Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

An Anglican Permanent Deacon

Today I attended the Ordination as an Anglican Permanent Deacon of my good friend John Hanks, who is also, I believe, a regular reader of this blog. The Ordination was conducted by the Bishop of Ebbsfleet in that great symbol of Tractarian faith and practive in Oxford, the church of St Barnabas in Jericho.


The interior of St Barnabas.
Built by Thomas Combe and designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, it was opened in 1869

Image: dailyinfo.co.uk
John is to serve as Deacon there and at St Thomas the Martyr - where I was once Churchwarden. In fact there were three of us former Wardens from St Thomas' who are now Catholics in the sizeable congregation , as well as the former priest-in-charge, Fr Hunwicke.
The liturgy was dignified and very much in the Catholic tradition and reminded us past Wardens of our own heritage as former Anglo-Catholics. It made me at least reflect on how similar both communities are, and encouraged me to pray that we shall all soon be one in faith and unity.
Following the service there was a splendid buffet reception at Worcester College and the chance to meet up with old friends from Pusey House and St Stephen's House here in Oxford and also from the Anglo-Catholic parishes in Reading. The approaching General Synod vote on women bishops was one topic which hung in the air and added some spice to the discussions.
A happy day and I send John my good wishes and prayers.

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