Regular readers may remember me mentioning some dissent in our parish about 18 months ago, when some disaffected X ethnic background folk- and some wannabe non-X but wish they were folk - had set themselves up in active and wilful opposition to the lawful authority of both parish priest and Archbishop, even setting up their own group despite the Archbishop`s express and formal refusal to give them a blessing to do so.
This was a painful, difficult and divisive time for our little community, when it seemed as though all we had worked so hard for in terms of spreading Holy Orthodoxy was to be in vain over a dispute as to ethnicity and their idea of the Church as an enhanced ethnic social club.
We prayed and we wept, we searched our own hearts and consciences as to what was the true reason for this dissent, and at times, we felt very alone, but we struggled on, praying and believing that God would sort all in His good time even though we didn`t understand why we were being tested so.
And so it proved, for several of the dissenters have spoken to Father and have returned to the parish family and the Sacraments, for which we rejoice and praise God for His goodness and mercy. When our brothers and sisters choose to separate from us, we are dimished too.
Now we pray for the rest to return, so our joy may be complete.