From the Mailbag: Western Rite Missions in England?
Q: Your Western Orthodoxy blog shows in its entry for July 16 a clergyman censing the congregation at a ROCOR Western-Rite liturgy in .
A: Thank you for your kind words about my poor, unofficial blog. The liturgy was, indeed, held in the UK rather than Ontario (although there is a ROCOR monastery not far from London, Ontario, as well). The celebrant of the Mass in London, Fr. Michael of St. Petroc Monastery, recently addressed the issue of Western Rite missions in Great Britain. Here's what he wrote:
In the aftermath of the Church of England's General Synod decision to go right ahead with bishopesses, and of the shambles that Rowan Williams has managed to make of Lambeth, it is timely to say out loud to Church of England laity, that there is an alternative to the pseudo-leadership of the papacy. The Pope is neither the only nor the best way for members of the Church of England to go!! How many Church of England people realise that the Western Rite was first authorised for Orthodox use specifically IN ENGLAND over a hundred and thirty years ago (just after the Primus of Scotland had visited Russia and discussed unity with Church authorities there - and reported his conversations to the Convocation of Canterbury)? How many realise that services extracted from the Book of Common Prayer were authorised for adaption for Orthodox use over a hundred years ago? How many realise that there have been Orthodox Benedictine monasteries for over sixty years? That the Church of England non-Jurors discussed joining with Orthodoxy in the eighteenth century? Or that the first Anglican parish joined Orthodoxy over thirty years ago? Embryo Western Rite parishes/missions can be formed immediately in England (or Scotland or Wales) and seek immediate Orthodox oversight while they prepare themselves for formal reception. A Western Rite Orthodox Prayer Book already exists - it is just a matter of them making contact with us.Missions in the UK are dear to Father's heart. He is always searching for those who wish to live out their Orthodox theology in an approved Western liturgical form.
You can contact Fr. Michael here. You can also reach him through the St. Petroc Monastery website or through his online discussion site, Ely Forum.
Thank you for contacting me. I pray your correspondence is a fruitful one, and Godspeed to you on your journey home.