Life in the Church – part 2 “Ora et labora”

As a result of the issues that had arisen concerning Illtyd Thomas (see previous post), it was decided that Andrew Linley and I should undergo subconditional ordination to all the major orders as a cautionary measure.

Dom Phillip Kemp OSB(csr) was Primate of the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain, which had been founded in 1968. He was for twelve years employed at the Department of Work and Pensions, where he rose to become a manager. He then became a learning and development officer, and latterly Regional Manager, for the public service trades union Unison. An able chef, he served for eight years in the Territorial Army Catering Support Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, and was promoted from the ranks to Second Lieutenant in 1992. Further promotion to Captain followed before he left the T.A. in 1998. Although he had not pursued university education after leaving school, he studied later in life with the Open University.

Phillip Kemp was consecrated by Aelred Peter Distin, then Primate of the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain, as Titular Bishop of Elmham on 6 June 2004 and appointed additionally as Co-Adjutor Metropolitan. He was a professed member of the Benedictine Community of St. Romuald. On 13 September 2004 Distin formally retired as Metropolitan Archbishop of the OCCGB in favour of Kemp. Under Kemp, the OCCGB was regularized and registered as a charity. Undergoing several changes of name, it was known at the time of our ordination and consecration as the Independent Catholic Alliance and latterly was called the Traditional Catholic Orthodox Church.

The services that took place on 11 November 2006 took up an entire day. The venue was the Oratory of the Holy Spirit in Enfield, north London, which was then the principal house-chapel of our church. All services used the Roman Pontifical. The services were open to the public and were attended by laity. Dom Phillip ordained us conditionally to the diaconate and priesthood and then consecrated us to the episcopate. We then at Dom Phillip’s request conditionally consecrated him to the episcopate, and I then conditionally ordained Dom Simon Scruton of the OCCGB to the priesthood.


When Dom Phillip died at the early age of 46 in 2012, the Administrator of the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain requested that I, as the senior of the two bishops consecrated by him, should succeed him as Primate and Titular Archbishop of Elmham.

>>Continue to part 3