And they’ll reportedly be bringing hundreds of the faithful with them.
Seven Anglican priests and 300 members of six congregations are to join a new section of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Diocese of Brentwood says.
The move involves three parishes in Essex, and three in east London.
It is the largest known influx to date into the Ordinariate, which Pope Benedict established for Church of England members unhappy over issues such as the ordination of women.
Three former Anglican bishops have been appointed to lead the Ordinariate.
Ordinariates allow Anglicans opposed to developments including women bishops, gay clergy and same-sex blessings to convert to Rome while maintaining some of their traditions.
The Bishop of Brentwood, the Right Reverend Thomas McMahon, told BBC Essex the Anglicans were unhappy about the church’s general move away from the traditions it once shared with Catholics, but described the decision as “a very big move”.“They relinquish their present post, a very big thing, leaving some of their people which brings heartache, into a fairly unknown future, as this ordinariate has only just been brought up.
“It calls for huge faith and huge trust because the future isn’t that certain,” he said.
Three vicars in Chelmsford, Hockley and Benfleet are among those men being trained to become Catholic deacons. A seventh retired Anglican vicar is also converting.
Meantime, not everyone is happy about all this, with some senior Anglicans describing the ordinariate as “an insensitive takeover bid.”