November has been a busy month for official Anglican-Old Catholic relations. This note covers one aspect of that activity, the (English) Society of St Willibrord.
The Annual General Meeting of the Society was held in York Minster on Saturday 5 November. St Willibrord is the patron of the relations between our Churches. He was the Northumbrian born missionary to Frisia and Northern Germany in the 8th century. He founded many bishoprics, including that of Utrecht. The Archbishop of Utrecht is, today, the first among equals in the Old Catholic hierarchy.
The AGM began with a solemn Eucharist in York Minster, at which the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill presided, assisted by the (Old Catholic) Bishop Emeritus of Germany, the Rt Revd Joachim Vobbe. The Bishop of Haarlem, the Rt Revd Dick Schoon preached. My chaplain, Deacon Frances Hiller, is a member of the executive of the Society of St Willibrord, and led the intercessions.
Although the relationship of full communion between Anglicans and Old Catholics is global, it is in Europe where Anglicans and Old Catholics actually live together, and where we enjoy good local relations. There is joint work between our Churches in Schiphol Airport and in the Port Chaplaincy in Rotterdam, for instance. After the AGM, in the 13 century chapter house of the Minster, I delivered a paper covering aspects of our life together as Anglicans and Old Catholics in Europe entitled “From Anomaly to Opportunity: Diaspora and National Churches with a Common Mission”.
For more information about the Society of St Willibrord, click here. New members are always welcome!