Item 40 - Ad Fratres

Identity area

Reference code

GB ARCHON 2913 DEA-09-03-02-40


Ad Fratres


  • Christmas 1991 (Creation)

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8 pages; 14 sides; yellow cover; typescript; 1 staple; copy

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Name of creator


Biographical history

The Right Reverend Alan Charles Clark was born of convert parents in Bickley, Kent on 9th August 1919. When young he contracted polio and was taken to Lourdes. He made a recovery and set his sights on the priesthood. He studied at the Venerable English College in Rome and was ordained to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Southwark on 11 February 1945 (The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes). He was involved in the Second Vatican Council as a peritus and was later to become the Vice-Rector of his old seminary in Rome. From there he would return to his Diocese of Southwark where he became Parish Priest of Our Lady Help of Christian, Blackheath, Kent before being selected as the new Auxiliary Bishop of Northampton with the Titular See of Elmham.

Bishop Clark was named the Co-chairman of ARCIC (Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission). As the first bishop of the new diocese, he had to set up all the necessary instruments and commissions for the diocese. The diocesan offices and diocesan tribunal were at The White House in Poringland near Norwich. This estate had been given to the Diocese of Northampton by the Birkbeck Family. It was the residence of the retired Bishop of Northampton, The Rt Revd Leo Parker.

Bishop Clark continued in office until his seventy-fifth birthday made it mandatory for him to tender his resignation to the Holy See in 1994. This was accepted on 21st March, 1995 and at that point he became Bishop Emeritus. He retired to a house built in the grounds and died in the 16th July, 2002 at the age of eighty-two. He was buried near the Slipper Chapel in Walsingham, Norfolk.

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PAST1 file 4

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RCDEA Archives

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Possibilities - for 1992; Alright so far - after 15 years, a rolling car story; The Scene across the Country - alarming decrease in Catholic numbers; The Decade - wide range of activities and areas, unable to define the work of a Commission for Evangelisation ; The Practice - a liturgy to celebrate, revealed mysteries of faith, "all for concilitarity and firmly adhere to it - but I am leary of any synodal structure"; Programme of Evangelisation - "junk" served up in so many churches, a list of some hymns to be consigned to the outer darkness, "admit there is a danger of riding a hobby horse to death"; ARCIC Response - "a great opportunity was lost...", incolvement of all Chruistian Churches is demanded; Finance - Hadrian Mule, Diocesan finances never easy to grasp at one sitting, have not enough money to do everything so budgetting and prioritising is fundamental; DDF [Diocesan Development Fund] - decisions to be taken; Offerings - frequently too low, successes in the Shrine complex and finanacing of the rebuilding of the Cathedral


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