Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Monday, 30 July 2018

8th Annual GK Chesterton Walking Pilgrimage Report

The last G.K. Chesterton Pilgrimage before Canon Udris hands in his report to Bishop Doyle of Northampton, on the feasibility of opening the cause for the Beatification of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, took place on Saturday 28th July 2018.
The Pilgrimage started as always outside St George’s Anglican Church in Notting Hill, where Pilgrims
read the opening paragraph from Chesterton’s Autobiography and said the GKC prayer at 7.30am. We then walked along the Uxbridge Rd to Ealing, where we would normally stop and pray outside the abortion centre there. Because of the draconian PSPO (Buffer Zone) brought in by Ealing Council in April, which criminalises pro-life prayers, we can no longer do this, so we stopped briefly at Ealing Town Hall instead, where we were greeted by an elderly Polish woman who had come to wish us well. We then walked on to Hanwell, where we joined the canal. After walking for 5 hours, we stopped in the Malt Shovel Pub, for a quick drink and a packet of crisps, before leaving the canal to walk through the countryside and past Pinewood Studios to the Bridgettine Convent in Iver. Fr O’ Donohue was waiting there to say Mass in thanksgiving for Chesterton’s conversion. 
Mass ended with us singing Chesterton’s Hymn, “O God of Earth and Altar”. There were about 40 people in attendance for the Mass, which considering the lack of public transport, was very good. 23 of these were walking Pilgrims. After a brief lunch, we set off walking again, through Fulmer, where we stopped at the Black Horse pub and then on to Beaconsfield where GKC is buried. For the last few miles Malcolm, who has now walked the full Pilgrimage four times, and has thus clocked up over 100 miles, was leading the way. As we approached Beaconsfield, he stopped at the corner of Candlemas Lane to ensure that nobody missed the last turning into Shepherd’s Lane, where the cemetery is located (a turning that we did miss on the first walking pilgrimage!) After a few brief words at the graveside, those followers of the cult of G.K. Chesterton who were gathered, said the GKC prayer, before staggering into The White Hart Pub, which was Chesterton’s local public house.
As usual large numbers of people submitted hundreds of prayer intentions for the Pilgrims to pray for along their route.

One participant had attended previously and had walked the first half of the Pilgrimage 2 years ago with her husband. She returned with her son this year and completed the Pilgrimage in thanksgiving to Chesterton for his role in converting her husband.
The huge diversity of those taking part on this 8th Annual G.K. Chesterton Pilgrimage was again in evidence. There were people aged from 7 to 70, a number of different races, more than a dozen nationalities, with people travelling to the Pilgrimage from Reading, Maidenhead, Berkhamsted, Northampton, Hertford, Bedford as well as from all over London.
Special thanks to Ken for driving the support minibus this year and arriving at the cemetery first, where he placed a note upon the gate (See photo) as a joke! It read “Notice to all Walkers, Sorry, closed today. Please come back another day.”
The Chesterton Library contacted us to inform us that Chesterton Manor, a new property development in Beaconsfield was having it’s Open Day on the same day as the Pilgrimage and that the property had been named in Chesterton’s honour.
Stuart walked the Pilgrimage in part to raise funds for The Good Counsel Network you can donate here; 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Fr Brown Saves the Day, and the Baby?

A new Fr Brown Story, clearly not by GK Chesterton but thankfully not by the BBC

Fr Brown always liked to be outside the Church after Mass on Sunday to greet his parishioners, even if he was not the Celebrant. But twenty minutes after this evening’s Mass, the Curate, Fr Crowdy found Fr Brown in his study just ending a phone call with the police. It was a rather small study for the amount of papers and books that Father seemed to need. And why he insisted on using a dull desk lamp instead of the main light is anyone’s guess, as his eyesight was none too good.

Fr Crowdy had no time to consider any of this at the moment, as he had come to tell Fr Brown about a matter of Life and Death. “Quick Father” began Fr Crowdy, “we haven’t a moment to loose, we must act at once, or a new family in the parish will go for an abortion”.

Fr Brown glanced at his watch, opened the study door and said “follow me” as he went into the corridor. This was even quicker than Fr Crowdy had expected. But then Fr Brown passed the front door, went into the kitchen and put the kettle on. “Tea or coffee?” he asked.

“But..” started Fr Crowdy. “Sorry we don’t have any ‘but’ its tea or coffee” interrupted Fr Brown, “sorry, what am I talking about we do have hot chocolate as well” he finished.

Fr Crowdy just stood there totally dumbfounded. He could not believe that his brilliant, if somewhat clumsy Parish Priest could take this matter so lightly. He was very orthodox and quite prepared to have a hands-on approach. Yet here he was talking about tea and coffee. He should not dismiss the danger to the baby as he had not asked for any details yet. As if he had read his mind, or more than likely the look on his face, Fr Brown said “It is 7:30pm, you cannot get an abortion at that time on a Sunday in London, so would you like tea or coffee?”*

Ten minutes later, back in the study, with tea, coffee and a very nice piece of fruit cake Fr Crowdy told Fr Brown what had happened. “After everyone had left after Mass I noticed a chap praying by Our Lady’s side Altar, with what turned out to be his teenage daughter and ten year old son. I waited for them to leave and then spoke to them outside. He explained that they were new to London and were praying at a few parishes to see which Parish to make their own. He told me that his pregnant wife was at home sick. I told him about our mother and toddler group, the soup kitchen and Altar Serving for his son. He then asked if I knew how to get to Whitfield Street. I said “I really couldn’t tell you” and the conversation went on until he asked the way to Mattock Lane in Ealing. Quite worried now I said, “Sorry I cannot help you”. A little later we ended our chat when he asked me “Where is Rosslyn Road, Twickenham?”. I just said sorry I have to go and came straight in here to tell you about it. His wife is clearly going for an abortion. Fr Brown nibbled his cake, dropping crumbs everywhere. While spilling quite a bit of his tea into his saucer. “This would be a great loss to the Parish, we shall go and see them tomorrow”.

Fr Crowdy went to bed with his head reeling. The next evening, the two Priests found themselves sitting talking to the Smiths in their nice little living room. Father Crowdy was quite on edge, but when the couple went to make coffee, Fr Brown quietly said “No television Father” and smiled. Fr Crowdy glanced to the ‘natural’ spot in the room for a tv and found instead a statue of Our Lady of Penrhys, with fresh cut flowers and a well burnt down candle. Father looked over to the dinner table, where the Smith’s son Nathanael was reading what appeared to be a modern fantasy novel, Will Wilder, but the author’s name, Raymond Arroyo sounded familiar. On the coffee table was a book that Mrs Smith had put down as the Priests had entered the room, Frodo’s Journey by Joseph Pearce. ‘More fantasy’, tutted Father to himself. Once they were all seated Fr Brown said “My Curate has related to me the conversation he had with you last night Mr Smith”.
“Do call me Ron, Father” interrupted Mr Smith.
“Thank you Ron” went on Fr Brown “By the end of which I’m sure that you had wrongly decided that our Parish is not for your Family. Would you mind telling Fr Crowdy what you said to your children on the way home last night”.

“Of course Father” replied Ron, “My son and daughter both liked the look of the Parish. But nice Liturgy, a pleasant Priest and a soup kitchen are all very well, but there were over 42,000 abortions in London last year. Fr Crowdy doesn’t even know where any of the local abortion centres are, so he is clearly not going to them to pray and offer help to those desperate Mums-to-be. And so this is not the Parish for us.”

Fr Crowdy looked embarrassed while Fr Brown stared to laugh. “My Curate did not help you to find those three addresses, as he was worried that you were planning to take your pregnant wife to one of them for an abortion. You will find a poster in the Parish advertising the Good Counsel Network’s peaceful, prayerful, pro-life vigils at all three of those abortion centres. You will also see notices in the newsletter asking Parishioners to attend the vigils when Father or myself are there. This cake is very nice, welcome to the Parish”.

* There is unbelievably at least one abortion centre open on Sundays in London, but not until 7.30pm
For more information about The Good Counsel Network’s life-saving work see;
The Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage passes through Mattock Lane each year.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

World Cup Without Wales, Northern and Republic of Ireland and Scotland

Who to support as Wales, Northern Ireland, The Republic of Ireland and Scotland failed to qualify? Well I've just picked three teams randomly, Belgium, Panama and Tunisia. You can support them as well if you like. "But that's only three teams not four", I hear you say. Don't worry in the very unlikely event that I need to support anybody in the 2nd round, I will 'randomly' pick another team then 😉

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Jesus and Mary, Just Jesus or Mary Alone?

"When I was a boy a more Puritan generation objected to a statue upon my parish church representing the Virgin and Child. After much controversy, they compromised by taking away the Child. One would think that this was even more corrupted with Mariolatry, unless the mother was counted less dangerous when deprived of a sort of weapon. But the practical difficulty is also a parable. You cannot chip away the statue of a mother from all round that of a new-born child. You can not suspend the new-born child in mid-air; indeed you cannot really have a statue of a new-born child at all. Similarly, you cannot suspend the idea of a new-born child in the void or think of him without thinking of his mother. You cannot visit the child without visiting the mother; you cannot in common human life approach the child except through the mother. If we are to think of Christ in this aspect at all, the other idea follows as it is followed in history. We must either leave Christ out of Christmas, or Christmas out of Christ, or we must admit, if only as we admit it in an old picture, that those holy heads are too near together for the haloes not to mingle and cross."
The Everlasting Man by GK Chesterton