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Why do Catholics become Anglicans?

We must take a leaf out of the evangelicals’ book in trying to attract people back to Catholic churches

By on Wednesday, 30 November 2011

My last posting about those Catholics who attend Anglican services thinking that they are Catholic services generated rather a lot of comments, one of which gave me pause. I am unable to find this comment in the plethora of contributions, but it was from an Anglican vicar who said that up to half of the congregation in one of his churches consisted of former Roman Catholics.

Indeed this is a recognised phenomenon and I too have come across it: people who swim the Tiber in reverse. We are not talking here of those tourists in London who go to a service in an Anglo-Catholic Anglican Church which they assume is High Mass, but rather those Catholics who live here and who have joined Anglican parishes, effectively becoming ex-Catholics.

Some, I think, would rather like to ignore this trend, or claim that the numbers are too few to be worth talking about; but I think it would make sense to ask ourselves why this happens, and see if there is anything we can do to improve our own parishes, if indeed people are leaving because of dissatisfaction with their parishes.

Here are a few reasons why Catholics become Anglicans, in my experience:

Firstly, marriage, and in recent times, civil partnerships: Because the Anglican church will often bless unions the Catholic Church does not recognise, some people have gone to the vicar for weddings or services of blessing and then stayed with the vicar’s community.

Secondly, aesthetic reasons: I know of some who have decided that their pretty village church with its warm-hearted community is the place where they want to be. Many of these people, in my experience, have not been particularly religious. While they may consider themselves parishioners, they would but infrequently go to the Anglican Church.

Thirdly, church politics: usually when people have a blazing row with the parish priest over the positioning of the hymn board or some other cutting edge matter, they vamoose to another parish. Sometimes, though I have heard of only one case, they storm off “to join the other lot”, as they put it.

Fourthly, female ordination: some Catholic women have left the Church to join the Anglicans so that they can be ordained. Some lay people may have joined the Anglicans because they support female ordination.

The above would all be significant but relatively small groups of people. The single largest phalanx of ex-Catholics, as far as I can gather, as those lukewarm Catholics who have been evangelised by Anglicans and have joined a thriving and lively evangelical congregation. My evidence for this is anecdotal, but my guess is that a place like Holy Trinity Brompton contains a significant number of people who were baptised Catholics, but who have now come to Jesus through the Alpha course. So, what should we do?

Instead of getting hot under the collar, I think we should all agree that there is no substitute for good liturgy and good pastoral practice; and that we should try and make our parishes as welcoming and as friendly as possible. And we should not turn our noses up and providing a good aesthetic experience for the glory of God.

But it must go further. We also need to realise that there has to be sound teaching and sound learning of the doctrine of the faith. And we need to take a leaf out of the book of churches like Holy Trinity Brompton. We have got to be more evangelical. And as I write this, I am conscious of just how much I fail to be sufficiently evangelical. Catholics, and especially Catholic clergy, who scoff at the evangelicals make a huge mistake. We have got a lot to learn from them: their dedication, their sound adherence to the Creeds and the Bible, their strong moral positions, their pastoral planning and methodology, their deep personal faith, all these have much to recommend them.

So, I think we can learn from the Rev Nicky Gumbel; and from St Charles Borromeo too, come to think of it, and the Curé of Ars, and all the other great pastoral saints in our tradition.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith

    This article is not meant to be in any way exhaustive, as the phrase “in my experience” makes clear. In fact all the people I know who have made the switch have said to me that the switch was easily made because the Catholic and Anglican Churches are “the same” or “almost the same”.

    When it comes to matters of conscience, people must follow their consciences, as the Church itself teaches.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith

    Now that is an interesting testimony. Thanks for contributing, Sue.

  • Lawrence

    I just want to remind the readers that those who leave the catholic church actually don`t have genuine reason why they do leave.That`s why so many Anglicans who were once Catholics do come back.

  • Anglican Fr Ted

    “Firstly, marriage, and in recent times, civil partnerships: Because the Anglican church will often bless unions the Catholic Church does not recognise, some people have gone to the vicar for weddings or services of blessing and then stayed with the vicar’s community.” If you were suggesting it, please be aware that the Church of England does NOT bless Civil Partnerships.

  • Lawrence

    I pity you my brother,you left the catholic church to the protestant one.Now you left the Holy Eucharist and you think you will ever find Him?.
    Better come back home.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith

    Yes, indeed…. the CofE does have that policy, but individual vicars do break the rules.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith

    Sorry, policy is the wrong word to use. The Church of England does not allow blessings of civil partnerships.

  • NormalCatholic

    In the (RC) Parish Church I attend we have lost more than half of the parishioners over the last three years through age and the fact that the new priest is an argumentative, antisocial sod. I still go, but I’d be very hard pushed to recommend it to someone seeking faith – i’d suggest the next Church along, but it’s closing in February.

  • Kristina

    Jeannine – have you spoken to ex Catholics who are now attending churches such as HTB? I have & I can tell you that the reasons you state above lack insight. HTB is a church which helps people to know Jesus in a personal way, to receive the Holy Spirit in power. The ones I have spoken to & I have spoken to many of them, say that before their faith was dead but now it is alive. They see the Catholic church as all bells & smells but no Holy Spirit.(I know this is not true).

    Incidentally I was an Anglican who attended a similar church to HTB but have now become Catholic. I have the best of both – baptism of the Holy Spirit, having a personal relationship with Jesus &… the sacraments etc. Actually through this the Holy Spirit has shown me that the full truth is expressed in the Catholic church. If the Catholic church can take the best from churches like HTB running courses such as Alpha to introduce baptised Catholics to Jesus in a personal way & really seeking to create discipleship groups in parishes like the pastorates in HTB then wow! You’ll see them swimming back again I am sure!

  • Paul Waddington

    I think you will find that you will find that the congregation at Latin Masses is well mixed as regards age.  Yes, there may be a bias towards the middle classes, but probably no more so than in the church as a whole.  I believe that this is because the Catholic church as a whole has neglected the working classes in recent decades.  In this they have followed the lead of the Established church which has neglected these people for decades.

  • James

    I suspect that some Catholics become Anglicans because they do not wish to be associated with the uncharitable, dogmatic bigotry which, sadly and depressingly, so often raises its head in the comments columns of the CH. 

  • Poppy Tupper

    Yes, they were/are Anglicans in just the same way that Schillebeeckx and Kung are Catholics. Try again.

  • Poppy Tupper

    It is not to the credit of the Alexander Lucie Smith or the Catholic Herald that they allow so many of your comments to go unmoderated. Most sites like this do not tolerate personal attacks.

    I have never had my own blog, so I am not quite sure what you are referring to. You once tried to link me to something that was supposed to be an appreciation site for Archbishop Carey  … as if!

  • http://profiles.google.com/tobfor2 Phil Steinacker

    What  you call “uncharitable, dogmatic bigotry” is nothing more than the inability to defend desired but erroneous beliefs and the behaviors they support against a Church who is called to teach, and where necessary, admonish those who insist on their own way as they drift out the door.

    Such caterwauling avoids having to face the reality of being just plain wrong and not wanting to hear about it. We have your sort in America, too, and I encourage them to join the Episcopalians (American Anglicans, of a sort) and Lutherans rather than disrupt our Church agitating for everything to be the way they want like teen-agers.

    I know what I’m talking about – I left the Catholic Church for 31 years precisely to live the way I – and not the Church – determined was OK. Believe me, doing as you please as a secular is a lot less work than pretending to be a Catholic Christian while you spin fantasies hiding the truth that you aren’t, although I suppose doing so a roogue Catholic in a protestant ecclesial community might be more manageable than pulling it off in the true Church.

    Face it: you lack the humility to to live in any way other than what YOU want. Nothing has changed since the dawn of time.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tobfor2 Phil Steinacker

    Edwards-j18 is spot on. People leave the Church – as I did for three decades – for one simple reason, at bottom, which covers all the others you can list. There is at least one teaching which they want to go away – and it won’t. So they go away. Such a departure is NOT really because of a genuine theological disagreement; very few have had sufficient theological study and a corresponding prayer life to go deep on such matters, and if the prayer life was realy developed their conclusions would be framed with genuine humility. Rather, the offending teaching is an obstacle to living exactly as they wish without being made to feel bad or scared of the consequence in the afterlife.  

    This is no surprise. Luther wan’t much of a theologian and suffered terribly from scrupulosity, which messed up his head so badly that he led what eventually became millions out of the Church when he had little theological & scriptural background to warrant such a leadership role. He instinctively recognized some abuses, yes, but his pride led him to bolt so he failed to join that list of saints who humbly obeyed at the time of unjust discipline by superiors only to be restored later and recognized for the holiness they carried within. Such humility doesn’t come cheaply, and frauds and show-offs need not apply.

    In the modern age the constant mantra behind departures from the true Church is that now we are all so educated and so well-informed (compared to those ignorant but saintly rubes who meekly and obediently served the Church even as some of its ecclesial authoriities sinned mightily) that when we see anything we don’t like we ID it as “wrong” according to our lights and then either dissent or leave. Nobody likes how it feels to be wrong and so we go to great lengths to fabricate out of whole cloth specious justifications for our running away from inconvenient Church teaching. 

    We insist we are right and 2,000 years of wisdom & truth taught since the Apostles and the early Church Fathers MUST be wrong for the sake of our personal convenience. It never occurs to us to consider how highly we think of ourselves and our powers of reasoning. I guess someone must have sneakily slipped you the theological depth of St. Theresa of Avila or another Doctor of the Church when you weren’t looking – kind of a spiritual mickey.

    You’d think from such excuse-making that no one realizes that heretics in the first 10 centuries of Church history actually put far more thought into their dissent than modernists. Today’s theological wonders are driven merely by the desire to do what they damned well FEEL like while also feeling damned good about it – and themselves.

    Before you launch into a more detailed critique to justify your abandonement of the true Church, let me clarify that I don’t defend any objectively sinful and wrong behavior by anyone in the Church; sexual abuse is a modern but relevent example – there have always been others. Certainly there has been over time sinful behavior at every level of authority as well as rampant among the laity. After all, that is why there is the Church – as a hopsital for sinners. But even those who attend the sick can become infected and sick themselves – and they do.

    The Church is sinful because we are all sinful, and it is holy because the Head of our Church is Holy. On matters of faith and infallible dogma there is no budging, and on those things not infallible to which we object we have the obligation to obey with humilty until some of those things are changed. There is history in the Church to support this having been done by many men and women holier and more humble than thee and me, to be sure.

    It is not too much for the same to be asked of you and me. As for the hard, unchangeable teachings with which you disagree, maybe – just maybe – the Church has been right for 2,000 years and you are wrong. As for the supremecy of conscience, that is not a hall pass to rationalize your way out of any morally untenable dilemma you face by labeling your preferred outcome as a manifestation of your “conscience.” Your conscience must be well-formed, and the Church is the authority on guiding us in that formation. Would your conscience today hold up to such scrutiny? It’s not looking too good for that.

  • Honeybadger

    Er, hello?!?! Duh?! Why aren’t our elders and betters in the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and our own priests not giving ‘New Evangelisation’ the treatment it deserves as in motivating Roman Catholics?

    Has the ‘Benedict Bounce’ gone from their bungee? Once the Holy Father’s gone back to Rome on his plane, vapours fizzle from Shepherd 1 into UK airspace and we all go back to our lazy, wishy washy faith. 

    No, our esteemed Archbishop of Westminster is too busy giving the oxygen of publicity to civil partnerships, causing more discord amongst Roman Catholics here.

    I Follow Peter!

  • Poppy Tupper

    Another phenomenon that ALS might like to consider is why so many Anglicans who become RCs then return to the Anglican church. This is most common among clergy converts (wait for the first Ordinariate returns any time now) but is also frequent enough amongst laypeople too. 

  • Jeannine

    Yes I have. Over 50% of my local Anglican parish’s members are ex-Catholics who left because of their disagreement w/1 of the above mentioned Catholic teachings. Those I knew who wanted a personal relationship w/Jesus but could not find it in the Catholic Church went to the Evangelical churches. 

  • Jeannine

    Unfortunately for you the priest was correct. He should have been sympathetic & explained to you why.

    If your wife went straight to the tribunal office, I’m sure some financial arrangements could have been made to offset her annulment expenses. Dioceses are not in the market to make money from the annulment process but they do have to pay the employees who support the tribunal office.

  • Apostolic

    You are the one who gets personal and uses terms such as `creepy’, `weirdo’ and `thicko’. I would never use such words. Other contributors on here will already be familiar with your angry interventions. Your general attitude is about as removed from the most basic Christian ethics of any denomination as one could get. And, yes, you did indeed run that sordid website until it was shut down. You spent months insulting Fr Ed Tomlinson and disrupting his blog. I hope that Fr Alexander is not now becoming a replacement target for your embittered sectarian attention. You hate Catholics and Catholicism. You hate the Ordinariate. You hate Evangelicals. You have a fairytale version of Anglican church history. All this is clear. You have made your points about these. Why do you keep disrupting other people’s mature discussions with your bigotry? I wonder.

  • Anonymous

    Why not show what’s wrong with the post ?  Just possibly, those who consecrated Sumner, Ryle & Carey knew those men were Evangelicals. What gives you the right to deny they were ? Or to deny that Stott was, or that Packer is ?  Or to deny that people can be both Evangelical & Anglican ?

  • Anglicann Fr Ted

    The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It worships the one true God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    It professes the faith that is uniquely revealed in the Bible and set forth in the Catholic Creeds (the statements of faith developed in the Early Church that are still used in the Church’s worship today). The Church is called to proclaim that faith afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, the Church of England bore witness to Christian truth in historic texts that were developed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal (services for ordaining bishops, priests and deacons).

  • particular pants

    I would much rather people left than remain as disaffected “catholics” within the Church. We should applaud their honesty. In any case this probably involves tiny numbers of people. Sadly my local Anglican congregation is twelve people. Quite possibly half of them are ex Catholics. Well I think you can do the maths.
    I think we really need to stop navel gazing and realise that constant chatter about who has chosen which church doesn’t mean a thing to the majority of this country who know nothing and care even less about any form of religion

  • Poppy Tupper

    The same right by which you declared Karl Rahner not a proper Catholic.

  • Poppy Tupper

    A personal relationship with our Lord is found in the Eucharist, not in some imaginary ‘Harvey the White Rabbit’ type friend, which is what “evangelicals” usually mean by the term.

  • Poppy Tupper

    Soz. I was thinking of Walid Jumblat, obviously.

  • Jose M Spinoza

    My parish church used to be Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome with Bernini’s St. Theresa in Ecstasy. When I came to England in the early 1960’s there were still some beautiful churches with altar rails and Stations of the Cross, but now most of these have been desecrated (no longer sacred) and look more like Hollywood film sets. I attend a village Anglican church that was built in 1180 and has been in use ever since. The vicar has been ordained a Catholic priest (Maynooth) but left the Catholic Church in disgust. He has always celebrated the Latin mass and the church is usually crowded because there is a sense sanctity that God is present. He kept his vows, but not his obedience to a corrupt materialistic bishop who accepted bribes (commission) from funeral directors to send business his way and covered up many instances of child sexual abuse. One mile away there is a modern new Catholic Church that also serves as a community centre and bingo hall (gambling in church). [Matthew 21:12f.; Mark 11:15-17; Luke] The choir is a like rock band and the priest sort of jives to the music. It is really wonderful and the children seem to love all the “happy-clappy” atmosphere. I say “live and let live”, but it is not for me, because I can get that sort of thing just as easily in a nightclub.

  • Apostolic

    I sympathise entirely with your disappointment regarding the desecration of Catholic churches in this country and happy-clappy music, which, in my part of the country, also infects the CofE in a major way. Nevertheless, this is no excuse for apostasy, either your apostasy or that of the former priest, whose services are objectively invalid. Your church may have had continuous worship since 1180 but it has not had continuous Catholic worship. You might as well add on previous pagan worship, if, as is often the case, the church was built on a pre-Catholic pagan site. It is not the Catholic Church’s fault that her ancient churches, one of which you now attend, were confiscated, and that Catholics must now often attend Mass in modern buildings. Corruption and particularly child abuse is always to be deplored, but both are by no means unique to the Catholic Church – adjusted to scale these infect all churches, and it should be recalled that child abuse is most common in families, with married men as the chief culprits. In Australia, for example, abuse reached the highest circles of the Anglican church. Archbishop Peter Hollingworth of Brisbane was forced to resign as Australian Governor General in 2003 because it was revealed that he had covered up child abuse. You will find that Australian Anglicans are generally reluctant to make any sectarian accusations against the Catholic Church about abuse. I very much agree that `nightclub’ happy clappydom is to be avoided, whatever the denomination, but authentic Christianity is about more than pretty buildings, however ancient or purloined from the Catholic Church. Rather go a few more miles down the road for a valid Mass than a service no more valid than one offered by an apostate nightclub owner.

  • Jose M Spinoza

    Please explain: If a priest has been ordained in a Catholic seminary, and is posted to a corrupt parish with a fraudulent bishop and decides to leave in disgust, then why is his action invalid? This priest has retained his priestly vows and celebrates Holy Mass on a properly consecrated altar stone blessed and sanctified by the Catholic Church. Please justify how does his action become invalid? I would love to hear an objective coherent argument (not conjecture or supposition) to justify your stance.

  • Apostolic

    I cannot answer for that priest’s conscience. Neither would I attempt to suggest that his bishop had/has not a serious case to answer,if the situation you describe is true. Nevertheless, there are always channels for a priest in his position to pursue. Nothing, even the hard case you describe, can ever justify apostasy. According to the case you describe the priest has openly abandoned the authority of the Catholic Church and transferred his allegiance to one which remains in principled rejection of papal authority and is out of communion with the Catholic Church. He has no more retained his priestly vows than Luther, Zwingli, Bucer, and any other apostate priests. Most pre-Reformation altar stones were destroyed by the Reformers, but it doesn’t matter what rite he conducts in such circumstances; these rituals would be equally invalid. This is not said with any satisfaction but rather it is the objective canonical situation. As for the degree of culpability of individuals who embark on such a course or support them, only Almighty God can judge, but we can reliably suppose that it would be difficult for a conscience thus properly informed to plead ignorance.  

  • Claude Gavroche

    I was six months from ordination and I had grave doubts about the ministry of the priesthood (administration). We had already become proficient at celebrating mass (everything except the consecration) every day, and we were concentrating on our pending parochial role to come. The problem for me was the authority, or more correctly the authoritarian attitude of the Catholic Church. We were trained to be authority figures and that individual opinions and attitudes did not matter. We were expressly told that what the people thought was of little consequence and we had to ensure that the teaching of the Church and the authority of the Pope was paramount, and the Pope was to be revered like a like a medieval king who must be obeyed under pain of death. I could not reconcile this theological thuggry with my conscience, because to me, individual freedom to think and reason, and express opinions did matter.  The fullness of time has demonstrated that the authority of the Pope is virtually meaningless and the opinions of individuals do matter. (foolishly called secularism and modernism). I can understand what the priest did, and why because the church has been shown, time and time again to be absolutely corrupt. So if this priest has given counsel and comfort to probably thousands of parishioners, you view it as meaningless, just because de defied the Roman Emperor (Pope). It is time that the Emperor pope got some ‘new clothes’ for the Grand Finale of the Catholic Church

  • Apostolic

    You are by no means either the first or the last to predict such a grand finale, so no need to feel original. Throughout such predictions over the centuries the reformed communities continue to fragment, based as they are on individual private judgement, and the Catholic Church has continued to grow. As ever, Time, that infallible judge, will tell.

  • Apostolic

    The established (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland makes similar assertions regarding its fidelity to the early Church, despite the Reformation, and at the time of coronation the Supreme Governor of the Church of England (who is a member but not Governor of the CofS and worships as a Presbyterian when in Scotland) swears also to defend the “security” of the Church of Scotland. From the Catholic point of view, both national churches broke away from the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century. Both are not only in schism (as the Orthodox are) but broke the apostolic succession, in the English case under the Elizabethan succession in which the overtly Protestant ordinal of Edward VI came into play, and in any case it is clear that those who would have transmitted holy orders did not in the main intend to transmit these in a Catholic sense. It is true that some of the outward appearances – hierarchical offices etc – were retained in the CofE, and that elements within it in the nineteenth century sought to recover a long-lost Catholic understanding of the Church. Many of these, inevitably doubtful about the validity of their ordinations have tellingly sought valid orders from schismatic Catholics – the so-called `Dutch Touch’. Nonetheless, no more than the Church of Scotland, the Church of England has broken with both the Apostolic Succession and the practice of the Catholic Church, as can be seen from its manifest rejection of the views of both the Catholic (Latin and Eastern Rite) and Orthodox Churches. It has always been far closer to Geneva than Rome and recent decisions have merely demonstrated this for all to see.

  • Poppy Tupper

    It’s no way growing in Ireland! The Church of Ireland is, though.

  • Apostolic

    Look up Rev Nangle’s ill-fated mission to Achill, and be prepared to join the legions of the disillusioned…

  • Apostolic

    And Ireland is a tiny part of the Church in any case. 

  • Apostolic

    The Baha’i, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and virtually every other minority religion is growing in Ireland, but I don’t see mass apostasy to any of these happening any time soon. Whatever the numbers, I don’t see a Church of Ireland “rapture” happening any time soon either.

  • Poppy Tupper

    Then add in France, Spain, Germany, Brazil…

    RCism is growing in Africa – but so are other denominations.

    Who is Mr Nangle and why is he relevant.

  • Apostolic

    Rev Edward Nangle believed that the kind of mass apostasy you anticipate was imminent in famine-era Ireland, and against much advice to the contrary from his fellow CofI clergymen went to found an industrial settlement in Achill Island. Many hungry people drifted in and for a while he was happy that he had made sound, industrious, hymn-singing converts, purged of all popish superstition; but when better times returned these drifted away, his fellow clergymen were vindicated and he died a broken man. The wind now howls through the ruins of his hard work which began with such high hopes. 
    The native Irish make such bad Protestants…The same will happen now.

  • Poppy Tupper

    Sounds as ill-starred as Bungling Bens ordinariate then!!

  • Apostolic

    Perhaps so; perhaps not. Time will tell.

  • Poppy Tupper

    Probably what your Mr Nangle said too. By the way, what is that nonsense about Irish making bad Protestants. I’m sure that Dr Paisley thinks he is a rather good one.

  • Apostolic

    Indeed probably so, and Time has told. Regarding the good Dr Paisley, he, by his own explicit estimation, is not “Irish” but Scots and a product of the Ulster Plantation of the 17th Century.

  • Peter

    Some Catholics will join anglo catholic Anglicans because they adhere more to the traditional liturgy than do “trendy” Catholic priests who like to improvise as they go along, beliveing the liturgy to belong to them personally and as such being subject to manipulation according to their whim, instead of being the unassailable property of the Church.

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  • Holly Scordo

    I grew up Anglican.  Four years ago (at the age of 30) I became Catholic.  As a cradle Episcopalian I can tell you that the Episcopal church NEEDS the Catholic church because a majority of parishioners become Episcopalians because they are upset with the Catholic Church for one of the above mentioned reasons. 
    Having said that, it is completely foolish to think the Episcopal Church is flourishing.  It is not.  As the requirements of social conformity that required church membership have faded, the Episcopal Church in very real trouble.   Mainline Protestants are experiencing the exact rate of decreasing church attendance as American Catholics. 
    Liturgy, pastoral care, and a real community are what we Catholics have to offer the world.  Let’s be the Church.      

  • Minidvr

    I was born and raised as a Catholic, although I didn’t experience much peace and mercy from the Church during it.   There was hope of change after Vatican 2 – but that seems to have been squandered over the past 30 years or so.   Tied down and held back by backward looking Bishops and the leadership now appears frail and vulnerable.   The lack of local autonomy and centralised direction from Rome, fails to allow the church the freedom to work and minister in its local context.

    I can only say that I left the Catholic Church because of the authoritarian experience I had with them and disagreement with doctrines, which I could just not believe in, let alone ‘Father knows best’ in peoples lives and relationships.   I abandoned Christianity altogether.
    20+ years later Jesus found me, and I found the Church of England – its theology, liturgy belief system is both Reformed and Catholic together, The difference being authenticity and authority, blended with freedom of thought and expression.   Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s not as defective as I found Rome to be.  

    I have met Catholic priests more recently, who have a much more pastoral approach to their ministries, but they seem to be few and far between.   I can’t say that I’ve been tempted to return.  I’ve made a commitment to my parish and life within the CofE and have absolutely no regrets about it.  My conscience is clear – I continue to serve God, through Jesus Christ, but in a place which just seems ‘right’ to be.  

    Surely churches should not be in competition, but working together to bring all people to God, if they find their place in a denomination different to our own – where God has revealed himself in a different way or context – we should be celebrating the fact, not denigrating each other because of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Kenny/500505255 Michael Kenny

    I am a Catholic who became an Anglican I did this because the liturgy was better, I was allowed to lead prayers and was encouraged to organise daily prayer for the church, the parish had weekly talks for its members and bible studies, praise and worship was also included into the service, which I like. 
    - The priest was young was friendly. Most priests I’ve known have been obsessed with retaining their clerical power and seem unwilling or unable to help lay people to develop their spirituality… in my Anglican church however I was actively encouraged to organise prayers … I think the emphasis on lay leadership really appealed to me alongside being treated like an equal to the vicar rather than an underling to be patronised. 

  • MaxF

    …..and for every one that swims the Tiber in the opposite direction…about 9 see the truth and swim to the One Holy Catholic and apostolic church …..remember it is never about the numbers….its about the fullness of truth…..

  • Judy

     I grew up as an evangelical, with profoundly devout parents who gave up all to serve the poor and sick in India. This gave me my foundation in the faith. However during my theological studies (at a Protestant college) I felt very at one with the early Church Fathers. While studying the Illuminated Gospel Books of the early Irish Church, by God’s grace I received my own illumination and discovered the reality of Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist. This eventually brought me into the Catholic Church. This Real Mystical Bodily Presence is all that really matters. Thank you