Gracious me! How long ago it seems that we met together annually under the title Forward in Faith every autumn in the Emmanuel Centre! Though, mind you, my enthusiasm for that place waned when the Vitello d'oro closed, and then even the little Italian cafe ... and, good heavens, I seem to recall that last time we were there even the Chinese place in the basement round the corner was shuttered. But some things stay the same (even though by gracious permission of the authorities, and under a different name) we've moved the mile or so to Westminster Cathedral Hall ... such as the voices of Fr Crane and Bishop Broadhurst. As Gerry Adams said about the IRA, "They haven't gone away, you know".
What a splendid day our recent festival was! Signs of growth and expansion everywhere (though, frankly, I'd never have guessed that representatives of the Jakarta Group would be there). A fine sermon by Archbishop di Noia (the Annunciation teaches that we cannot just wait until we think that we've got everything ready for the Lord). He brought with him another of our Roman friends, Mgr Stephen Lopes, who is, so to speak, the Ordinariate Desk in the CDF. How nice to see Pontifical Mass in Westminster Cathedral versus apsidem. And to hear some of our favourite Marian hymns. The sun shone upon us.
I was very pleased to hear that, at the Precious Blood in Southwark (which is flourishing) they have Churchwardens. That institution was one of the surviving glories of the English Church before the Reformation.
And ... since we are supposed to be a bridge ... how good to see, walking in procession and sitting in choro, our old friend, John Hind Bishop Emeritus of Chichester, one of the very few Anglican bishops still prepared to speak to us rather than either sneering or just pretending that we don't exist.
(I think it must be very hard for Anglican bishops to be saved).