Finnian and Tobias have been at Walsingham for the past few days, with a group of friends and enquirers. The pilgrimage has consisted of lots of prayer and worship, shared meals, discussions, plus a lovely ecumenical walk which took in both the Anglican and Roman Catholic shrines, and Saint Seraphim’s Orthodox church.
A programme of on-line international meetings has been planned for two weeks in early September for two dozen of our Anglican Franciscan CSF sisters and SSF brothers. Our First Order Chapters include the Minister Provincial and one other elected representative from each province of sisters and brothers throughout the world, with the two Ministers General and two General Secretaries. The Ministers also have their own meetings before and after the Chapter. Originally planned for September 2020 in Australia, and postponed to 2021, these meetings have since been re-scheduled on-line. Sisters and brothers in the UK, USA and Korea, will be will take part, with brothers in The Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Australia. Because of the need to co-ordinate far flung time zones most of the meetings will begin at 6am UK time!
In addition to prayers for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we would welcome prayer for the smooth working of the technology, especially as some of our brothers live in places where electricity and internet connectivity are not readily available. At previous First Order Chapters gathered in person, the experience of living in community together, with shared worship, meals, and relaxation as well as the scheduled meetings and impromptu conversations, has been a key part of the experience. Sadly this is impossible in the context of the on-going pandemic, but like so many others we are thankful for the technology and planning which will enable us to both see and hear each other as we meet together on-line from far-flung and diverse locations, to reflect on aspects of our life and work and make necessary decisions.
A joyful day in East London, as Brother Tobias made his First Profession at St. Mary’s, Little Ilford. Benedict presided, Samuel preached and Joyce gave the readings. Brothers, Sisters, family and friends gathered in the lovely old church, parts of which are 12th Century. It was wonderful to sing hymns again after so long (albeit in masks). After the service the celebrations continued in the rectory garden, with refreshments and lots of cake!
Alnmouth Friary held its 60th anniversary celebrations at the weekend! The Bishop of Newcastle, Christine Hardman, joined proceedings and preached at an outdoor eucharist in the friary garden. Celebrations continued after the service with a buffet and picnic.