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The Very Revd Jeremy Winston

A tribute by Fr Malcolm Lane

25th January 2012

This tribute was given at his Thanksgiving Service on Saturday 21st January at St Mary's Priory church, Abergavenney

It seems only like yesterday ,when I first met the young Jeremy Winston. I was a young Banker and little did I know then that that after becoming his Bank Manager I would become probably his closest colleague and friend serving along side him as the Asst Curate in this very Parish Church  and even allowed to Chair Parochial Church Councils’s during his periods of very indifferent health. But it was in Griffithstown, his home village, in about 1977 that we first met I was Treasurer to the Parochial Church Council of St Hilda’s and his mother, the late Irene Vera Winston - a member of that PCC - introduced me to her son Jeremy who was home from Oxford and playing the organ at the Sunday morning Mass.

This young theological student was to have a profound influence not only on my life but many other lives in the course of his ministry. His charismatic personality, his depth of spirituality, and his Benedictine Spirit in the true Catholic tradition aligned with his immense abilities and capabilities were to play an important part in the  lives of thousands and in particular way for so many. The discernment of a true vocation to the sacred priesthood for so many. He had an uncanny knack of recognising what he would say “ Priestly qualities” He possessed an ability to persuade, to cajole and breathe confidence into a person so that he or she could almost reach out and touch the moon, if that was their wish.

How many people in this world has he influenced in the searching out and in the discernment of a call to that sacred priesthood and other ministries in the Church of God? How many journeys has he made walking alongside and in the shoes of those who found the road to ordination to be a thorny one in the least? Many I would say – indeed, some have gone on to become prelates.

I remember well his appointment as the Vicar or should I say Prior of Abergavenny. I was a member of the Patronage Board at the time .It was chaired by Bishop Rowan, when we interviewed the candidates for Yes! The Parish of St.Mary’s Abergavenny – Fr Jeremy among them. The Parish representatives were insistent that the parish of Abergavenny wanted and deserved a married man and one with a family  taboo. Prolonged discussions went on  and we did not appoint on that particular day I well remember the quizzical look on  Bishop’s Rowans face when he said later “What do they want”?
He will do the work of several clerics and he will love them all! Well, thankfully  Bishop Rowan did appoint Fr Jeremy, 
who went on to become probably the most prominent cleric this parish has ever had the privilege of caring for them.

He was very much a “Priest of the People”  and loved by the people and made this Parish Church not only a most welcoming one  but a place that was to host many great parish, civic and ecumenical events.Hosting the Prince of Wales on at least two occasions and other Royals as well. If anyone could do it – It was Jeremy!!

His work is legendary – you only have to look outside at the Priory Centre and the Tythe Barn and not forgetting his governorship links with local schools serving as Chairman of Governors in several of the Schools.

Then there were the Parish Pilgrimages which we jointly led to the Holy Land, to Rome and Assisi, to Lindisfarne, to Walsingham and in the steps of St Paul. The sheer energy of the priest – we could hardly keep up with the Jeremy Winston route march!

And who can forget his culinary skills – how many priests do you know who can cook coronation chicken for 200 people, 
or bake a gross of Vicar’s biscuits for the Food Festival?

I can tell you that he was a most self-effacing man. Back in 2002 when I was ordained Deacon in this very Parish Church, there was a very poignant moment just before the service in the Vestry when I was signing the various legal documents, 
Bishop Rowan appointed Jeremy as a Canon of St Woolos Cathedral to sit in the stall of St Dingat- Jeremy said, “Thank you Bishop but we won’t mention it again this evening because I don’t want anything to detract from Malcolm’s ordination.”

Always others before self!! In the whole time I have known him, and that is almost 35 years, he never wavered from what he believed in. He was a respected traditionalist through and through and his non wavering integrity gained him international respect. He would always say, “Be true to yourself and always be natural and do not pretend to be what you are not!”

He was a magnificent Priest He was one of the oldest members of the The Society of the Holy Cross which was founded at the House of Charity, Soho, London and Its principal objectives are: to strengthen and consolidate the spiritual life of its members according to Catholic belief and practice; to maintain and extend the Catholic Faith and discipline, and to defend Truth against error; and to unite its members in a special bond of mutual charity arising from their common faith.
He ,as a member  of the Society live under a Rule and attend chapters .and his membership of the Additional Curates Society spanned two decades where he served as a very prominent , hardworking Chairman for five years.

In his last days ,I was privileged to look after him at my home  at the Rectory in Michaelston-y-fedw Cardiff  with the support of my son Matthew and great and devoted friends Tony, Caroline, Philip, Verena and Glynis .

They were indeed special days with much sharing as my great friend prepared himself for what he knew lay ahead of him. His funeral instructions to me were explicit as far the  Hymns, Music and Bearers were concerned and with instructions that I was to bury him with his Mother, but there was one proviso in the instructions and that there were to be no ugly people taking part.

Fr Malcolm Lane JP             

Father Jonathan Baker ssc

Our new Bishop of Ebbsfleet

6th June 2011

The Council of the Additional Curates Society congratulates Father Jonathan Baker on his appointment as the new Bishop of Ebbsfleet. Father Jonathan is Principal of Pusey House and Honorary Curate of S Thomas', Oxford, Secretary of Forward in Faith and a long standing member of the ACS Council.

We pray for Father Jonathan as he prepares to take on this new phase of his priestly ministry.

In a letter to the clergy Father Jonathan writes:
"Now we must look ahead with renewed confidence and commitment to the next stage of our life together. It is my firm belief that our witness to catholic faith and order within the Church of England is more important than ever: for the sake of the Church of England itself and her identity and mission; for the sake of the whole Church of God; and perhaps most importantly of all, for the sake of the fruitful preaching of the Gospel among the people of our parishes and to our nation."

We also congratulate and pray for the new Bishop of Richborough, Father Norman Banks, Parish Priest at S Mary's, Walsingham.

Their consecrations are on Thursday 16th June 2011 at Southwark Cathedral.

Almighty God Gave Us Priests

Magazine Article

10th April 2009

The founding father of the Additional Curates Society, Joshua Watson, had a particular concern for the poor and populous parishes of England and Wales and the new towns that were emerging as part of the Industrial Revolution, conscious that on their own they would not ordinarily afford a priest without the intervention of some outside agency. He and some other investors came together to form the ACS, whose sole brief was to generate funds in order to provide clergy for these places, thus satisfying the longing and thirst of ordinary men and women for God.  Over 170 years later the ACS is still true to its founding father as it continues to pay and to pray for priests in the poor and populous parishes of our land.

Unlike many charitable organisations there is a sense in which the Additional Curates Society cannot produce pictures of starving children and homeless families, and yet there is a real sense in which as well as foreign missionaries the clergy in some of the areas in England and Wales that we support perform very similar works, where they can quite literally be feeding the starving and working for the homeless. The parochial system in the Church of England is its crowning glory and so many of our clergy are the unsung heroes in our land, living in some very tough and dangerous places as part of the community and as living icons of Christ. Our aim is to try and redistribute some of the wealth that is still to be found in our land and to ensure that it goes to the areas of greatest need and our commitment is simple -  100% of everything given goes towards providing a priest for a parish.  Our HQ is mean and lean in terms of costs, and we never take anything out of what we are given, but pass it on to those in greatest need.

The work of the society is twofold, paying for priests but also encouraging praying for priests, as our Lord encouraged his followers to do for the harvest is rich and the labourers are few, and in providing free of charge literature for parishes we are able to encourage a prayerful environment in which vocations can be fostered, nurtured and brought to fruition. Our website gives you the full breadth of our work. Please remember the society in your prayers, particularly the General Secretary,  Father Darren Smith, as he travels round the country encouraging vocations and working hard to provide the resources to meet the needs of the parishes. 

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