Monday 29th May 2017
On Sunday 28th May Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, signed a decree establishing Torbay as a canonical parish of the Ordinariate and appointing Fr David Lashbrooke as its first Parish Priest. The parish comprises those members of the Ordinariate who were formerly associated with the Torbay Ordinariate Mission which has met in Chelston for the last six years.
Up until now the Ordinariate has been operating as a single canonical entity across England, Wales and Scotland. One large 'diocese' without any parishes, ministering though a network of groups and missions across its territory. As the larger of these groups become established and able to demonstrate stability and the potential to lead a full parochial life they will be invited to petition for full parish status. Ordinariate priests will, of course, continue to lead diocesan parishes, to be hospital, prison and school chaplains and to fully participate in the mission of the Catholic Church in these lands.
A parish, according to the Church's law, is 'a certain community of Christ's faithful stably established within a particular Church'. A personal parish, rather than being defined territorially, is 'established by reason of rite, nationality, language...or on some other basis'. In the case of the Ordinariate the basis is the distinctive Anglican patrimony that it has been asked to preserve within the Catholic Church, including the particular liturgy provided for its use by the Holy See. A personal parish is directly equivalent in law to any other parish and its Parish Priest has the same status, rights and duties as any other parish priest.