I was for nearly forty years the Anglican parish priest of St Stephen’s, Lewisham. Though afflicted by the darkening shadows of the Church of England’s infidelity, they were happy years. Now a Catholic layman, I will not pretend that I do not miss the daily round of Mass, visitations and pastoral ministry. There can be no greater privilege than to share the fellowship of good people seeking the face of God.
I was privileged also to follow in the footsteps of diligent priests, not least the great Arthur Couratin, who taught the faith without fear or favour.
St Stephen’s thrives still – though for how long, one must wonder, in an increasingly secular Church. How it would rejoice the hearts of those parish priests who so assiduously taught the Catholic Faith and have gone to their rest, if St Stephen’s were to find its way home.