I attended the local Anglo Catholic for the last of my four weeks yesterday. I have been asked to write up my experiences for my DDO and reflect on what I found new and exciting, what I thought was curious and what I found difficult. Since I’ve had some time today and while it is still fresh, I’ve sat down to write up my thoughts so here they are (names have been removed to protect the innocent):
I have just finished reading The Curate’s Guide, edited by John Witcombe and published by Church House Publishing. While the quality of the writing varied depending on which of the authors had been allocated a particular subject, in general it has been a very good read and a book I’m very glad I picked up. Although titled for Curates (in a two part series with a book for Vicars), the book actually starts right at the start with the process of discernment and selection which is where I am at right now and thus primarily why I did read it.
I attended the Anglo Catholic church for the second time this Sunday just gone. Again, a baptism with a mass… again, more official Anglican liturgy in my own church than was the case in the Anglo Catholic one. Irony of ironies.
What did strike me this Sunday was the importance of scripture in their service inasmuch as the gospel procession, taking the book to the middle of the congregation with great ceremony to be read and all the singing and liturgy that accompanied it gave the gospel a tremendous centrality to the liturgy as a whole and seemed to underline its importance to the church.
I received a letter from the Bishop of Tonbridge when we got back from Somerset welcoming me to the process and, I guess, covering their bases by putting in lots of caveats and underlining that while I may be sure that this is what God wants, it may not necessarily work out that way… although he didn’t actually say that and worded it far more carefully.