Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
The picture on the blog depicts a glimpse of the new website of Christ Church Anglican Church in Brunswick, Melbourne Australia.Christ Church Brunswick is a very familiar place to me as during the nineties it was my spiritual home and I was a member of the serving team and in the letter years Fr. David Robarts, the Vicar then, gave me the opportunity to serve as Subdeacon as well, about which I felt grateful and humble. During the nineties we were a solid Anglican Catholic Parish, perhaps a bit on the formal side, the BCP was used at all the services and the Mass was celebrated ad orientum ( certainly the way I prefer ).
Vicars come and Vicars go . Fr David Robarts retired in 2002 if I recall this rightly and I had a ten year break back in New Zealand. Now the reigns have been over taken over by Bishop Lindsay Unwin OGS ( see the churches website )and as an Orthodox Anglican Priest I have nothing against whatsoever and he is in my prayers, but that does not mean that I can necessary relate to the changes that he has been making. We always hear that we need to worship God in the beauty of Holiness and sadly I find the picture and heading of the website not appropriate.
I am sure that I am not the only Clergyman who feels this way , there no doubt also Parishioners , who like to see things perhaps to go at a lesser modern and fast place.
There also no way that I can see a female Priest celebrating at Brunswick during the week and I certainly disagree celebrating Mass with my back to Jesus and facing the people. But.. one can always move and serve the Lord at All Saints East Saint Kilda or in my case in the Anglican Catholic Church. The number of people I minister too, largely the homebound , sick and suffering are very much comforted by the old paths that they used to walk.
In the country of my birth, the Netherlands , The Roman Catholic Church has changed the Pater Noster, Clergy and people hate it. When it comes to changes in the Church , I personally find it more important that we change in ourselves first.
Bishop Lindsay, after spending so many years in Anglican Catholic cirles in the UK, has an enormous challenge on his hands in Brunswick in 2016 and in the modern Melbourne Anglican Diocese. Whilst I know that I could not ever return to Christ Church Brunswick because of the changes, he does have my support in my prayers.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia