Dear Daniel, Dear Fr. Gregory,
Some nourishing food for thought.
I'm entirely in agreement about romanticism and the Celts. I yield to few in my admiration for the invention of tradition in the C19th; but that is what they did; it is about as authentic as modern paganism.
I have always rather enjoyed the attempts to pretend that Harold II was an Orthodox martyr who died defending England against the Papal Normans; such a shame it is a myth. The Anglo-Saxons, as Bede shows so splendidly, were all in favour of Rome when they were Christianised.
So whether we like it or not my friend is right, the only native tradition is Catholic. But it is pre-Tridentine, if that has any relevance (which it might).
But we are where we are, and in the BOC we have a rather splendid version (which, and Fr, Gregory knows so much more about this than most of us and can correct me if I err) of the St. James from, I think, a non-Juring source. We also have adaptations of Coptic Services and Coptic vestments, which are about as British as the pyramids.
But here Daniel's formulation about bringing Orthodoxy to the British ought to be helpful; but the fact that Orthodoxy is so tied up with ethnic practice makes me pause a little. I have been brow-beaten more than a few times by Russian and Greek Orthodox telling me that I have to acquire the fabled 'Orthodox mindset' which, when probed, seems rather similar to some mythic Russian or Greek mindset; the difference between this and brain-washing escapes me, at least in the form I have had it presented to me.
Fr. Gregory's final question can push us a little further. I'm not Russian O or ROCOR because I'm not Russian and find the knee-jerk anti-Westernism almost as tedious as I find the Russian parochialism (I can only just cope with my own parochial issue). Western Rite seems to want something on its own terms which never quite existed. The BOC offers what exists, and it does so in a way which is approachable.
Is it perfect? Like all things run by humans, it is as perfect as we are; but even if it is the least worst option, that makes it the worst one except for all the others.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)