Former Faslane padre cum jockey switches religions
Thursday 14 December 2017
Two former clergy who served as Anglican ministers are being ordained as Catholic priests as part of an initiative set up in 2011 by Pope Benedict to bring former Episcopalian and Anglican clergy and their people into the Catholic Church.
Rev Simon Beveridge was ordained in Whithorn in Galloway by Bishop William Nolan on Thursday 14th December. Before being received into the Catholic Church he served as a Vicar in the Church of England from 1987 before becoming a Royal Navy Chaplain in 1993 serving with the Commando Royal Marines and latterly as Regional Navy Chaplain (North), based at Faslane on the Clyde.
There is one ‘secret occupation’ that Deacon Beveridge is very proud of. He was an amateur jockey, which earned him the nickname of The Galloping Padre. As he explained, “I trained as an amateur jockey at the British Racing School at Newmarket attending the Amateur National Hunt Course, with race horse trainer, Jimmy Frost, enjoying my first full season racing Point to Point 2006-7 and achieved a winner at Wadebridge in Cornwall.
“That season culminated in me representing the Royal Navy in The Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown Park where I met a spectacular end by being run out into the rails by two loose horses when leading nine lengths clear of the rest of field! I have firm intentions to provide a home for a couple of retired race horses once our new home, the Mill, is completed and the paddocks are ready.”
The head of the Ordinariate in the UK is Monsignor Keith Newton. He was a former Church of England Bishop and is married and cannot therefore be a bishop in the Catholic Church. Although he has the authority of a bishop in many things, he is not able to ordain men to the priesthood and invites other bishops to do so on his behalf.
Monsignor Newton said, “I am delighted by the welcome the Ordinariate has been shown by Bishop Nolan and Archbishop Cushley. Their willingness to ordain these me on my behalf to serve the Catholic Church in the Ordinariate as well as their understanding of our unique situation and their words of encouragement have been much appreciated and I look forward to being with them for these ordinations.”
Fr Beveridge will begin the task of forming an Ordinariate presence in Galloway while assisting, when available, in the parishes of Kirkcudbright, Dalbeattie, Whithorn, Wigtown, Newton Stewart, with Gatehouse of Fleet and Castle Douglas.
Rev Cameron Macdonald, who lives in Nairn, was ordained as an Episcopalian minister in 1990 and served at St Columba’s Episcopal Church in Nairn before becoming an Army chaplain in 1995. He served with 3 and 4 Regiment Army Air Corp in Suffolk and then in Croatia as part of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force and later in Germany with the Royal Green Jackets, going on a Tour of Duty to Bosnia. He later served with the 39 Engineers and in Cairo, Gibraltar, America, Oman and Canada.
He was ordained by Archbishop Leo Cushley in St Columba’s, Edinburgh, and will assist Fr Len Black, the senior Ordinariate priest in Scotland, in serving the growing number of Ordinariate people in Scotland.
Fr Black said, “This is an exciting time for the Ordinariate in Scotland and having these two new priests working with me will allow us to provide more opportunities for people to experience our unique liturgical traditions which Pope Benedict described as “a prophetic gesture” that would contribute positively to the developing “the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all”.