Bishop Roald Commissions Crusader for his English Team
Members of the Nordic Catholic Church in England have been enthusiastically looking forward to the ordination of Calvin Robinson that took place in London on November 4th. Most of us are warriors from the 1970’s to 1990’s and much in need of the youthful courage that Father Calvin will bring to our team.
He first contacted us earlier in the year saying he wished to be considered as a candidate for priestly orders in our Church that had retained the integrity of Apostolic orders recognised by Rome and orthodox doctrine agreed with the Eastern Churches.
Although a “best kept secret,” Calvin recognised that we are part of an Old Catholic Communion that has steadfastly declared itself to still be rooted in the Undivided Church of the first millennium and he believed that together we could offer a fresh vision within the wider body of Churches. Calvin was probably one of the most well known and distinctive Christian voices in our country over the past two years, with his own massively successful weekly religious programme on GB TV and radio. His public persona as a courageous and articulate clergyman standing firmly on the platform of a distinct Christian anthropology that underpinned his defence of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony and the equality under God, of all people whatever their ethnicity. These outspoken views, once the mainstream beliefs of the Church, had already caused the State Church of England, at the last moment, to refuse him the curacy he had been offered in London.
It should be recognised that the Free Church of England once again, as it has done with many others, offered Calvin ordination as a deacon, thus giving him a valid ministry and a voice that he was able to continue to use courageously. Since our first meeting with Calvin the Nordic Catholic Church has been labouring with the Free Church to work together, in the belief that there are many things that we can and must do together. Both our churches know only too well that we Christians have to learn to stand together and stop tearing ourselves apart. To this end the Free Church of England have been gracious and supportive in releasing their ordained deacon, and the Nordic Catholic Church are committed to giving whatever assistance Father Calvin Robinson may need in his ministry as a Catholic priest within our ranks.
So it was that the Free Church of England have created a new beginning and offered their church building of St. Jude’s Balham in which the ordination could take place. Around 160 supporters from many denominations joined us, some Catholic and some Evangelical, to fill the building. The ordaining Bishop was our Bishop, his Grace Roald Nikolai Flemestad, accompanied by Father Calvin’s brother priests from the UK, Norway and Italy.
In his sermon on the commission of the Apostles in the Gospel of St. John, Bishop Roald emphasised that through the ordination rite the priest is taken into apostolic service by Christ, which begins as He sends him out to preach and live the gospel and gather the people of God at the altar. The sermon is available via
A high point for us all came at the end when the Bishop followed one by one by his brother priests received the first blessing of their new colleague. The service was dignified with music provided by a brilliant visiting choir and a young team of model servers. We thank them all and the many others who helped behind the scenes to make the day so special.
All of this took place against an all too familiar background of ongoing persecution by the enemies of free speech who are always attempting to sideline and harass orthodox Christians. The most horrible suffering is going on all over the world, but it was a shock to find out that Father Calvin had been singled out and fired by the owners of GB News for supporting his broadcaster colleague. Let us hope and pray that our role will be to support Father Calvin and stand together with other courageous and orthodox brethren whatever part of the church of Christ they find themselves part of.
A rich album with photographs from the ordination mass is available here:
The Ordination of Calvin Robinson to the Priesthood.
Very Rev. Geoffrey Neal
Vicar General, NCC UK