath (Premier Bishop of the Church of Ireland) who is styled "The Most Rev" instead of "The Rt Rev".

    This should take you there!