DJ Jazzy Jeff on the Radio!?
|Fr. Jeff Woolnough at home.|
A year ago, Father Jeff Woolnough and Fr. Bob White were preparing to celebrate their first Christmas at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Eastwood. They had led about 80 Anglo-Catholic parishioners from Hockley on a spiritual journey from the Church of England to become fully a part of the Church in England. This year they are in the midst of their second Advent season in full communion with the Catholic Church.
There is no doubt that this journey took extraordinary courage, leaving the security of a known quantity in terms of finance, living accommodation, a place of worship, etc., and trusting entirely to God's providence, that He would look after them. For me, this is putting your money where your mouth is in an unarguable fashion.
This Sunday, Fr. Jeff was interviewed on BBC Essex. I think it's well worth listening to his story, there's perspective from parishioners Pat Salmon from Hockley and Sharon O'Ryan from Eastwood as well. I think the interview provides some interesting insight into the journey and experience so far.
I was speaking to Father Jeff on Saturday night at a friends party and I am always deeply moved by his wonderful faith and trust as well as his clear personal joy at now being fully a part of our Catholic community. I can't help but feel it is such a result for us, he's so positive and is brimming with the kind of enthusiasm for the Gospel you imagine St. Paul would have exuded.
There's a huge change at St. Peter's in terms of a re-invigorated liturgy which is truly beautiful. Jeff cares, and it comes across in the way he says Mass, in the way he preaches, and the way he speaks to and of his parishioners (for whom he feels very responsible for).
It is inevitable that there will be a difference from the perspective of the Catholic community, welcoming a priest with a family into their parish. It takes a bit of getting used to, although this must be difficult to understand from Fr. Jeff's side—he has always been a married priest, so it is going to seem the most naturally thing in the world to him.
From a personal perspective, I thank God for Fr. Jeff and Fr. Bob, they are amazing, holy and wonderful priests with so much to give. In Father Jeff I feel I have made a great new friend and that alone has taught me so much.
The interview with Fr. Jeff Woolnough of Eastwood and the Ordinariate can be heard here. You can skip to Fr. Jeff's bit which is at 2:07.
|The Forty Hours at St. Peter's, Eastwood.|