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Over 3,500 adults received into the Church in England and Wales

By on Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Members of the Croydon ordinariate group with Mgr John Broadhurst (Photo: Personal Ordinariate)

Members of the Croydon ordinariate group with Mgr John Broadhurst (Photo: Personal Ordinariate)

More than 3,500 adults were received into the Catholic Church in England and Wales last week.

They included 1,397 catechumens, who had prepared to be baptised, and 1,843 candidates, who had already baptised in another Christian tradition.

The largest numbers were in the dioceses of Westminster (734), Southwark (481), Brentwood (333), Birmingham (255) and Portsmouth (206). The total of 3,695 also included those who had joined the ordinariate. Easter is the traditional time for reception of new members of the Church through the Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), the liturgical and catechetical process for adults joining the Church.

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, chairman of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said many of those who went through the RCIA said they first became interested in the Catholic Church through a family member or friend.

“So we should bear that in mind always in our dealings with people,” the bishop said. “We are all sowers of the seed. If we show ourselves to be happy, optimistic, humble and generous, then it’s more likely we will draw people to God and be signs of the Kingdom.”

The figures are down on last year, when 3,931 adults were received into the Church, in addition to the 795 who joined the then new Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Last week around 250 former Anglicans were accepted into the ordinariate in a “second wave” of growth.

James Bradley, communications officer for the ordinariate, said: “There were about 200 receptions into new ordinariate groups with their pastors, and about 50 into existing groups.”

They bring the total membership of the ordinariate to around 1,200.

In Croydon, 65 former members of St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church, including the former vicar, the Rev Donald Minchew, were received into the ordinariate by former Anglican bishop Mgr John Broadhurst.

Over 50 were received into the ordinariate in Darlington by the Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton; they included the Rev Ian Grieves, who hopes to be ordained in the ordinariate in the coming months.

In his homily Mgr Newton said: “The journey you embarked upon on Ash Wednesday through the days of Lent to your reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church this evening is a model of the whole of your Christian life.

“It has meant for each of you, in a particular way, leaving behind what has been comfortable and familiar and stepping out in faith, certain in the knowledge that we do so in company of Jesus who prayed the night before he died that his disciples might be one. It is a journey that must be total and complete. But like all journeys in the faith, it is one leading to joy and fulfilment.”

Other groups of former Anglicans were received into the ordinariate in Harlow, Essex, Portsmouth, Hampshire, Maidstone, Kent, and Blackpool, Lancashire.

In the United States communities of former Anglicans in Philadelphia and Indianapolis were received into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter. In his Holy Week message the American Ordinary, Mgr Jeffrey Steenson, compared the journey to full communion for both individuals and groups of the ordinariate to the journey of Moses and the Chosen People from captivity to the Promised Land.

Nearly 40 former Anglican priests in America are currently studying to be ordained Catholic priests. The first ordinariate candidate was expected to be ordained to the diaconate today.

  • nytor

    Why is he wearing a mitre? He’s not a bishop. I thought only the Ordinary was entitled to pontificalia?

  • DN

    I was one of those who came home to Rome this year. :-D

  • Bob Hayes


  • Alban

    Perhaps you should take a look at this: 

  • Patrick_Hadley

     Perhaps the answer to your question can found by considering the term “ordinariate”.

  • Patrick_Hadley

    Could you give us a clue about where we might find the answer to the question about why a priest in the Ordinariate can wear a mitre in the Canon Law of the Anglican Rite Catholic Church? Apart from the ARCC  being a completely different entity to a Personal Ordinariate, the word “mitre” appears 55 times, none of which at first reading seem to give the answer.

  • Onehit Wonder

     This group has nothing to do with the Catholic Churches in union with the Pope in Rome.  It is a vagante sect.

    The Anglican Ordinariate in union with the Pope of Rome has the provision that a priest may be appointed ordinary, with all the authority of Bishop, except to ordain clergy.  They act as “corbishops” in the Syrian Churches, for example.  

  • Onehit Wonder

  • nytor

    And abbots still have the right to wear mitres, but as far as I was aware the Ordinary is the only person with authority in the Ordinariate and the only person entitled to the wearing of pontificalia.

    However I looked this up, rather than get bogged down in disputes over the “Anglican Catholic Church” etc etc.

    According to the Anglo-Catholic blog, “Anglicanorum Coetibus allows former Anglican bishops joining the Ordinariate to ask permission to wear episcopal insignia.”

    This is frankly rather dodgy. The ordinary wears pontificalia as a sign of his vicarious authority. I don’t really see what grounds others have to wear it. It would imply some fudging of whether they were bishops or not. Still, there it is.

  • Patrick_Hadley

    Fr Broadhurst must consider his mitre as part of the Anglican Patrimony.

    Article 11 of the Complementary Norms for the Ordinariate says:

    §1.A married former Anglican Bishop is eligible to be appointed Ordinary. In such a case he is to be ordained a priest in the Catholic Church and then exercises pastoral and sacramental ministry within the Ordinariate with full jurisdictional authority.

    §2. A former Anglican Bishop who belongs to the Ordinariate may be called upon to assist the Ordinary in the administration of the Ordinariate.

    §3. A former Anglican Bishop who belongs to the Ordinariate may be invited to participate in the meetings of the Bishops’ Conference of the respective territory, with the equivalent status of a retired bishop.

    §4. A former Anglican Bishop who belongs to the Ordinariate and who has not been ordained as a bishop in the Catholic Church, may request permission from the Holy See to use the insignia of the episcopal office.

  • Charles Martel

    Welcome. Just in case, though, anyone thinks that this means we are entering on a period of growth, we should remember that the Catholic Church in England & Wales loses 2000 members every week. There is an enormous task ahead just to keep numbers stable, let alone convert back Mary’s Dowry!

  • teigitur

    Congratulations and welcome home.

  • Parasum

    In 1954, 15,000 were received, against 3,000 who left.

    In 1981, over 5,000 were received.

    I don’t the figures for receptions in Scotland – they are, or were, counted under the figures for baptisms. One can see the logic, but the English method is more informative.

    I don’t think we are in a period of growth. Not when seminaries & religious houses close for lack of vocations. That is not growth.

    It would be interesting to know the stats for receptions by priests belonging to the SSPX – I can’t believe there are none. But they won’t be in the Scottish or English Almanacs

  • Sigfridii

    What the “Anglican Rite Catholic Church” might think about this question is entirely irrelevant. It is not in communion with the Holy See.

    Provision is made in Anglicanorum Coetibus*, issued by the CDF, for the existence of local ordinariates – in which former bishops of the Anglican Communion may continue to wear the insignia of their former episcopal office.


  • maryp

    Yes, Welcome home!

  • Dcruz

    President Hugo Chavaz was dead against the catholic church but later came back when his cancer was serious .Like him more will come back in troubled times.Many came when they were in their death beds.

  • sophia

    My only fervent hope and prayer is that the new converts will have the vibrancy to learn more about the faith and to be truly disciples of Christ by calling others to come as well to the Catholic faith. Like any relationship, the new converts should expect that “feelings” alone won’t last but it is the will to be faithful that matters. We need Catholics who are firmly rooted, where the words(seeds) took root in good soil and not on rocks or sandy soil. 

  • Patrick_Hadley

     I suspect that many, if not most, of the 15,000 in 1954 were people who converted in order to able to marry a Catholic. In those days “mixed” marriages were not encouraged. As is well known the new Catholic often became much more committed to the faith than their spouse (I nearly said “partner” ).

  • B Taylor

    I was baptised this year. I was heavily indoctrinated into atheism as a child and young adult, went on to study zoology at University, and read all the atheist literature. It’s been a difficult twenty-year journey to where I am today, and I’ve had to lose friendships along the way.
    If I can do it, others can.

  • Trisagion

    The Ordinary wears pontificalia by virtue of his ordinary authority not his vicarious authority.

    The provisions in the complementary norms to which Patrick_Hadley refers explain the situation. The granting of the right to pontificalia (and to liturgical pontificating) to those without episcopal ordination or other ordinary authority has only relatively recently been as restricted as you seem to presume. Until 1969 the right was granted to Protonotaries Apostolic (amongst the highest grade of monsignori) and those to whom that privilege had been granted retained it thereafter.

  • Parasum

    Its page, at:

    is lovely to look at – that as good as proves it’s not “legit”.

    To quote from the page, it is:

    “Not formally affiliated with the Anglican Ordinariate, the Roman Communion, the Anglican Communion,or any other Anglican or Catholic body except as stated.”

    Why do micro-Churches always sound & look so impressive ? It even has its own Patriarch.

  • Parasum

    That would make sense. TY

  • What Word

    Hooray! Buy the Catechism of the Catholic Church converts! Just reading that is more helpful than the RCIA classes themselves sometimes.

  • The Catholic Herald

    Your story sounds very interesting. Would you consider contacting us to tell us more at

  • Benedict Carter

    This is good?

    Up to 1962, it was 14,000-15,000 a year.

  • Benedict Carter

    You are both wrong.

    The higher English figures were mirrored in all English-speaking countries and far out-numbered the number of marriages by a Catholic to a non-Catholic. 

    The collapse in conversions is real.

  • sisterofmartha

    Thank you for this information. Will you please sharte the source for the data?

  • Bob Hayes

    A brave move and perseverance. Welcome!

  • Benedict Carter

    Check out the stats for conversions, baptisms, marriages etc. which are all available on the net from multiples sources. 

    There is no doubt WHATEVER (= none) that the aftermath of the Council witnessed a collapse in ALL the measurements: vocations, number of seminarians, number of ordinations, baptisms, conversions etc. 

    In the US this is apparently known as the “75% Effect”. The years immediately after the Council saw a 75% collapse across the spectrum which has NOT been corrected to this day. In many European countries it’s even worse than in the States.

    And with the protestantised mess we have now in Sacraments and doctrine, it won’t be.

  • Benedict Carter

    Chavez has hardly come back to the Church. He stands up with a microphone and begs God that he be spared to continue his Marxist Revolution? 

    Not the same thing at all.

  • Parasum

    That’s very informative. As to the reality of the collapse, there’s no doubt of that. I don’t think anyone is saying, or implying, that the reason for a conversion invalidates it.   

  • CluainArd

    Well done. Atheism is a blind alley. Faith is the path to eternal life!

  • Cailoro

     Wellcome home Brothers and sinter. God Bless you all.

  • HuwwuH

    Is there salvation outside the Roman Church?

  • Aussie Seminarian

    As a former Anglican Priest in Australia now studying for Catholic Orders it does my heart good so see so many join the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I studied for the Anglican Priesthood at the COR Mirfield West Yorkshire and so have a deep affection for the people of my heritage and homeland. Welcome one and all from your Brethren in Australia!!

  • Aunt Raven

    My stepfather, a nominal Lutheran, converted to marry my mother.  He became more devout than she, and he died a holy death wearing the brown scapular.  

  • Aunt Raven

    I beg to differ — the beautiful and reverent Anglican Ordinariate liturgy in the Book of Divine Worship is “The reform of the reform” in action.  Some  bishops are  uneasy that cradle Catholics thirsting for holiness will like the Ordinariate liturgy so much they may start attending it regularly. . . . 

  • Benedict Carter

    Your post has no relevance to mine whatsoever. I am in favour of the Ordinariate, but let’s be honest about it: it’s not going to convert England, is it? 

    The collapse in the Catholic Church in the West is almost entirely self-inflicted.

  • Jae

    I agree with you but still hopefully we are both wrong, for his (Chavez) soul’s fate and the glory of God’s grace.

  • Jae

    You answered your own assertion. Blaming secularism to the Council of V2 is like blaming the fire to the trees started by arsons, just silly. The flaw is your interpretation of past Traditional teachings on false ” ecumenism, religious liberty etc” that is actually not the same thing that the current Magisterium is teaching.

  • Michele

    And I am one of the many Candidates having been previously Baptised in the High Church and am so proud to become Catholic!  Our Priests, Deacons, Bishops the Dominican Sisters here at Boxmoor et RCIA Group Leaders have my heart felt thanks! x

  • batb

    In Canada people in communities from Ottawa to Victoria, BC were received into full communion during the Easter Season under Anglican Use provisions with a view to the formation of an Ordinariate Deanery of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter based in Houston, TX. The Canadian Deanery is to be named under the patronage of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of Canada.

  • LME

    He was an Anglican Bishop. So he can continue to wear the hat now he has switched over, although he isn’t a bishop in the RC church. So they can bring their hates with them, and their wives of course, if they have them!

  • Mason Minell

     Anglican and Catholic, we’re one big happy family, the man upstairs is smiling down on us for coming together.