The Society of Catholic Priests (SCP) is a growing society of men and women serving as Priests throughout the Anglican Communion. The society is seeking to promote priestly spirituality and Catholic Evangelism. It has a membership of well over 1000 priests, divided into international Provinces and Diocesan Chapters. In line with Catholic principles we are in full communion with our Diocesan Bishops. The Society has chapters in the UK and Europe, North America and Australia.
This is the website of the SCP Europe Province and is constantly evolving. Feel free to explore!
New Rector General
One of my first tasks as Rector of the European Province of the Society of Catholic Priests is to let the membership know who I am and what I stand for. I am originally from Yorkshire and spent my early life expecting to be a musician, training at the Royal Northern College of Music as a trumpeter and piano player. It was through music that I experienced the call to priesthood and through reading Hans Küng and Edward Schillebeeckx that I was attracted to the catholic faith. After time on the Aston Training Scheme and at Westcott House, I learnt my priestcraft under Fr Nicholas Reade (lately retired as Bishop of Blackburn) and was curate to Nick Bury (former Dean of Gloucester) at St Peter-in-Thanet, Broadstairs. Most of my ministry has been spent in chaplaincy – with the RAF for 15 years, the Army for 4 years, and the Mission to Seafarers for just over 4 years – and I have lived in the Netherlands, Cyprus and Japan as well as serving in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. I returned to parish ministry in 2011 and served two parishes in Barnsley before coming to St Stephen’s in Canterbury in 2014. I have recently been appointed Area Dean of Canterbury and I am an Honorary Minor Canon of Canterbury Cathedral.
My spirituality has been formed by a long association with the Community of the Resurrection, and I am an Oblate of a small Benedictine House in Japan (a daughter house of St John’s Collegeville). I have recently decided to renew my oblation and am going through the process with the World Community for Christian Meditation. I have trained in spiritual direction with the Franciscan International Study Centre (now sadly no longer in Canterbury), and I am studying Cultural Dimensions of Christian Spirituality at the Pontifical University of Sant Anselmo in Rome and as a research student of Radboud University in Nijmegen.
I have already hinted that I do not believe in a Catholicism of obedience to rules or a Catholicism of imitation based on restrictive practices, but rather an intentional Catholicism which is broad, diverse and inclusive – one which makes Christ present in the acts of consecration, blessing, absolving, anointing and prayerful living. I believe in a Catholicism that reflects the diversity of local traditions that existed in the early church, and which is not afraid of the modern world. This is a Catholicism not owned by men or by the clergy – one that leaves both women and the laity mistrustful and feeling demeaned – but a Catholicism that celebrates all the fullness of humanity and the equal contribution of all to the work of God. We may be able to celebrate the opening of the priesthood and episcopacy to women, but we are still only at the beginning of eradicating the misogyny and discrimination that so often infect the church. Men are not first in the order of creation, witness the number of scientists who speak of mitochondrial Eve; men are not even first in the order of religion, witness one contemporary belief that references to the female divine have been suppressed in our Biblical tradition, and despite the part played by Our Lady in the work of the incarnation. We have also been reminded in recent times that gender assignation and sexuality are far more complex than our binary tradition has taught, and that religion, like culture, has evolved through adaptation to each new changed environment. As modern Catholics, therefore, we should not be afraid of change or of adapting to fit our new world – we should not be afraid of the future, but rest secure in our journey with God. The treasure we hold and make present in the sacraments – an infinite treasure – can be made present in an infinite number of ways, and often in surprisingly new ways too!
Fr Kevin Maddy
Out-going Rector General’s Sermon
The sermon preached at the election of the new Rector General by Very Revd Andrew Nunn SCP can be found on his Living God blog here.
The latest newsletter for members of SCP within the Europe Province is now available here.
Annual General Meeting
This year’s AGM takes place on Thursday 12th October at St Matthew’s, Westminster, London. More details can be found here: Conference
Fr Andrew Davison has published a new book entitled ‘Why Sacraments?’. To read a review by the Rector General click here.
A new range of leaflets was launched at the annual general meeting of the Society of Catholic Priests. The publication of our leaflet, Praying the Eucharist marks the completion of three leaflets across all three of our ranges, Christian Life, Christian Faith and Christian Prayer. These and all of our leaflets can be downloaded from our website.
Click here to get to the leaflets