The first Anglo-Catholic Charismatic event was a “Pentecostal Mass” held in St Margaret’s Settlement in Bethnal Green, London – many Anglo-Catholics had been involved with the fountain trust and appreciated worshipping with Christians of other traditions, but they wanted a place where they could be themsleves, and where they could invited other anglo-catholics to come and experience renewal for the first time in a less alien culture. This developed into a pilgrimage to Walsingham and then into a annual conference at High Leigh. This proved attractive both to Anglo-Catholics seeking to find out about the Charismatic movement and to evangelicals wanting to discover the riches of the sacraments. Like the whole Church of England, Anglo-Catholic Charismatics were divided by the issue of the ordiantion of women. As Bishop Lindsay Urwin puts it “It’s impiortant to remember that what unites us through our common baptism is more important than what divides us through our different understanding of ordination.”
On Fire Mission through Word and Sacrament is the main group for those in favour of the ordination of women. It still meets in High Leigh, meeting every April. It has also been particularly successful in atracting evangelicals who are interested in learning about sacramental worship.
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Anglo-Catholic Charismatic Celebration
ACCC is the main group for those women and men who are unable by conscience to accept the ordination of women to the priesthood. It is particularly good at introducing traditionalist anglo-catholics to the work of the Spirit.
in the early ’90s one of the speakers at the High Leigh conference was the Chichester Diocesan Missioner, Fr Lindsay Urwin. When Fr Lindsay became Bishop of Horsham, he had a vision to set up “an Anglo-Catholic Spring Harvest” – and managed to persuade the other tradtionalist Anglo-Catholic Bishops to join him in sponsoring this project. It met originally at the Haven holiday camp in Caister on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. In 2007 it moved to a potins camp at Pakefield but retained the Caister name. The High Leigh conference was one of the major inspirations behind Caister. Caister is not explicitly charismatic but has made things like prayer ministry, testimony, bible study and evangelism increasingly mainstream in tradtionalist catholic circles.
The Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage
Again, this is not explicitly charismatic, although from the high octane Worship Band and the vast plasma screens projecting the songs and liturgy, you would be forgiven for thinking it was. The worship band CJM are Roman Catholic Charismatics, and many of the things that Caister has brought to Anglo-Catholicism are present here: prayer ministry, testimony, evangelism, bible study.
London Days of Renewal
Before the divisions over the ordination of women, there were a number of local Days of Renewal or Renewal Weekends linked into the High Leigh conference. Some of these became unsustainable after the sad divide. Others alinged either with On Fire or with ACCC. But the oldest group of all, the London Days of Renewal, which can trace its origins back to the original Pentecostal Mass in St Margaret’s Settlement, tried to remain neutral on the issue. As a result it has tended to develop its own clientelle distinct from the other groups.