Walsingham: an alternative solution
My comment on the Guardian’s statement is here.
I have thought long and hard, and had many conversations, about a solution for the shrine at Walsingham that would allow those of us who receive (and rejoice in) the ordination of women to all orders of ministry, and ordained women themselves, to share this place with those who cannot.
There are no ecumenical models for this. The closest, I suppose, is Taizé, where an early ‘reformed’ eucharist precedes the Roman Mass each weekday, but where really the Office is key not the daily Mass. I happily concelebrate the early ‘reformed’ Mass and sit in the congregation for the Roman Mass.
So what would an equivalent solution be at Walsingham?
What I appreciate at Taizé is that the community accept and welcome my desire to celebrate Mass every day and find a way of accommodating that. Even if it has meant a 4am Mass in the parish church before I make my way home.
I suspect that at Walsingham there are other ways of accommodating all those who wish to celebrate Mass without compromising the legitimate (in the Church of England) reservations that some hold about the ordination of women.
The simplest solution I can think of is that every Mass be accompanied by a stand/flag containing the simple message, either:
“This Mass is celebrated by a priest of The Society of St Wilfrid and Saint Hilda”
“This Mass is celebrated by a priest who is not a member of the Society of St Hilda and St Wilfrid”
Male and female priests could celebrate Mass. Concelebration would not be possible but attendance in choir would not be a problem.
The simpler the solution the more likely it is to succeed. Why not?