Anglican Catholic Church

New Mission and New Priest in York

With all the troubled news in the UK and from around the world at the moment it is good to report on some very good news for our diocese.

On the eve of the Feast of Saint Benedict, (20 March 2020), the Bishop received the Reverend Martin Charlesworth, into full communion of the Anglican Catholic Church.

Father Charlesworth has been known to the ACC and Bishop Damien for quite a number of years, and after a period of discernment and consideration by the Diocesan Board of Ministry we were pleased to accept his application to join in our ministry and witness.

Father Charlesworth started out his vocational call as an Anglican religious (he was known as Brother Martin Benedict), living in a small community of Benedictines under the stern protection of Bishop Anselm Genders CR of Mirfield. Here Father received his Baccalaureate in Theology, which was conferred by Saint Patricks College, Maynooth. Later, after the closure of that community, he worked in various secular fields then in due course was clothed as a novice of the Premonstratensian Canons taking the religious name of (Brother) Benedict.
Whilst at seminary, his peace was dashed when he met a young lady, Veronika. He fell in love with his soulmate and followed his heart, left the monastery and two years later was married. He worked for British Gas for a few years before joining the police. He served in the Police whilst struggling with the call of his vocation. During this time he submitted to the Old Roman Catholic Church Latin-rite and was subsequently ordained. In 2011 Father resigned from the Police to begin a small mission in Yorkshire whilst juggling duties of a stay at home parent. Father was consecrated as a bishop to be coadjutor of the Old Roman Catholic diocese of Haemus, and moved with his growing young family to Hungary, the epicentre of the diocese.

Several years later Father Charlesworthr and his young family made the very difficult decision to return to the United Kingdom to take care of his elderly mother who had been diagnosed with dementia and was slowly deteriorating. They were invited to live in Leeds, in a clergy house attached to the vicarage. Fr (the Bishop) Martin, resigned his episcopal status and the diocese of Haemus, happily laying it aside to follow this new path, and the Call of the Gospel to serve the people of South Leeds. The local CofE bishop tasked Fr Charlesworth to support the vicar whom Father had known since the early ?90?s. Fr Martin began his work building up the community, forming links with local organisations. He formed a uniformed youth group, growing from two members to 30. He was co-founder of a pay-as-you-feel cafe, which fed people five days a week. He set up and ran a welcome centre, outstretching a warm welcome to everybody with no judgement or prejudice. During this time Father Martin cam,e to the conclusion that future ministry in the CofE was not where God wanted him to be, and having visited the various missions and churches of the ACC, he made clear his intention to the Bishop to enter full communion with the ACC as a priest.

In November 2019, the family moved to York, to begin a new life, a "forever-after life" (as Archdeacon Raymond Thompson so beautifully put it) growing a new Anglican Catholic community in the beautiful and ancient city of York. His work continues with his involvement with the Foodbanks, local charities and work with the homeless in the city.

Father Charlesworth was scheduled to be received into the Anglican Catholic Church on the Feast of Saint Benedict, 21st March, 2020, however the Coronavirus and the temporary closure of our Churches for public worship made that impossible. In the same way the long distance between York and the Pro-Cathedral in Kent made travel inadvisable at the moment. So, uniquely in our Diocesan history, the Bishop invited Fr Charlesworth to make his canonical obedience oaths via "Facetime" online, witnessed at the Charlesworth's end by Mrs Veronika Charlesworth and at the Bishop's end by Mr Roy Hipkiss. Fr Charlesworth has been licensed to the office of Priest in Charge of the Provisional Mission of the Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady, in the city of York, which he and his family have founded.