This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The diocese of Arundel and Brighton rejoices

Sunday 5th July 2015 will surely be the most exciting day that Christendom has seen since Pentecost, A.D. 28 (or whenever it was)! 50 years of Arundel and Brighton - the diocese that's a model for Catholics everywhere! Especially since the year 2000, when its bishops have included two spiritual giants of this age - or indeed of any age - Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the eminence grise who runs the Catholic Church behind the scenes, and Kieran Conry, once tipped to be the next pope but three!

Kieran and Cormac

Two spiritual giants discuss spiritual things.

You thought I was going to use that photo of the two of them looking shifty, didn't you? Admit it. Well, maybe later.

Crowds of people will be heading to the Amex Stadium in Falmer, Brighton. This in itself is something of a miracle, as the place is normally used by Brighton and Hove Albion football team: thus the stadium remains empty for weeks on end. The entire Catholic population of Surrey and Sussex is encouraged to trek over there, and no doubt there will be special "Catholic special" trains laid on. So bad luck if you were thinking of going to Mass in your local church: your priest is under instructions to get his football boots on and trek out to the Amex Stadium.

Argus poster

What may happen if all the priests are away for the day.

Now, let's see what giants of Catholicism will be turning up for the football match. Cormac, yes, hard to keep him away really; not Kieran, as far as I can tell, but who knows? He doesn't seem to have moved out yet. And the two key speakers, who will no doubt wish to encourage the faithful Catholics of the South Coast are...

Have a guess, go on. The Pope? No, too busy giving interviews. A nearby bishop of distinction (+Egan of Portsmouth, maybe?) No. Bill Gardner, formerly of the Argus, and now employed by the Telegraph in its relentless "dumbing-down" campaign? No, be serious.

The first guest is the great Rowan Williams! Er, wasn't he until recently the Archbishop of Canterbury? Wouldn't that make him an Anglican, not a Catholic? Yes, I think so.

Rowan the druid

Definitely an Anglican.

And the second guest is the even greater Timothy Radcliffe! Yes, he is a Catholic, of the slightly ludicrous variety, being known for his public opposition to the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. Well that will go down well in Brighton, no doubt, although not with many Catholics.

Tim Radcliffe

Fr Tim Radical does his Al Jolson impersonation.

It could have been worse. So far Mo Ansar has not been invited. Or Richard Dawkins. Or Tina Beattie. And it's not too late to ask Fr Ray Blake to take over the running of the event. Or me, for that matter.

And finally...

Kieran and Cormac

The picture we've all been waiting for.


  1. Would debating the death penalty offend a marginalised minority such as murderers?

  2. And the day will begin with a welcome address by the Bishop of Arundel and...


  3. I see that there will be a full programme of activities for people from 1 to 100. As I am now 101 I feel excluded. Who do I complain to?

  4. Quick.... into the bat cave Robin !!

  5. On balance I would rather stay at home and stick pins in my eyes. Could we club together for an exorcist to go along? Some horizontal vomiting might happen anyway as it looks as though Fr. Tim comes after 'food and drink' in the running order.

  6. Having attended the enthronement of the first Bishop of A & B all those years ago I was actually looking forward to the 50th celebrations - until I saw who the guest speakers were.

    Couldn't they find even one of our own Bishops to address the expected gathering? We would not expect Cardinal Nichols to address a celebratory gathering of Anglicans would we?

    I would have thought that the event would call for a whole posse (or whatever the term for a gathering is) of Bishops to be present. The diocese is going to have egg on its face if hardly anyone turns up in the Stadium. If they cancel all other local Masses, then I for one will take the train to London that day.

    A very disappointed 101 year old!

    1. Are you really 101 years of age?!! God bless you!

  7. Sorry Lynda no a few more years yet - but I could not resist putting that when I saw the info that the events were from 1 to 100!! I think the diocese was trying to be inclusive but it just looked silly and a sign of desperation on their part.