Catholics and Anglicans cosy up … to the fury of evangelicals

Catholics and Anglicans cosy up … to the fury of evangelicals

Among those protesting this week against a Catholic service held for the first time in 450 years at the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace, near London, was the Rev Dominic Stockford, chair of the Protestant Truth Society, founded in 1889 to protest against the supposed influence of Roman Catholicism in the Church of England.

According to this report, he described the service at this “citadel of Protestant worship in England” as a “coup” for the Roman Catholic Church.

Several other protesters from evangelical congregations carried banners reading “The Church of England is denying its own faith” and “Reversing the Protestant Reformation means abandoning the Bible.”

Around 350 people assembled on February 9 inside the ornate palace, about 15 miles from London, as Cardinal Vincent Nichols, head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, led a solemn vespers service, known in the Church of England as evensong.

The service was a symbolic act cementing growing ties between this country’s two leading Christian faiths, Catholicism and Anglicanism, divided since the Reformation.

Both are grappling with internal divisions on the issues of women priests and bishops, sex scandals and Christian rights for gay men and women, and are keen to emphasise what they have in common. After the service Nichols said:

There is much historic resonance about this moment, but in this place, where so much of the impetus of the Reformation was created, was provoked, I think we can now find ourselves side by side with a musical tradition that we share.


British newspapers on both sides of the political spectrum wondered whether Henry VIII would be “spinning in his grave.”

The service included 16th-century chants and hymns in Latin, readings from the Bible and the saying of the Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-55). It was assisted by one of the most senior clerics in the Church of England, the bishop of London, Richard Chartres.

In his homily, Chartres spoke of the “tumultuous consequences” of the split between England and Rome during the reign of Henry VIII. And in response to Nichols’ description of Catholics as a “significant minority”, the bishop of London replied:

Of course, we are all minorities now.

In the 16th century, the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court was very much the home of Catholicism in England. Built by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who failed to gain a divorce for Henry from Queen Catherine of Aragon so he could marry his mistress Anne Boleyn, it became one of the king’s favorite homes.

Henry, who had been given the hereditary title “Defender of Faith” by the then  pope for the book he wrote denouncing Germany’s reformer Martin Luther, often worshipped at the royal chapel.

After Henry’s death in 1547, his son Edward ruled for a short while before his daughter Mary, a strong Catholic, came to the throne.
It was during her reign that the last Catholic service was held at Chapel Royal.

27 responses to “Catholics and Anglicans cosy up … to the fury of evangelicals”

  1. Broga says:

    I suppose as the ineluctable forces of rational thinking continue to erode and destroy the incredible superstitions the retreating religions are having to support each other. The fact is that scratch a Christian and they detest other Christians who don’t share their particular brand of belief.

  2. AgentCormac says:

    It’s heartening to see they all still despise each other. I wonder what god would make of it all?

  3. barriejohn says:

    They’re like a bunch of spoilt children.

    Pope in silly hat alert:

    What is it with these religious types and all the dressing up?

  4. Stuart H. says:

    It’s all a bit like seeing two old biddies having a fight in the bus queue, isn’t it? You no longer know if you should just point and laugh or take pity in case they do themselves a mischief.
    For example, a few years ago we got a bishop with conservative views, so when he used his privileged position to preach I’d send the odd letter to the local paper opposing them.
    These days I don’t even need to do that. In the last year he’s come under fire from a well connected ultra-conservative faction, and both sides sling bile at each other in one page long letters to the press about ever more obscure topics. Leave the nonsense alone, and it eats itself up from inside.

  5. Angela_K says:

    I bet the three saddoes in the photograph are a barrel of laughs!

    Speaking of barrels, gunpowder in this case. Just into the 17th century,if Guido Fawkes and his mates weren’t caught we may have been stuck with the Roman cult.

  6. Stonyground says:

    I would have thought that Lambretta riders would be unhappy about the RCC unfairly promoting their long established rivals.

  7. L.Long says:

    I love it when a delusional dimwit holds a sign stating ‘buyBull thruth….’
    it demonstrates basic stupidity as the dude has never really read his book o’BS or looked into its truth!

  8. sailor1031 says:

    @Barriejohn: Thanks for that, that’s got to be the ugliest sombrero in the world or close to it as well as a serious case of cultural appropriation. Sombrero indeed! where’s my safe space from these morons?

  9. Barry Duke says:

    The Pope in a sombrero, BarrieJohn? How very, VERY racist of him!

  10. Stonyground says:

    I love the picture at the head of this post. The slogans on those posters really are hilarious. These people actually imagine that this stuff matters to anybody other than themselves.

  11. Trevor Blake says:

    I suggest different motives for cross-denomination dialogue. First, most people enjoy the trappings of Christianity (holidays and songs and lovely buildings) but most people are weary of Christianity itself. The faithful know (but cannot admit) this and seek to increase their numbers. Second, the faithful and the social Christians know (but cannot admit) the Muslim world stands ready to take away both Christian trappings and Christian faith and again seek to increase their numbers.

    This atheist sides with the social Christians most, the faithful Christians barely and the Muslim world not at all – based on likelihood of which group continues to persecute atheists and which groups have it up some time ago.

  12. Angela_K says:

    I wonder if one of the two men in that picture is our old foe Bob?

  13. Barry Duke says:

    I very much doubt it, Angela_K. Our fiend (not a mistype) Hutton goes to extraordinary lengths to keep away from cameras. I have in the past offered cash rewards for anyone who can supply me with a verifiable picture of the loon, but so far no joy. I strongly suspect he goes about his evangelising in a wig, dark glasses and a frock.

  14. barfly says:

    Slightly of topic. I was having a coffee this morning in a café outside in the rain where the JW in there usual spot nearby there are a couple of Christians of a different brand offering to pray you better on the street neither group would look at each other both groups smile and ignore the other group, I would love to get them to talk/argue/ threaten each other with there interpretation of the bible there must be a way to get them together

  15. Justin Badby says:

    Religion divides … divides irrevocably. There will be no peace for mankind, ever, because the pious will never agree to disagree.

  16. AgentCormac says:

    @ Barry Duke
    If I had to put my money on what Hutton looks like, I’d go for the simpleton in the middle of the photograph at the top of this article. Don’t forget, he has never done a day’s work in his life and sponges off the state to fund his ‘career’ of harassment. Mixing with other losers at his church all day every day at the tax payer’s expense must be exhausting, and with no stimuli in his life other than the poison of religious claptrap, I guess it must, sadly, be easy for your body to start closing down so you end up looking like a mad old woman. I can’t be bothered trawling through the idiot’s loathsome blog to nail which despicable post this quote came from originally, but I do remember copying and pasting it on Daz’s sadly defunct ‘Hutton Delusion’ blog:

    ‘Over the years money has been extremely scarce, as I’ve never had a professional job with an income to match, but we have always put God first in our lives with the result that He has provided.

    About 18 years ago the Lord led me to reduce my secular employment and spend more time doing street evangelism. Humanly speaking this was a daft idea, as we still had our sons living at home and little money coming in, BUT God provided for our needs to such an extent that we have a house that is more than adequate for our needs with no mortgage on it.’

    God provided? Don’t think so. Those of us who work hard every day are providing.

  17. Barry Duke says:

    Actually, after much research, AgentCormac I think I finally found a pic of Bob Hutton.

  18. barriejohn says:

    Wow – shattering news! The Pope and the head of the Russian Orthodontists are united at last – in their opposition to gay marriage:

    Who could have possibly seen that one coming?

  19. RussellW says:

    I doubt that Henry VIII would be spinning in his grave, even if he could. The old psychopath really only wanted to dump his first wife, get his hands on some nice little earners, the monasteries and run England as an autocracy. The problem with Catholics is that they didn’t do as they were told.


    If Fawkes and his suicidal fellow conspirators had been successful, the result probably would have been the massacre of every Catholic in England.

  20. barriejohn says:

    RussellW: How right you are. Henry VIII remained a devout Catholic and opponent of the Reformation to his dying day; he only wanted to become head of the Church in England (and – as you say – get his hands on the phenomenal wealth of the monasteries, having empties the royal coffers like so many of his ilk, mainly in pointless foreign wars). It is not only idiots like these who misunderstand the man completely – I have come across historians who similarly have the wrong end of the stick, and Thomas Cromwell spectacularly misunderstood him (wishful thinking, perhaps), losing his head as a result!

  21. RussellW says:


    Yes, there’s a tendency to ‘project backwards’ and to assume that since the result of Henry VIII’s policies was an ideologically Protestant England by the middle of the 17th century, that was what he initially intended. The robber barons who created Magna Carta would have been appalled by the way its principles have been extended to all inhabitants of the U.K. and its former colonies. That’s history.

    That said, we’re lucky that the evil bastard was ruthless enough to emasculate the Catholic Church in England, the history of a Catholic England would probably have been very different.

  22. Ellis-e-yum says:

    Looks like we a headed for WW3 waged upon religious differences …. The allied forces of anglicans, coptics and catholics versus shites versus sunnis versus wahhabis versus whatever other fuckwit dogmatic factions of islam exist.

  23. AgentCormac says:

    I always thought of him being a bit more like this to be honest, Barry.

  24. Vanity Unfair says:

    To RussellW:
    “[T]he history of a Catholic England would probably have been very different.”
    Pavane starts in 1588 and the defeat of the English navy by the Spanish Armada.” This was probably the first re-written history I came across so it hit me hard. It has been republished a couple of times but not many people seem to have read it. However, those who have, do not forget it.
    And it’s alternative, not alternate.

  25. RussellW says:

    Vanity Unfair

    The defeat of the Armada seems to be due as much to luck and the weather as any other factor. Many people don’t realise that the Spanish assembled another Armada a few years later, the English changed their strategy and attacked first, decisively.

    Thanks for the link.

    We were very lucky, and I use the word ‘we’ as a citizen of one of England’s former colonies.

  26. Robster says:

    A Vespers service! Was everyone on a scooter?

  27. edwords says:

    OK. So which one is the l-TRU religion?