I probably need little introduction to those who have been on the religious Internet over the past few years. To be perfectly frank, some see me as an unstable adventurer, someone who disturbs certitudes, and others see me as offering a refreshing alternative viewpoint in various questions. In time, I found I didn’t mind what people think!
For the benefit of those who have stumbled onto this page “by accident”, I’ll give you a potted story of my life. I was brought up in England is a fairly “Establishment” kind of way, though with a profoundly liberal kind of attitude on the part of my Anglican parents. Tolerance, altruism, candidness and honesty have always been key values in our family. I was born in the north of England of a Yorkshire father and a Surrey mother who met in Liverpool in the post-war years. My education was fairly “old-fashioned” and classical, including three years at St. Peter’s School in York.
My childish imagination was divided between seafaring and a love of church buildings and Anglican church music. I began piano lessons at the age of 8 because I wanted to learn the organ. It was churches and the organ that won out over the sea, other than a couple of times crewing for our family dentist on his dinghy. It would be more than forty years later that I would have one hand on the tiller and the other on the mainsheet! I was attracted to church through beauty and love of something that would take man out of himself to seek something greater.
Searching ever higher, and under the influence of a friend who was under instruction with the Jesuits to become a Roman Catholic, I went that way. I was 22 and incredibly naive and ignorant of the realities. I became a Roman Catholic in 1981 through the traditionalists, and immediately wanted to become a priest. After some unpleasant experiences, I studied theology at university level at Fribourg in Switzerland and joined the Institute of Christ the King in Italy, in which I remained for five years. I was ordained a deacon in 1993 in the seminary chapel by Cardinal Pietro Palazzini. I was assigned to parish work in France in an extraordinarily difficult situation and left in 1995.
In 1998, I was ordained a priest by an independent bishop who had been consecrated at Palmar de Troya in 1976. For a few years, I discovered the sulphurous world of independent clergy and their peddling spiritual wares to the gullible. I opted to earn my living as a technical translator and live discreetly in a house I bought in the Vendée.
Archbishop John Hepworth accepted me into the Traditional Anglican Communion in 2005. I met my French wife, Sophie, later that year, and in the following year – in May 2006 – we were married by Archbishop Hepworth in the parish church of Chouzy-sur-Cissé near Blois. I took up sailing in 2008, which has helped me keep a reasonable level head through the changes and vicissitudes of the TAC over the past few years. With my background, there is no question of being in an ordinariate (there are none in France) or returning to the Roman Catholic Church under the shadow of canonical irregularities.
Since the resignation of Archbishop John Hepworth as Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, effective as of Easter Sunday 2012, and the abolition of the Patrimony of the Primate, according to a letter received from Archbishop Samuel Prakash, I found myself in a unique situation in my life – unchurched in spite of not having moved anywhere. Since the “recomposition” of the TAC in March 2012, I received notice from Archbishop Prakash in India that I was under the jurisdiction of Bishop Craig Botterill, Episcopal Visitor to The Traditional Anglican Church in England.
In April 2013 I resigned from the TAC on good terms and was received into the Anglican Catholic Church (Original Province), Diocese of the United Kingdom by Bishop Damien Mead. My situation remains unchanged since then.