Very kind of Fr Peter Scott, the chaplain at Royal Naval Air Station, Yeovilton to allow me to celebrate and preach at today's 1030 mass at St Barts - the Fleet Air Arm Church. It was just a normal regular Sunday mass with all the usual suspects in the congregation and as always warm and friendly and good for me to see loads of friends that we have made in this church since moving to Ilchester back in 2002. I have been appointed there twice for short periods in my time as naval chaplain - and whilst I was at sea with the RFA for four years and up in Faslane, it was St Barts that provided me with a spiritual home when I was back here in Somerset.

However - today was the last time that I will have stood at that altar. As many of my friends and acquaintances will know, I have long struggled with my "membership" of the Church of England and have wavered and hesitated for so long about leaving. But it's a cosy and comfortable place to be. I have been a priest in the CofE for 33 years. My friends and colleagues and the people to whom I have ministered in Norbury, and Truro and Newlyn and Redruth and for the past twenty or so years in the Royal Navy are all there. It's a culture and a heritage that I have valued and enjoyed - but I can no longer stay there. It's not just the ordination of women to the presbyterate - there's a whole raft of issues that I can not go along with or ignore any more. Now with the prospect of women bishops we will be in a situation where a bishop (female) will not only not be in communion with a number of her priests and parishes who will object to and reject her appointment, we will have bishops (female) who will not be in communion with those male bishops who cannot accept women's ordination. It makes a nonsense. Anglican churches that have ordained women to the episcopate are no longer a church in the way I have understood and believe the church should be.

My days of standing on the edge wondering whether to jump or not are at an end. I will no longer function as a priest within the Anglican Church after today. That is not to deny my priestly orders, to renounce or deny them - or to doubt that perhaps somewhere along the line my priestly ministry might have achieved some good here and there. I just choose no longer to exercise my priestly function as I leave behind the CofE. with - I might say - a great deal of heart searching and sadness.

However, the path on which I am now embarked is I think for me the right one. Fiona converted to the Roman Catholic Church some ten or twelve years ago, and that is the path down which I now go. I have seen my local Catholic bishop and, please God, sometime in the next two or three months I also will be received into the Catholic church. The question remains about whether or not I will ever be able to function as a priest again. That is not for me to say. I would certainly hope that there might be a possibility that the bishop might consider me for (re) ordination someway down the line - but that is a bridge to be crossed at the appropriate time and it is not for me to speculate at this juncture.

I have a new job as I leave Germany this week. Next Monday 3rd November, I will be starting working with the charity "Combat Stress," and I will write more about that soon.

However - now I see that it is long past gin o'clock and time to go and pour a large (cheeky!) one! Also we have the drive to Munster to look forward to on Tuesday and back again on Thursday.

It's been a stange day.