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Anglican parish opens doors to Catholic pupils

For probably the first time since the Reformation a Catholic bishop has celebrated Mass in one of Dover’s Church of England churches

By on Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Fr Colin Johnson, left, with Bishop John Hine and others outside St Peter and St Paul’s in Dover

Fr Colin Johnson, left, with Bishop John Hine and others outside St Peter and St Paul’s in Dover

For probably the first time since the Reformation a Catholic bishop has celebrated Mass in one of Dover’s Church of England churches.

Bishop John Hine was in Dover to mark the start of the golden jubilee year of the town’s St Edmund’s Catholic secondary school. But the school roll is now so large that it is not possible to fit all the pupils and staff into the local Catholic church.

So with the approval of the Anglican Bishop of Dover, the Rt Reverend Trevor Willmott, Fr Colin Johnson invited the school to hold its big St Edmund’s Day service in his church, St Peter and St Paul’s on Friday November 18.

More than 700 people – pupils, staff, guests and clergy – filled the church for a Mass of Thanksgiving, celebrated by Bishop Hine, auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Southwark, and assisted by clergy from the area.

Fr Johnson was invited to act as MC and thurifer for the Mass.

  • Guest

    All Church of England Churches should be Catholic anyway.  The COFE is dying.  The only Church in the UK growing is the Catholic Church so please give us back our property.

  • Mariano Barrientos

    Is not these what John Paul II was TALKING about. And did not walk the talk?

  • A. Mile

    The Anglican “Church” is disappearing anyway…  This is just a restoration…. A shame to see the altar girls though (could they smile any more smugly) … why don’t we learn form the Anglican negative example that liberalism leads to loss of faith and a dissipation of Church…

  • Anonymous

    Evangelical churches are said to be growing, including house churches; the Catholic Church’s membership is mostly lapsed, and it loses members as well as gaining them. A lot of those counted in censuses  have gone elsewhere by the time the figures are published, but the Church tends not to publicise the stats relating to the exit of Catholics from the Church. This inflates the numbers of Catholics, making us seem more numerous than we are.

    The death of the C of E has been predicted at intervals since the 19th century. It will survive; it’s no more dead in the UK than the CC is. They are – almost – interchangeable, apart from stats. Anglicanism world-wide would survive even if the C of E were to give up the ghost tomorrow. 

    As for getting back our property – what about maintenance ? Durham Cathedral would have to be altered a good deal to be a Catholic church again; & there simply isn’t the money. And where would Anglicans worship ? They can’t all fit in the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool. Would Durham have a Catholic bishop to go with a re-Catholicised Cathedral ? Rome might not want to split Hexham and Newcastle – & it’s not as though England were not already crawling with Catholic bishops. They don’t grow on trees. The Cof E has far more money than the CC in England & Wales, and it can hardly maintain its churches anyway – the CC is far to poor to afford such massive expenses.

    The idea’s attractive – but a complete non-starter. 

  • Mariano

    I am so glad the Anglican Church is truly open to Ecumenism and not the vatican’s diarrea of the mouth,