Message from our Patron

The Most Reverend Dr Rowan Williams - Archbishop of Canterbury & the Society's Patron


"Anglican clergy identifying themselves as within the Catholic tradition used to have all sorts of “tribal” habits, in dress, speech and style of life, to set them apart from those they thought of as less enlightened. No-one is going to regret that we have begun to grow up a bit in that respect. As the profile of ordained ministry in the Anglican Church has changed, many of the old markers have gone; and not the least important change has been the admission of women to the priesthood, a development welcomed by many who hold firmly Catholic convictions about the work of our redemption and the sacraments in which this work comes to life in us.

But to think of yourself as a Catholic in the ordained Anglican ministry still involves reflection and discipline, attention to how you live and pray and how you support one another in ministry. The Society of Catholic Priests exists because clergy in the Catholic tradition who are happy to affirm recent developments in the life of our church feel the need for common disciplines of prayer and thinking that will help them resist some of the managerial or functional language about ministry that has become popular of late - but without reinventing the old tribalism.

If you believe that ordained ministry in the Anglican Church is part of the continuing witness of the whole Christian and Catholic tradition, Eastern and Western; if you believe that the priestly task is to be what Austin Farrer called a ‘walking sacrament’ (not just a leader or co-ordinator or even teacher); and if you also believe that the specific shape of this priesthood can properly develop as the Church moves on, to include those among the baptised who have regularly been excluded, SCP exists to help you flourish as a deacon, priest or bishop in the Anglican Church."

+ Rowan Cantur