Bethnal Green congregation convert to Catholicism

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The Independent Online
Two-thirds of the members of a congregation have left the Church of England in the largest single group conversion to Catholicism following the decision to ordain women priests. A total of 120 present and lapsed members of St Matthew's church in Bethnal Green, east London, were received into the Roman Catholic church 10 days ago. Their curate and deacon have also been ordained as Catholic deacons.

The parish priest and leader of the defection, Father Christopher Bedford, plans to become a Catholic in September. He was leader of the Romanising faction within Forward in Faith - the group which organises Anglican opposition to women priests. Members of the new congregation will continue to share their building with those Anglicans who have stayed, though they will be part of the neighbouring Catholic parish of St Anne's.

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