Festival 2024

Posted on the 14th May 2024

The Forward in Faith Festival 2024 took place on Saturday 11 May 2024 at the Church of St Alban the Martyr, Holborn.


Texts, photographs and sound files will be posted here as they become available.












 Address from the Rt Revd Paul Thomas Chairman of Forward in Faith













Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament







The scope of the role of the Independent Reviewer

Posted on the 11th Apr 2024

The Independent Reviewer has rightly restated that, following a submission to her from Women and the Church (WATCH) regarding the appointment of diocesan bishops in the Church of England and in line with the Church’s Five Guiding Principles, being a traditionalist is not a bar to becoming a diocesan bishop.


However, Forward in Faith also notes with concern that the Independent Reviewer has recommended in her report that consideration be given to re-examining the scope of her role. It is not clear to Forward in Faith from the contents of the report exactly what deficiency in the current arrangements would be met by such a change.


As WATCH has demonstrated in its referral on the appointment of diocesan bishops, any individual or interested party can make a referral to the Independent Reviewer. The Independent Reviewer can then assess the points made in those referrals.


The critical question must always be how those referrals relate to the 2014 House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests. If there has been any breach of that Declaration, from whatever part of the Church it might have come, then it needs to be addressed directly and transparently. However, simply not agreeing with, or feeling uncomfortable with, the contents of the Declaration can never be, and should never be, grounds for a referral to the Independent Reviewer.


The direction of travel being opened up by the Independent Reviewer runs the risk of undermining the Declaration, which quite rightly seeks to promote the flourishing of all parts of the Church and to uphold and protect the minority position in the Church of England, which in part occurs through the work of the Independent Reviewer.


Forward in Faith remains strongly of the view that the Church of England benefits from the breadth of its witness, including the catholic teaching and practice which it holds in common with the universal Church.


Festival 2024

Posted on the 1st Apr 2024

12pm Sung Mass of Eastertide

Preacher: Fr Kyle McNeil SSC

High quality choral music

followed by lunch with wine

2.15pm Meeting & presentations

3.30pm Benediction, finishing by 4pm


The National Festival is open to all Forward in Faith members.

You are welcome to become a member and attend the Festival.

The cost of attending the Festival is at a subsidised rate of £10.



To register, please do so either electronically or by post, stating either “individual member” or “corporate member”

Electronically: transfer £10 to sort code 30-98-97 & account number 00384131, with your surname as a reference & emailing admin.assistant@forwardinfaith.com with your name,  address & any dietary requirements



By post: send a cheque for £10 payable to Forward in Faith at 5 St Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AF along with your name, address & any dietary requirements


Statement from The Society and Forward in Faith on the Prayers of Love and Faith

Posted on the 15th Dec 2023

Advent 2023


In this season of Advent, we join each of you in watching and waiting for the Christ who comes to meet us. We turn towards him in penitence, mindful of our sins and failings, but also in hope, and in joyful expectation of the fulfilment of His promises and the coming of His kingdom.


You will have seen that the House of Bishops has now commended the ‘Prayers of Love and Faith’ (PLF) and has issued Pastoral Guidance which provides the framework within which they may be used. We are glad to read in the Pastoral Guidance that:

The Church of England teaches that Holy Matrimony is a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman, blessed by God in creation and pointing to the love between Christ and the church; a way of life which Christ makes holy. It is within marriage that sexual intimacy finds its proper place.


The Bishops of The Society, mindful of their calling to be guardians of the doctrine of Christ as the Church of England has received it, which doctrine is expressed in the common prayer of our liturgy, will not be using the PLF in public prayer. We recognise, however, that the nature of the commendation means that local decisions lie solely with clergy and their PCCs. Society Bishops will be offering further guidance on the PLF to the clergy in their care in due course.


We continue to rejoice that the parishes and worshipping communities in our care are places of welcome for all, where those from diverse backgrounds and households can come together as God’s people united around the one altar of sacrifice of the New Covenant.


In Advent we recall the place of Mary in the story of our salvation. Her example is of a life lived wholly for God, utterly transparent to His loving purposes. May her prayers support us as we seek, by God’s grace, to grow in holiness and do His will.




The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham,

Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops



The Rt Revd Paul Thomas, Bishop of Oswestry,

Chairman of Forward in Faith


A new Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops and a new Chairman of Forward in Faith

Posted on the 30th Nov 2023


Feast of St Andrew, 2023


After nine years as the Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops [Note 1] and as the Chairman of Forward in Faith [Note 2], the Right Reverend Tony Robinson, the Bishop of Wakefield, has chosen to step down from both roles.


The bishops of The Society have chosen the Right Reverend Jonathan Baker, the Bishop of Fulham, to succeed Bishop Tony as the Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops.


The trustees of Forward in Faith have chosen the Right Reverend Paul Thomas, the Bishop of Oswestry, to succeed Bishop Tony as the Chairman of Forward in Faith.


Bishop Jonathan commented:

“Our entire movement owes a huge debt of gratitude to Bishop Tony for his many years of selfless devotion to the flourishing of catholic life in the Church of England, all conducted with a profound sense of pastoral care to clergy and people alike, and with pragmatism and good humour.


In terms of The Society, I would particularly highlight Bishop Tony’s achievements in developing and consolidating The Society as an ecclesial body and in being an architect of the move from often internally focused discussions to a more externally driven approach, emphasising the importance of mission.


I shall look to continue Bishop Tony’s excellent work on behalf of The Society and in particular will seek to complete the implementation of his twofold vision for The Society. Firstly, we should seek to harness the charisms of the entire catholic movement so that The Society can act as the focal point and as the banner for the witness of all of our parishes in the Church of England. Secondly, we should ensure that our catholic societies work harmoniously with one another in support of our goal of building up our shared catholic life.”


Bishop Paul commented:

“I echo Bishop Jonathan’s words and would like to register my own deep thanks to Bishop Tony for his immense efforts on behalf of us all. We would not be in the strong position we are today without Bishop Tony’s dedication and hard work.


In terms of Forward in Faith, Bishop Tony showed admirable leadership in getting us through the crisis caused by the Covid pandemic, and more recently he has acted as a keen supporter of the redesign and relaunch of our New Directions publication.


I look forward to working closely with Bishop Jonathan to ensure that Forward in Faith works with the other catholic societies for the renewal of the catholic movement in the Church of England. Forward in Faith will continue its campaigning work on behalf of the movement so as to promote the historic faith, particularly by creating new disciples for Our Lord Jesus Christ and by upholding and advancing the universal Church’s teaching on all seven sacraments.”

Prayer for The Society


Heavenly Father,

Bless the bishops, clergy and people of The Society.

Bind us together in love and faith.

Renew us in service and witness.

And by your Holy Spirit

Guide our future and make plain your purposes.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.

Saint Andrew, pray for us.

Saint Wilfrid, pray for us.

Saint Hilda, pray for us. 


Note 1

The Society is an ecclesial body, led by a Council of Bishops. The purposes of The Society are to:

  • Promote and maintain catholic teaching and practice within the Church of England.

  • Provide episcopal oversight to which churches, institutions and individuals will freely submit themselves.

  • Guarantee a ministry in the historic apostolic succession in which they can have confidence.


Note 2

Forward in Faith is a registered charity which:

  • Is committed to the catholic faith as the Church of England received it, and to proclaiming it afresh in this generation.

  • Upholds catholic order and the catholic doctrine of the Sacraments, and in particular the threefold ministry in historic succession, which the Church of England shares with the Church throughout the world and across the ages.

  • Longs for the visible unity of Christ’s Church, and especially for communion between the Church of England and the rest of the Western Church.





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