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A message from Fr James, who celebrated the 1130 Solemn Latin Mass impeccably on Sunday 10th December at St Mary's:

I seem to make a habit out of moving house. In Holy Week 2011 I was received into the Catholic Church as part of that group of Anglicans who have joined the new
Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. At the time, I was serving as Assistant Curate in the Church of England parish of St John the Baptist, Sevenoaks, and forty of our parish (together with the Vicar and me) entered the Catholic Church at the time. Forty people might be a good group, but it didn't need two clergy so I subsequently went off to work at Holy Ghost, Balham, in the Archdiocese of Southwark, where I served as a (Catholic) deacon for a year until my ordination to the Sacred Priesthood in April 2012.

At the start of the summer I moved again, this time north of the river to St Patrick's, Soho Square. From August until mid-November I was resident there whilst also taking on the role of Private Secretary to Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate (a priest with the authority but not the power of a diocesan bishop). Most of the work I do for him is in Eccleston Square - the Secretariat of the Bishops' Conference - and so moving west made some sense.

Finally, then, I'm here! I'm very grateful to Canon Wilson and the parish for making me so welcome. Whilst I am resident in SW3 I will be assisting however I can, though whilst continuing my main work with the Ordinariate. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible, and hopefully having the chance to speak to you about the work of the Ordinariate which, I believe, to be one of the most significant things to have happened in the Church for years (but then I would say that).

I come to you, then, as a fellow pilgrim seeking for truth and beauty and goodness; searching for a real relationship with Christ and his Church that will lead each of us to the fullness of God's presence in heaven. Wherever I end up resting my head during that pilgrimage will be my house, but it is the Catholic Church - in whose truth, beauty, and goodness I rejoice to be with you - that is my home. It is in our beautiful church that we find Christ in the tabernacle, and it is in the Catholic Church that we find the fulfilment of all that we are called to be. In the liturgy we glimpse the reality of heaven: I look forward to making that a reality in this place with you, so that all may come to Christ the Way, the Truth, the Life, and so be united with him and the saints for eternity in his glory.

The Reverend James Bradley


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