Some Extra Thoughts on the 'Big Day'

As a footnote to the post on the Diocesan Golden Jubilee, it should perhaps be remembered that while many think this event should simply be cancelled, I am assuming that money may have already exchanged hands in booking the football stadium.

The amount it would cost to book this place with all the services that may come with that could be anything up to and beyond a six figure sum. Let's say, for instance, that this event costs in total something between £50,000 - £200,000. I guess that if, let's say, a Diocese had laid down a hefty chunk of that as a deposit that this would be a difficult event to simply "cancel". So if, as I was recently told, a "six figure sum" (something I cannot confirm conclusively) was laid down as a non-refundable deposit for the event, one can understand why the Diocese feel that the "show simply must go on".

My own opinion - and I am sure I am not alone - is that the event doesn't make much sense at the moment, if it made much sense from the beginning. That places the Diocese in a rather difficult situation given the circumstances. Still, I have to say that the whole 'craft fair', 'art exhibitions' and all round 'fun-day' feel of the event leaves a rather odd taste in the mouth given what the Diocese has been put through recently. A subtle alteration of the event from "celebration" to "reparation" seems appropriate but then that would put us in touch with our Catholic identity and with Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor and Fr Tim Radcliffe around, we simply can't have any of that nonsense, can we?

Comments

Nicolas Bellord said…
Henry II set a good example for a penitential service.





Genty said…
I wouldn't mind betting that former +Keiran is put on show for 'corporate' forgiveness. .
Anonymous said…
That much money on celebration is grotesque.
But perhaps, Bones, you ask how much was spent, as the diocese is a charity the figure should be available.
IanW said…
@Genty, one would expect a significant and extraordinary expenditure on a deposit paid this year to turn up in the 2014 accounts, which will probably be available through the Charity Commission website in July or August 2015. Information on any further significant costs will presumably be in the 2015 accounts.

On the other hand, the spirit of openness and accountability might best be served by release of budgets before the event.
IanW said…
Correction - @Anonymous!
Pelerin said…
Regarding the possibility of being able to cancel the hire of the stadium, would there not have been an insurance in place against any calamity befalling the diocese beforehand - such as losing the Bishop?

I fail to see how it can still be a celebration unless we are alotted a new Bishop before then and then perhaps we would hopefully be able to celebrate his arrival. Without a Bishop the celebration will indeed be a hollow one in spite of the t-shirts etc.
Simon Reilly said…
I think the anniversary can best be celebrated by rejoining A&B with Southwark.
Ttony said…
Why not set up a "Diocesan Reparation Group"? You could tell the organisers that you don't want a separate stand but will simply merge with the crowds inviting them to join the group in reparation for any offences caused by diocesan representatives. I'm sure they'll welcome that.

They might think you're missing the point, what with all Catholic celebrations being about celebrating how much fun we all have because we are all good, but I bet they're so forgiving that they'll welcome you.

I wish I lived in A&B and could help set this off.
Anonymous said…
Surely to cancel the event would be to give evil the victory? Despite recent events, and despite the unworthiness of so many at different moments in history, God has richly blessed his faithful in the diocese throughout its history. Souls have been forgiven, new life bestowed, the Lord has fed his people with his body and blood, priests have been nurtured, ordained, and gone to their maker. The celebration should go ahead and the unexpected context should focus minds and hearts - let it be a celebration of God, of his grace and mercy bestowed on and through this Particular Church, a thanksgiving that he is faithful when we are not.
Nicolas Bellord said…
Anonymous: I wonder whether you live in the Diocese of A&B? God hardly gets a mention in the Festival literature which incidentally is in very poor English. It all seems to be about us and I am afraid we have done very poorly and there is nought to celebrate. Evil is on the loose and we need to recognise it rather than pretending everything is lovely in the garden.
Cathprogrocker said…
Sorry, I just can’t hold my tongue any longer…… I haven't seen so much pompous cant
in one place before in all my life.

i) It’s an outsized parish fete. ii) There’ll be an open-air Mass.

If you don’t like fetes, and you are against open-air Masses in principle, well there isn’t much more to be said except that you’re in the minority. But please remember, an occasion of this kind, however misconceived you may deem it, is an opportunity to spread enthusiasm for the Faith to those both inside and outside the Church. You might prefer a Tridentine Solemn High Mass in the Cathedral. Good luck evangelising with that.
The Bones said…
So where are people who cannot make it going to go to Mass?

And what has Rowan Williams got to do with it?
Lynda said…
No one will convert to the One True Faith or the moral life because of false, immodest, worldly and sacrilegious behaviour.
Pelerin said…
Cathprogrocker - I for one am not against open-air Masses in principal.

I shall never forget being in Wembley Stadium when Mass was celebrated by Pope John-Paul II. The seven hours we were there passed all too quickly, the discomfort of the hard wooden benches quickly forgotten as the Papal helicopter appeared overhead.

And two outdoor Papal Masses celebrated by Pope Benedict in Lourdes in 2008 will forever remain in my memory. Also the annual outdoor Masses to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption in Lourdes - all memorable, holy and wondrous occasions. Experiencing the summer sun in the fresh air at an outdoor Mass is very special.

I am not sure how holding such an 'event' in the stadium will 'spread enthusiasm outside the Church.' Now if there was a procession from Brighton to the stadium with dozens of Bishops, hundreds of Priests and huge numbers of local Catholics taking part then that might make onlookers think - but we can all dream...
Lepanto said…
Is it too late to invite Bishop Athanasius Schneider or Cardinal Burke? If I lived in the diocese, I would be preparing my banner now. This has 'Conry's fingers' all over it judging by the guest speakers and he surely cannot be allowed to continue to infect the diocese in any way. It should be abandoned whatever the cost and an apology given to the poor sheep of A&B for this whole sorry episode and the costs involved.
Cathprogrocker said…
Bones, I can't see your evidence that Masses in A&B will be widely cancelled. But if there is potential disruption, clearly alternative arrangements will be made for our (predominantly ageing!) congregations. And of course, we have the Vigil Mass in the Roman Catholic Church. Our Church is both and compassionate and wise.
As regards “The Chief Druid”, realistically to not invite someone from the Anglican communion would be an ecumenical no-no. And bad manners too, since we’ve nicked half their members, a process in which they co-operated very fully. Bones, even at Vatican II people of other faiths were invited as observers and indeed participated in sessions. This isn’t some Franciscan novelty.
Cathprogrocker said…
Pelerin, thanks for your very touching testimony, which I think in a way supports what I said. These Masses were a tremendous experience for you and made a great impression. Inevitably there will be many non- and ex-Catholics at the “garden fete” at the Amex, who will be exposed to the same experience.
I envy you. I got to see Benedict at Hyde Park but he was about a mile away from where I sat!

Nicolas Bellord said…
Pelerin: I think a penitential procession in Brighton or Arundel would be much more likely to promote evangelisation. Perhaps we could have an expert from Seville or Salamanca to show us how to organise it properly. Just a dream!

Incidentally with a turnover of some £24 million the Diocese can easily afford to cancel now rather than end up with an even bigger bill later on.
Pelerin said…
Cathprogrocker - I don't think anyone is saying that the former Archbishop of Canterbury should not be there. Of course other faiths should be represented. What many of us object to is having him as one of the main guest speakers as if we were not able to provide one of our own Bishops.

Now if Bishop Schneider or Cardinal Burke were to be invited to speak as suggested by Lepanto I would be there like a shot!
Nicolas Bellord said…
cathprogrocker: you say ' Inevitably there will be many non- and ex-Catholics at the “garden fete” at the Amex'

I cannot see why "inevitably" - just what is the attraction of this event? Are people going to flock to see Cormac or Rowan? I very much doubt it and think the whole thing will be a disaster quite apart from being quite inappropriate in the present circumstances.

Pelerin was describing Papal masses - these two are simply not in the same league as a Pope.
Cathprogrocker said…
Bones, Pelerin, Nicholas, Lynda et al, thank you, I enjoyed our little discussion. God Bless to all.
Anonymous said…
Perhaps it would be a good idea to contact an Exorcist and clean the grounds around the Albion?....
Cathprogrocker said…
Good idea. In fact, maybe Bishop Smith could copy the exorcism employed by Barry Fry to lift a gypsy curse at Birmingham FC. (I'll leave you to google that one)......