Two traditionalist Anglican clerics have announced they are to be received into the Catholic Church.
Giles Pinnock, the vicar of St Mary-the-Virgin in Kenton, north London, told parishioners on Saturday that he was leaving the Church of England for the Catholic Church, while Robin Farrow told parishioners at St Peter’s in West Blatchington, East Sussex, in his Sunday homily that he was converting to Catholicism.
Fr Pinnock said: “The particular decision to leave this parish has been harder than the joyful decision to be received into the Catholic Church – although the two are of necessity connected, and as the Lord tells us in today’s Gospel, we must be willing to change fundamentally the context and the detail of our lives if we are truly to be His disciples.
“That call is always present to all of us, but can present itself more immediately at particular moments in life. This is such a moment for me and my family.”
He added: “I realise that some of you may feel that I am leaving just as you most need to be led through the difficult times which traditionalist parishes of the Church of England are to face over the next few years.
“To those of you who will remain as committed members of the Church of England, I am on a path that is for now different from yours.
“I trust that one day, in God’s good time, our particular journeys may re-converge.
“In the meantime, I cannot provide the Anglican leadership you expect and so it would be wrong for me to remain as vicar of this parish.
“To those of you who are considering becoming Catholics, either as members of the forthcoming Ordinariate under the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus or in a local Catholic parish, I trust that I am, in the manner of a Middle-Eastern shepherd, walking ahead of the flock, leading you by my example to safe pasture.”
Fr Pinnock formally gives up his parish on November 1.
Fr Farrow has two children and a third on the way. They are are allowed to stay in the parish until they find alternative accommodation.
Fr Farrow told his parishioners: “As I have preached about many times this journey towards real unity with the Church from which our own was formed at the reformation is a biblical priority.
“I cannot read John 17 and believe that Our Lord’s will is anything other than the reunion of his broken body the Church.”
He added: “In conscience then I have come to the point where I cannot in good faith remain as your priest.”