Tuesday, 14 February 2012

One Hundred Not Out

This is the one hundredth post to appear on this blog.  The perfect opportunity, then, to reflect on what all this endless writing has been for.

The blog began as a means to record the first few weeks of a group of ex-Anglicans who had joined the Catholic Church through the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus.  Partly, this was in line with the well-known phenomenon of there being Ordinariate groups with blogs (most notably of course Fr Ed Tomlinson's blog and Fr Edwin Barnes's blog), as well as blogs of Anglicans with Catholic-leanings who wonder about their future (for example, Let Nothing You Dismay, Ancient Briton and St Peter's London Docks).  However, it was also because our little group was quite unusual, in that we had left our Anglican parish, St Mary's Bourne St, without having been led by our then clergy, and were finding our way on our own.

True, we had a huge amount of help from Fr Christopher Pearson of the London (South) Group, who with Monsignor Newton worked out the practicalities for us.  Furthermore, we could hardly have ended up in a Catholic parish better suited to cope with a group of ex-Anglicans : Fr Christopher Colven and the clergy of St James's Spanish Place are former Anglicans who joined the Catholic Church in the mid 1990s.  These factors were tremendously helpful, but ultimately we felt there was an unusual story, of hopefully some passing interest, to tell.

Time for a few statistics.  We might not reach the heights of Fr Tomlinson's blog (over a thousand hits per day), but for a little group of three (and perhaps now four) without a priest, we have managed to drum up some reasonable level of interest. 
  • As at the time of writing, we have reached the grand total of just over 8,900 hits. 
  • That means each of our posts (99 having been published up to now) has been read an average of 90 times (though some have been read much much more than that), and that we have had an average of over 57 hits per day.
  • At the current rate, we are heading for 21,000 hits per year.
  • Unsurprisingly most of our hits come from the UK, but the other countries in our top ten are the USA, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Romania and Spain.  We also have regular visits from Italy, Switzerland, Latvia, Sweden, Bulgaria, Malawi, South Africa, Israel, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.
  • A significent number of our hits still come from the Marylebone Ordinariate Group's page on Facebook, although this is a smaller proportion than before.  More and more people arrive on this site either directly after searching for Marylebone Ordinariate on e.g. google, or by following a link from another blog.
  • 77% of hits to our site are on Windows, 9% on a Blackberry, 5% on a Mac
  • 56% of hits to our site are via Internet Explorer, 15% via Firefox and 18% via Safari or Mobile Safari.
As to the different blogposts, I think my favourite is The Angels Rejoice.....and the ex-Anglicans do too, and not because of being self-satisfied and smug at the last line of the blogpost, and only partly because of the fantastic video footage contained therein (a still photo of the event captured in the film is shown below).  No, I like it because it is short (unlike many of the posts on this blog) and because it says succinctly that what we have done feels natural, we don't feel like strangers in a strange land, we don't feel lost, nor that we have somehow been crushed to conform.

How long will this blog continue, now that we have arrived and have begun to settle in properly?  Christmas originally seemed like the right time to stop.  Perhaps you noted the beginnings of a valedictory tone in Christmas Past, Christmas Present, but this had gone by the time we reached A Catholic Christmas, most likely due to the next "right time to stop" having appeared, the Ordinariate Anniversary Evensong celebrations.   The Ordinariate anniversary came and went, there followed some comment on the outcome of the Church of England's General Synod (something that often makes people, no matter the context, think that it is the "right time to stop (breathing)"), and now here we are, at the hundredth blogpost.

We shall see.  There are three more blogposts stored up in draft, which together kick the decision into touch for a while at least.  In particular, there is a rather fun one ready for later this week, focussing on a towering figure of nineteenth-century English Catholicism whom we think Ordinariate members should take to their hearts, and including some excellent vintage footage.

Until then, thank you for visiting this site and for your interest in this blog and in the Ordinariate.

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