Exciting Development for The Ordinariate

Ordinariate Mass Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, the Ordinariate's church in central London, on Thursday 10th October 2013.
I notice on ICN this morning that The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is launching an appeal for funds this week to help it to buy a redundant Methodist church in Torquay Devon. This is great news and I would like to suggest readers support this project with prayers and cash if possible (see the donation details at the bottom of this blog post).

If it succeeds, the church will be the first the Ordinariate has bought for itself since the structure was established by Pope Benedict in 2011 to allow former Anglicans who wish to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church to do so, whilst bringing with them aspects of their Anglican patrimony and heritage (like good liturgy). Pope Benedict’s vision for the Ordinariate was that it should "maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared".

In an appeal leaflet being sent out this week to potential supporters of the project, the Ordinary Mgr Keith Newton former Anglican bishop of Richborough, says:
“If we are to grow and flourish in the way that Pope Benedict intended when he set up the Ordinariate, we need to acquire buildings of our own so that we can establish them as centres for our particular mission and purpose. The purchase of this church provides a wonderful opportunity to do just that. I warmly encourage you to help in any way you are able, to preserve this church as a place of Christian worship from where the Torbay Ordinariate Mission can reach out to the local community and minister to both its spiritual and material needs”.
Mgr Keith Newton at Our Lady of Lourdes Leigh-on-Sea principle celebrant for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes in 2013 see here.
Fr David Lashbrooke, a priest of the Ordinariate who leads the Torbay Ordinariate Mission, says the venture is particularly exciting because the site has all the necessary space for a mission community to lead a full liturgical life as well as being able to provide teaching of the faith and offer hospitality to the local community.

The Methodists are asking £150,000 for the site, which, as well as the church, includes halls and a building which could be converted to become a presbytery to house an Ordinariate priest. So far, Fr Lashbrooke has raised £36,000. He is seeking cash donations and/or a loan to secure the church. If he manages to raise the money necessary for its purchase, phase two of the project would be to renovate the church, for which the estimated cost is £62,000 and phase three would be to convert the presbytery. This would cost an estimated £57,000.

A spokeswoman for the Ordinariate said:

“Speaking as a cradle Catholic myself, I am struck by the particular gifts which former Anglican clergy and laity bring to the wider Catholic Church through the Ordinariate. These gifts include a commitment to teaching, mission, fellowship and outreach. This project presents a wonderful opportunity for the Ordinariate to establish in Torquay a tangible expression of the Anglican patrimony with which it enriches the Catholic Church and which has such an important part to play in the urgent task of the new evangelisation”.
Currently the Ordinariate, which has 87 priests and about 40 groups of lay members the length and breadth of the country, has the care of two churches, both in London.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Torquay church project should send a cheque made payable to: Ordinariate OLW - Torbay Group to:

Fr David Lashbrooke,
St Agatha's Presbytery,
27 Exeter Road,


  1. This presents a wonderful opportunity for non-Ordinariate Catholics to act on Pope Benedict's plea to us at the end of his 2010 visit: "Let us continue to pray and work unceasingly in order to hasten the joyful day when that goal [the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all] can be accomplished."

    Wouldn't it be a marvellous Christmas present for the Pope Emeritus if we could help the Torbay Ordinariate Group to raise at least the initial £150,000 by Christmas?


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