THE P RTAL February 2018 Page 21 First Lay Conference The Organising Committee reports on the First Lay Conference of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham to be held at Worth Abbey, Crawley I t was at a Meeting of the Ordinariate Pastoral Council during 2017 that the idea for an Ordinariate Lay Conference was aired. After much discussion, it was unanimously agreed to appoint a small committee to see it this was feasible. Margaret Tilley, Stephen Slack, and Ronald Crane were elected. We met and co-opted Margaret’s husband, David, together with the Co-Editor of The Portal, Mrs Jackie Ottaway, to our number. Five seemed a good number for our purpose. We looked at a few places to hold the Conference, but decided that Worth Abbey in the beautiful Sussex countryside would work well. It was available for the dates we thought best, and of all the possible sites offered best value. The conference will be held when we hope as many people as possible will be free to attend – Tuesday 7th to Thursday 9th August, 2018. • • • • • What is the Ordinariate for? What (or who) are we? What do we do? How do we do it? Why should people joint the Ordinariate rather than become a Diocesan Catholic? • What do we have that other groups in the church do not? • What is Anglican Patrimony? Aware of the oft repeated criticism of the Anglo- Catholic movement as being a clergy dominated movement that forgot the laity, we were determined With these questions in mind, we set about giving that, as far as possible, this would not be the case shape to the Conference and settled on tracing a with the Ordinariate. Every member of our little journey through history, the present and into the committee thought the laity vital to the well-being of future: the Ordinariate, so the conference will be two packed • Where have we come from? summer days designed for Lay People by Lay People. • How did we arrive here? • Where do we go next? We were anxious to ensure the widest possible representation from across the Ordinariate, drawing in The appeal of this conference means we have three members of Groups and Missions and also members speakers of real quality lined up: who cannot regularly join Ordinariate worship. To Dr James Kelly of Durham University will address balance these, we will be welcoming one or two us on the Catholic Church in England from the members from every Group and Mission and there Reformation to Catholic Emancipation: his specialist will be a significant number of places reserved for subject. those on the outliers on a first come, first served basis. Fr Ed Tomlinson, Ordinariate Parish Priest of Pembury in Kent will take us from Catholic OK: what was the Conference to be for? This was an Emancipation to the Ordinariate. easy question to answer. It would be called “BEING Dr Geoffrey Kirk will continue the story from ORDINARIATE”, and will answer common questions: then until now and into the future.