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Archive Record
Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia (RCDEA)
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Bishop Grant to Downham Market Congregation

Compliments slip: Bishop Secretary: "Tony Sketch will arrange to deliver the enclosed - less the carbon - to all Downham Market parishioners when he distributes his invitations to the real Mass."
Page 1: letter to the congregation at Downham Market - explaining, now that the legal procedure is over, the sorrow he feels in acting against Fr Baker. Obedience to the Holy Father means accepting the changes away from the Tridentine Mass. Expects support for Fr Sketch. Notes of explanation included.
Page 2-3: Notes headed: "1. Your present position"; "2. The Missal of Pope Paul VI"; "3. The Bishop's dealings with Fr Baker"

Grant, Charles Alexander Rev LCL BA (1906-1989)

Bishop Grant to Fr Baker: Consequences of the Decree

Detailing the immediate consequences of the Decree sent on 20 November:

  1. not entitled to live in the Parish house - must be vacated without delay - contact the Bishop for support arrangements
  2. not entitled to use the Church - will not evict Fr Baker but will not tolerate him remaining
  3. not entitled to administer parochial funds - make arrangements to settle up
  4. not entitled to officiate at marriages - any married by you will be in an invalid marriage
  5. if celebrating mass in disobedience must make this clear to those attending and handle monies appropriately

Grant, Charles Alexander Rev LCL BA (1906-1989)

Bishop Grant to Press Association: Report in the Daily Telegraph

Quoting from an article in the Daily Telegraph which the Bishop indicates could mislead a reader with some untruths about Fr Sketch. Writing because "this and similar one-sided reports cause distress..." "... you will instruct your staff to present both sides of the picture, and not accept uncritically the propaganda of an interested party in the controversy."

Grant, Charles Alexander Rev LCL BA (1906-1989)

Bishop Lindsay: Message - warning against attending unofficial Latin Mass

Expectation that priests and laity obey and respect the Pope and Bishops and celebrate Mass and Sacraments in the Church's way. Warning against attending an unofficial Latin Mass. Establishes that Archbishop Lefebvre and supporters are opposed to Vatican II and are operating outside the orders of the Pope and Bishops. To attend their Mass is to risk parting company with the Pope and the Catholic Church.

Lindsay, Hugh Rev (1927-2009)

Bishop Lindsay to Bishop Clark: Fr Baker and Tridentine Mass Centre in Newcastle

Fr Baker celebrated Mass without approval in the old rite without permission, preached without faculties and heard confession in an unsatisfactory conditions. He is reported as saying "Since the Vatican Council there have been two churches, one of which is the modern one with new doctrines, new morality, and new liturgy. They can't excommunicate me for that Church because I have never been a member of it. But I intend to remain loyal to the real Church." He has been on radio and television and has caused us considerable embarrassment. Can you persuade him to remain in Downham Market; he intends to return in the next month?

Lindsay, Hugh Rev (1927-2009)

Bishop Lindsay to Fr Baker: No approval for Mass in Newcastle; An educated conscience?

The proposed Mass has no ecclesiastical authority - Fr Baker has not sought leave to offer Mass. Despite Fr Baker's defence of following his conscience he has overlooked the duty to educate his conscience - cites a few examples. Bishop says the Fr Baker is neglecting the guidance of Vatican II, the Pope, Bishop Grant and Bishop Clark. Even if you cannot accept these, consider deeply before leaving Downham Market to share your personal difficulties in other dioceses.

Lindsay, Hugh Rev (1927-2009)

Bishop Office to Bishop Clark: Bishop Grant's letter to Fr Baker, copy enclosed

Fr D Morgan (Bishop's Secretary) provides a copy of the letter from Bishop Grant to Fr Baker, to be hand delivered by Fr Hammond. The Bishop had hoped that time would heal (the Code does not provide for a time limit to Fr Baker to reply). However, anxious by the activities of Fr Peter Morgan and the pastoral situation seemed to offer a way out without a rumpus.

Bishop's Office

Bishop rejects joint school plan

[undated; unattributed] 4 columns
Sub-heading: "Catholics and council shocked".
"The re-organisation of Gorleston High School is back in the melting pot after the Bishop of Norwich rejected a plan for a joint church school." Some background to the project provided

Unknown

Bishop to Correspondent: Effort to build bridges; Refusal to accept renewed mission of the Church

Every effort, long hours and many miles involved in finding bridges to attempt to persuade Fr Baker to enjoy the privacy of the Downham Market presbytery. Bishop has for many months been on TV and in print trying to explain what is at stake. "... not just a question of a liturgical rite; it is a refusal to accept the renewed mission of the Church ..."

Clark, Alan Charles Rev DD (1919-2002)

Bishop warns on road plan

The article begins: "The Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev Alan Clark, last night warned planners of the controversial final stage of the city's inner ring road."
Image: Bishop with headmistress (Sr Mary Cluderay) and pupils at the prizegiving at Notre Dame High School.

Eastern Evening News (1882-)

Bishop's address to Prizegiving at Notre Dame High School

pg1: cover note introducing the address text, the venue and time
pg4-5: text of Bishop Clark's address at the prizegiving in Notre Dame School, Norwich

Text:
Monsignor Wace, Sister Mary, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Very impressive! At the end of Sister Mary's detailed and exciting Report, and after the distribution of prizes and awards, I found cause once again to be inordinately proud of Notre Dame, particularly for the quality of what is called in round terms its education. Not just scholastic achievement nor prowess in sport and athletics; for the vitality of the school community, its zest for life, its care and thought for others, its certainty that it is good to be alive. I am reminded of the saying (by whom I do not know) that the man or woman of spirit tries his or her hand at anything! There is no need to defend to this audience the conviction, held by so many, that Notre Dame stands high among the scholastic institutions of this city and county. In a special way it belongs to the City of Norwich – a Fine City!
But it also finds a significant place among the institutions that go to make up the Diocese of East Anglia. For, when reflecting on the place of this School, these staff and these pupils, these Governors, in the life of our city, it is right to point to the position the School holds in the Catholic educational system of the diocese, a diocese that covers the three counties of East Anglia. It is a Catholic school, and it stands or falls by its adherence to Catholic faith and values as much as, or even more so, by its all-round educational achievement. The two, far from being contradictory, are completely compatible.
I am, therefore, delighted to congratulate the School and to offer my thanks to the Headmistress, the Staff and, of course, to the Governors and the PTA. The present record is inspiring and a witness to much dedication and generosity. But there is also present – what is essential to any living, forward-looking community - a sense of pride and self-confidence. This is a night to celebrate this pride. Notre Dame is fully alive.
Obviously, I am expected to refer to our present situation. Equally, I do not want to abuse my position here tonight nor enter into contentious debate. The respite we received on Thursday is at least a sign that there is much more to be considered before irrevocable decisions are made. It would be easy just to say: NO ROAD – and leave it there. But there are some things that should be said and publicly said.
The writer of an article in Saturday's TIMES – the article was entitled 'Getting London Moving' - observed: 'we are looking for solutions which will improve mobility and improve conditions for residents. One appreciates that our own authorities here in Norwich are pursuing the same course and finding it overwhelmingly difficult to reconcile them. But what is important and must not be forgotten is that 'residents' is not restricted to homes but includes all that makes up a living city. Notre Dame has been resident in Norwich for a long time and has its proper address. We do not want it changed.
Let it be also said that one has considerable sympathy not only for our neighbours who are threatened by the THREE OPTIONS but also for the planning authorities themselves. Norwich is a developing city and needs more infrastructure if it is to grow purposefully and prosperously. At the same time one is justified in asking what are the values which guide the present decision-making. We are not dealing just with a traffic problem. We are asking what kind of city our authorities have in mind in reaching decisions that affect the present identity of our city. Destroy schools and homes and present environment and one is left asking what you – the planners - consider important. A city is not just a mercantile or business centre whose interests, however good, are treated as paramount: it is a complex concentration of human communities. Business, trade and mercantile concerns are mingled with permanent residences and institutions which are frequently rooted in our past and enable us to be the present. Destroy the latter and you take away our identity. Would Norwich be a fine city, then?
These words are not meant to be emotive, even though we feel deeply about any decisions that would be destructive of our school's existence. All I ask – yes, it is a lot - is that our authorities keep all these elements in review as they reflect on what is best for the future of our city and county.
But there is one feature of our school that I have only lightly touched on. Notre Dame is a Catholic school. 'Catholic' indicates what we hold is at the heart of the school community and shapes its philosophy. 'Catholic' points to what we consider to be important in our choices. We are beings who choose, beings who cannot opt out of choosing. We choose careers, holidays, possessions, friends, even GOD. Many choices are made over our heads but many are ours, for which we (and no one else) are responsible.
We can be neither human nor Catholic if we do not exercise our need to choose and to defend choices once made. We should, therefore, not be surprised when we are asked by an outsider; what is so important about your choosing Notre Dame? Why did parents guide you towards this School? Why did competent and loyal staff choose to teach and serve here?
You must provide the answers to such searching questions and be ready to stand by them. Some of our faith convictions enter prominently into all this. We know almost unconsciously where we came from, where we are going and the kind of journey we are embarked upon. We are in fact here because we accept that we come from God, we are on pilgrimage to God and God is there when we die to welcome us into eternal life. Such awareness on our part makes a great impact on our choices. Far from detracting from our education in from our taking part in an enormous and exciting list of school activities, this framework to our choices gives colour and joy, purpose and seriousness to our being a full member of Notre Dame. The festival of Christmas emphasises the great Christian fact that God also made a choice and stands by it: for each of us is worth the world to him.
In concluding, I would like to express deep and abiding thanks to you all. I would also want one fact not to be lost to history - that this school exists as a Catholic School in the Diocese of East Anglia because of immeasurable generosity on the part of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame. I salute the Sisters past and present and commend them warmly to the care of their Patron. Then I salute this vivid and lively Notre Dame School Community - teachers, Governors, parents, staff, chaplains and, most of all, you the pupils, recognising at the same time the continuing debt we owe to the officers of the Local Education Authority. May we always, when faced with difficulties and temptations, have the courage to say: "NO ROAD"!

Dowsey, Gary Rev (1955-)

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