Chrism Masses 2017
Posted on the 1st March 2017 in the category Events
As we enter the season of Lent, I want to send you all - all priests and deacons affiliated to The Society and others in our parishes - my prayers that Lent will once more be a blessing, a real springtime in our priestly discipleship. During it let us all pray for one another, and for our witness in the Church of England, with a new intensity and focus.
We shall next meet in large numbers during Holy Week, and I hope that you look forward to the Chrism Masses as much as I do. It is my hope that both clergy and laity will gather in greater numbers this year.
1 Venues for 2017
As has become our settled pattern - like that of the other areas - we will celebrate regionally in three cathedrals, with the encouragement of the archbishops to do so, and thanks to the hospitality and welcome of the various cathedral chapters.
I trust that you will make attending the Chrism Mass this year the personal ministerial priority it should be, and encourage all other priests and deacons associated with your parish or community to do so too.
It is, of course, customary for priests to concelebrate the Chrism Mass with the Bishop, and therefore - to help all concerned with preparations - a pre-addressed reply form is downloadable from this website. Please fill it outand return to my office (either by post or by e-mail) - as soon as possible, but by Monday 27 March at the latest.
This will help us here in the office, and the local priests liaising with cathedral staff, to ensure that enough vestments, service papers, sets of oils etc are provided.
If you cannot, for some reason, be present, I would be grateful if you would write to me and say so. If any of you knows of a sick or elderly priest who cannot be present, please would you let me know.
3 On the day
Clergy should only need to bring an alb and (as belt and braces) a white stole.
In all three venues all oils will be provided in plastic bottles at the end of the Mass, but you are free to bring your own containers should you wish.
At Bristol Cathedral (Monday 10 April) you will need to be in the Chapter House off the cloister, robed and ready by 11.30 am.
At Exeter Cathedral (Tuesday 11 April), you will need to be in the Lady Chapel (at the far east of the church), robed and ready by 1.00 pm.
At Lichfield Cathedral (Wednesday 12 April) you will need to be in the Chapter House, robed and ready by 11.00 am.
With prayers and every blessing:
+ Jonathan Ebbsfleet
Christmas Message 2016
Posted on the 25th December 2016 in the category Announcements
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ 2016
Yet again, the year that is ending has witnessed only a rise in the horrors of violence and its chaotic consequences. One of our Anglican hymns for Advent cries out to God:
Where is Thy reign of peace
and purity, and love?
When shall all hatred cease,
as in the realms above?
It is a prayer that will be repeated with great fervour this Christmas by refugees and displaced people, by wounded and bereaved people, by oppressed and abused and trafficked people, in cities and camps the world over, among them, unforgettably, Bethlehem itself. The same agony seems to lie behind Pope Benedict’s Christmas prayer of 2011: ‘O mighty God, we love your childlike presence: your powerlessness, your humility. Through you love triumphs. But we suffer from the continuing presence of violence in the world, and so we ask you: show your power, O God. Cause peace also to triumph in our time, in this world of ours.’
The agony that we feel as violence and chaos continue is simply the reverse side of the greatest good news of the season – that God has taken on our human form and raised it to glory. The Immortal Son of God has taken on our mortal flesh, so now the face of Christ has been revealed in all human beings. For the eyes of faith, the consequence of this fact is that no human form or face can hereafter be ignored or abused; and whenever those same eyes do see God’s image attacked and disfigured, they will weep all the more bitterly. Thus the strange fact is that what makes us most passionately glad and grateful at Christmas—the Christ child’s powerlessness and humility—is also what gives us the possibility of grieving as we should for the defacing of God’s image in the world. Let us trust that it also gives the Church the vision, the courage and the strength to go on working and praying for a world where God’s image in mankind—and indeed his presence in the whole created environment—is universally honoured and protected. Our transcendent and glorious Lord has bowed in loving respect to our fallen and failed human nature; as Christians we can do no other than imitate such loving respect.
I offer my warmest good wishes for Christmas, and my prayer that Christ, who renews our
trust and hope in this celebration, will remain close to you throughout the coming year.
+ Jonathan Ebbsfleet
Posted on the 10th October 2016 in the category Announcements
We are currently advertising for 2 posts: one in the Diocese of Bath and Wells and one in the Diocese of Coventry.
Please go to the Vacancies section of this website for further information.
Anglican Centre in Rome 50th Anniversary celebrations
Posted on the 25th April 2016 in the category Events
In 2016 the Anglican Centre in Rome celebrates its 50th anniversary with two events:
Sunday 29 May, the Sunday nearest to the Feast of St Augustine of Canterbury, is the Day of Prayer for the Centre in the Anglican Communion Cycle of Prayer. More information and the prayer can be found in the downloadable documents below.
On Tuesday 14 June, choral evensong to mark the 50th anniversary will be sung in Westminster Abbey. To obtain a ticket, visit http://www.westminster-abbey.org/events scroll down to the 14th June event and order tickets through the link to Eventbrite.
The Prayer for the Anglican Centre in Rome
Almighty and ever living God, you have called us in the body of your son Jesus Christ to continue his work of reconciliation, in gratitude we celebrate the presence of the Anglican Centre in Rome and give thanks for its reconciling witness to Christian unity. As we remember the gift of hope that so inspired its creation we pray that this same hope may strengthen our witness to justice and peace in the world. We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Easter 2016 Easter Message
Posted on the 26th March 2016 in the category Announcements
“Since we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” Rom 6.8
St Paul tells us that Holy Baptism is the doorway to new life in a new creation – not because he believes that the rite of baptism is a kind of enchantment, but because it is the outward sign of our willingness, throughout our lives, to pass through the narrow door of death for the sake of gaining freedom and reconciliation with God our Father. Unless we are ready to let go of what we imagine makes us strong and secure, unless we are ready to hold on to God in Christ and allow him to give us his strength and security, we will remain anxious, weak and fearful — of God, of one another, of the world, and of the times we live in.
So much of the anxiety in the world is to do with our unwillingness to pass through this door, and our longing to hold on to our imagined security. The terrifying war and violence that are disfiguring so many nations, the reluctance to guarantee justice for the poorest, the desire to protect our own interests first, the irresponsibility with which we treat our environment – all these have roots in that state of being which is afraid to let go of immediate comforts and assurances. And all of them drive us deeper into unreality, into the denial of other people’s suffering and need, and the denial of the urgency of change.
But God promises us life in abundance through Jesus Christ – greater abundance than we could ever secure for ourselves by our own efforts. But wedded as we are to the world of rivalry and anxiety we do not yet know what that means. The journey of each baptised Christian is one in which we are slowly being helped - raised - by God, through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit, to understand what true life with God is, and what its gifts and habits are.
As Christians, eastern and western, renew our baptismal promises this year at Easter my prayer is that we shall all be opened to what God has to tell us of this new life in a new creation, and that he may give us (individually and collectively) that special assistance which we call courage to let go of whatever holds us back from the death-to-myself that is the gate to life and truth and unity in Christ.
25 March 2016, Good Friday