Mass at South Creake is a highlight of our parish pilgrimage to Walsingham each year. Fr Clive Wylie SCP, the Rector, is so welcoming and encouraging.
We are delighted the encouragement works both ways, as Fr Clive explains:
It is always a delight to welcome visitors and pilgrims to Our Lady Saint Mary’s, South Creake but the pilgrims from St Peter’s, Oughtrington & St Chrysostom’s, Manchester Pilgrimage Group to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham are always especially welcome.
Several years ago (see here, earlier in this blog) I was asked if it would be possible for one of your female priests to be the principal celebrant at Mass when the group visited the church. As this was a first for OLSM I consulted my Churchwardens, PCC members, and all the members of the congregation to discern if any had any objection or reservation (prior to my appointment Resolutions A and B has been in place). Being confident that this was the correct thing to do I gave my permission.
Unfortunately some of the clergy in and around the local area did not share our enthusiasm. To say their words and actions were nasty and vicious would not be an exaggeration but as a result the PCC at South Creake drafted a ‘Statement of Inclusivity’ that was unanimously adopted at the APCM. Since then the congregation has firmly ‘nailed its colours to the mast’.
OLSM is now the only church in the Diocese of Norwich registered with Inclusive Church and we are thrilled that our congregation is growing, albeit slowly, because of our progressive stance.
Following on from the example of OLSM our congregation at St Mary’s, Syderstone has followed suit adopting their own version of the ‘Inclusivity Statement’.
So a huge THANK YOU to you all for setting us off on this incredible journey! You were the catalyst for our pilgrimage of transformation.