Over 200 people from across the UK came to St James’s Church Sussex Gardens in London to join with each other in a day of reflection, learning, prayer, worship and fellowship at the 2016 Anglican Catholic Future Festival. After the welcome from the new Chairperson of the ACF Executive, Fr Alan Moses, the day began with a characteristically stellar address from Bishop Rowan Williams, on the future of the Catholic tradition in the Church of England with reference to Scripture and Tradition. A transcript and recording of Fr Rowan’s address will be posted here very soon.
Bishop Rowan presided at the Solemn Mass, which resounded with a wonderful sequence of congregational music led by the Choir, Director and Organist of St Peter’s Great Berkhampsted. Thank you to them for all of their hard work in animating the liturgies of the day. The sermon at the Mass was preached by Helen Costigane SHCJ and can be downloaded here to read.
After lunch, everyone reconvened to take part in afternoon seminars, from various speakers covering subjects such as ‘Scripture and the Church’ and ‘Scripture and Preaching’.
We were delighted that the Bishop of Fulham, Fr Jonathan Baker presided at Solemn Evensong and Pontifical Benediction, again with uplifting music.
Comments from those who came to the day included that they found the occasion ‘special’, ‘splendid’ and ‘uplifting’. An ordinand at Westcott House, who had decided to take a break from social media for a period of time, returned to the online world and tweeted, ‘the festival was just so joyous, I needed to get in on the action’!
Next year’s Festival will return to St James’s Sussex Gardens, with thanks to Fr Paul Thomas and the PCC, and the topic will be ‘Evangelism in the Catholic Tradition’. The keynote speaker will be Bishop Philip North and the preacher at the Mass will be Dr Gemma Simmonds, CJ.
A series of images from Saturday can be seen here. With thanks to Andrew Prior for being photographer for the day.