Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood is putting on hold plans to cut the number of Masses in his diocese because of an influx of Anglican priests entering the ordinariate.
The bishop said he expected around seven new priests and up to 300 parishioners to join the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in his diocese.
He told BBC Radio Essex that out of all the Catholic dioceses Brentwood would have the largest number of parishes entering the ordinariate – three in Essex and three in east London.
Bishop McMahon said today: “Rationalisation of Masses for a number of parishes has been put on hold for the time being, as we wait to see what effect the priests coming into the ordinariate will have in the diocese in the months to come.”
Anglican priests and laity are to be received into the Catholic Church in Holy Week. Priests will then be ordained into the ordinariate at Pentecost, on Sunday, June 12.