...various meetings talking about the new Ordinariate All such discussions are bittersweet. What will happen to the church buildings which the Ordinariate is now obliged to leave behind? Most will not have congregations large enough to support them in the longer term, as the majority of committed parishioners will be joining the Ordinariate. At first, the church building will remain open and the parish will be given a new minister. But in due course it could be given a lady priest and/or be merged into another parish with different beliefs. And the days of closure loom: the building turned into a carpet warehouse or a mosque.
With the Ordinariate, things look good and it teems with potential. Numbers are substantially larger than most onlookers and commentators - including the friendliest - had imagined, and the whole project more deeply and widely based. And a second wave of entrants is likely within a couple of years.
There is a genuine "Anglican patrimony" that these men and their congregations are bringing: customs, networks, traditions, hymns, music, ideas, ways of talking,ways of celebrating, ways of doing things. It's likely that in this way a number of things which were once sort of "normal C. of E." will be sustained and allowed to grow, which would otherwise have vanished. Which is good, but also rather poignant: the C. of E. itself will limp on, but changing more and more into something quite different.
The crucial need in our country is for evangelisation: to teach about Christ, to help people to know and love God. All the Ordinariate people that Auntie has met thus far have this as their priority., and have an energy and zeal about them.