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Ordinary blesses bells in Portsmouth
Friday 16th November 2012

On Saturday 10 November, Mgr Keith Newton celebrated Mass according to the Book of Divine Worship in the church of St Agatha, Portsmouth. During the Mass the Ordinary blessed eight new bells which will be hung in the belfry of the church, and will ring out over the city of Portsmouth from January 2013.

During the homily, Mgr Newton recalled the importance of calling people to worship. He said that the tradition of bell-ringing often "evokes a feeling of nostalgia for an England that perhaps no longer exists", but that nostalgia "might also reflect a yearning deep inside us for a relationship with God".

Continuing, he said, "Some make do with that commonly described sense of being spiritual [...] or get involved in New Age movements; a syncretistic approach to personal religion. You only have to walk down the High Street in Glastonbury, once a great Christian centre, to realise the truth of G. K. Chesterton's words: 'When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing - they believe in anything'. Others think you can believe without belonging, where religion becomes a private matter and personal opinion. The truth is, I believe, that we were made to worship God. As the Penny Catechism says: God made me to know him, to love him and to serve him in this world and to be happy with him in the next".

After the Mass a reception was held in celebration of the event, which was attended by clergy from the Personal Ordinariate and local diocesan priests including the Dean of St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth, Canon David Hopgood.

The congregation of St Agatha's were received into the Catholic Church earlier this year and, together with a group on the Isle of Wight, form part of the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Ordinariate Group, served by Fr Jonathan Redvers Harris, Mgr Robert Mercer, and Fr John Maunder.

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The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
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©  The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is a company limited by guarantee with no share capital registered in England, Company Reg No: 07582943 and Charity Reg No: 1141536.