Members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham are Catholics of the Latin Rite, within the full communion of the Catholic Church. By civil law they are known, as all Catholics in England and Wales are known, as ‘Roman Catholics’. However, their heritage and traditions mean that they are Catholics from the Anglican Tradition.
Members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham are no longer part of any other communion (such as the Anglican Communion).
The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is not a distinct Ritual Church within the Catholic Church, but a diocese-like structure within the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales.
One of the principal aims of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus is “to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared”. Members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham bring with them, into the full communion of the Catholic Church in all its diversity and richness of liturgical rites and traditions, aspects of their own Anglican patrimony and culture which are consonant with the Catholic Faith.
Anglican patrimony can be understood to be those elements of the Anglican tradition which have sustained and nurtured the faith of those in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. This includes spiritual writings, prayers, music, as well as those pastoral practices distinctive to the Anglican tradition which have sustained the faith and longing of many Anglican faithful for that very unity for which Christ prayed.
The members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham bring gifts to the Catholic Church for mutual enrichment, in an authentic and visible form of full communion, between those baptised and nurtured in the Anglican tradition and the Catholic Church.