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.