Solemnity of Our Lady of Walsingham

In front of the Statue of Our Lady: Mgr Nannery, Fr George Carrick, Fr Hellyer, Fr Furness, Mgr Silk and Fr Ellis
Buckfast Ordinariate Group celebrated the Ordinariate's Titular Solemnity at St Mary's Abbey, Buckfast. The Mass was preceded by a little crowning of Mary, which was performed by Fr Ian's daughter, Teresa, and during which the choir sang "Ave Maria" by Simon Lindley. Special flowers had been arranged by Jill and Angela for the mass.

The Dean of Plymouth Cathedral, Mgr B Nannery, gave the homily, and spoke firstly about his keen support of the Ordinariate at the initiative of the Holy Father. He spoke also of the Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, of Richeldis' vision and her "yes" to Our Lady when invited to construct a replica of the House of Nazareth she had seen in the vision. He also expressed his expectation that the Ordinariate had a part to play in the fulfillment of the prophecy, that when England returned to Our Lady of Walsingham, Our Lady would return to England.

The celebration was a double celebration because during the Mass Fr Hellyer received two former Anglicans into the full communion of the Catholic Church in the Ordinariate. Former Anglican priest, Tony Cockram, and his wife Sue, were both Received and Chrismated, supported by both Catholics from their home town of Seaton, and also Anglican supporters from the parish where Tony had been ministering until relatively recently. They were also supported by Fr George Carrick the local diocesan priest in Seaton.

Tony and Sue, new members of the Ordinariate, with the assembled clergy

We were blessed with a new choir to sing on special occasions such as today. With only a couple of week's practice they tackled both the Ave Maria and Elgar's Ave Verum. The Missa di Angelis setting was sung in Latin (except the Kyrie of course) which the group has now got to grips with.

We were also pleased to see a variety of other supporters from around who made the trouble to come to the Abbey in order to support us, including both Catholics and Anglicans. There were more the 90 people present which was very pleasing indeed.

Following Mass refreshments were laid on in the hall by several of the ladies of the Ordinariate. All in all everyone reckoned the Mass to have been a splendid celebration. We thank everyone who helped to make it such.