Dates: Born in 1969.
Occupation: Former Anglican vicar; currently chaplain to a language school.
Jeffrey made a public announcement in June 2009 of his intention to convert to the RC Church, joined by his wife and six children. For him, as a vicar with a large family, giving up his livelihood, this was a courageous step, taken out of deep conviction.
Comments on converting to Catholicism
“I realise that this decision is going to make some really happy, some very sad and others possibly angry. But, I have made the decision with the deepest sense of integrity and by conscience.”
“What I became aware of was that it was almost impossible to say 'the Church teaching is' within the Anglican church because there are so many various opinions on matters of sacraments, liturgy, morality, scripture etc. … My preaching would always be seen as a matter of personal opinion rather than having the authority of the Magisterium that backs up what I teach publicly. Of course there is dissent in the Catholic Church but it is always that, dissent towards what Mother Church proclaims as authoritatively true. It is the truth of Mother Church that I embrace as my own deep personal faith.”
“In my heart, I knew that I had grown to love and believe the Catholic faith as it was taught in the Catholic Catechism. On my final day in Rome on 17 April 2009 I went to the tomb of St Peter and knelt and prayed for quite some time. I knew in my heart I was a Catholic and asked what it was that was keeping me from converting.”
“I got up and went to St Peter’s tomb again and there with conviction of heart signed the Roman Catholic Catechism stating ‘This is the Faith of the Church and this is my Faith’, and signed my name with the day's date.”
“Though my time in Rome had quite a bit of emotion as I prayed, what I actually came to see was the end of the wrestling with these questions in my mind and heart. It was now time to act on what my conscience was saying to me for some time. It was time to surrender myself and submit to Mother Church knowing in faith that God would open doors.”
“What 'attracted' me to the Catholic Church was Truth and Authority.”
“May God help us all to be faithful to the truth that sets us free! The last phase before truth finally wins is the fear of knowing how true the Catholic Church is. This is because the Catholic Church will turn our world inside out.”
Jeffrey has an excellent Catholic website and blog, which includes a fuller account of his own conversion.
© Ray Chidell 2011