Saturday, September 01, 2012

Croydon is not a beautiful town... fact parts of it are downright ugly. (Yes, I am allowed to say this: I grew up locally, and I know Croydon well and love it as one loves whatever has been close and and important in one's life).  But the Catholic Church  at West Croydon has never looked better, and was filled to capacity today for a new chapter of history as three priests were ordained for the local Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.Their ordination means that this church, always a busy place, will now have EIGHT Masses every Sunday, starting at 7am, to accomodate all the people that want to worship there.

My childhood and teenage memories of St Mary's are of a rather dark interior: not so now, all is light and fresh and beautiful, and at Mass the eye is drawn to the candlelit sanctuary with its great Cross. A great procession as  Mgr Keith Newton of the Ordinariate, and the Archbishop of Southwark, and a large contingent of priests, came up the aisle. There was - as always at Ordinariate events - much glorious singing: a Missa de Angelis, a beautiful Ave Verum at Communion, and some fine hymns.  Archbishop Peter Smith ordained the men - as always, it was very impressive to see them lying prostrate before the sanctuary as we prayed the Litany of the Saints, and then to watch as each one  was ordained, knelt to promise obedience,  exchanged the Peace with fellow-priests, recieved a chalice, and so on...the Mass was beautiful, the prayers inevitably punctuated by the shrill screams of children and babies, especially at the most sacred moments...but then, that seems to be a tradition of Catholic suburbia, and one  parent did actually take a screaming child outside only to have its shrieks  redouble in effort and anger, the sound piercing the hastily-closed doors...

Afterwards, a delicious and substantial buffet, great crowds of people settling at tables set with white cloths and golden paper napkins, wine, the cutting of a cake, much joy.

And so a new chapter opens for the Church in  Croydon, where there has been Christian worship for over a thousand years of recorded history, and where perhaps the best is yet to be as a divided Church regathers itself and prepares for  fresh evangelisation in this new century...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does your blog have a contact page? I'm having a tough time locating it but, I'd like to send you an
email. I've got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.
Feel free to visit my homepage : transfer news football 2012 2013