EMAIL NEWS ALERTS
The See of Sheffield - Update
Posted on the 16th Mar 2017
The See of Sheffield – Update
The predominant responses to last week’s news regarding the See of Sheffield have been dismay at the nature of the campaign that was mounted against the outcome of the Church’s process for discerning God’s call to the See of Sheffield, and sorrow at the result of that campaign.
We are encouraged that so many – women and men; bishops, clergy and laity; liberals, evangelicals and catholics – have gone further, pointing out that, as the Archbishop of York said in his statement, what has happened "clearly does not reflect" the 2014 settlement that paved the way for women to be ordained as bishops while securing an honoured place within the Church of England for those who, for theological reasons, are unable to receive their sacramental ministry. This strong and widespread affirmation of the 2014 settlement gives us hope that, in the providence of God, some good may yet come out of an awful situation.
In his statement, Archbishop Sentamu stressed that when we disagree, we should "disagree Christianly, remembering at all times that our identity is in Christ alone". The response of the clergy and people of The Society in the Diocese of Sheffield to the provocation they have experienced has been exemplary. We wish to assure them of our full support at this difficult time. We are grateful to all of the bishops of The Society for their ministry in building up those of their clergy and people across the Church of England for whom this has been a bitter blow.
The need now is to build on the growing consensus in support of the Five Guiding Principles. The statements made by Archbishop Sentamu and a number of other diocesan bishops are very helpful indeed. In due course they will need to be accompanied by action to restore confidence in the House of Bishops' Declaration and to correct definitively the false statements that have been made about the Declaration, the Five Guiding Principles, and the beliefs of traditional catholics. The Executive Committee of Forward in Faith has begun to consider what actions need to be taken, and by whom. We are engaged in discussions with others and will report further as plans develop.
The See of Sheffield
Posted on the 9th Mar 2017
Forward in Faith wishes to echo all that the bishops of The Society have said in their statement following the announcement of Bishop Philip North's decision to withdraw acceptance of his nomination to the See of Sheffield.
We envisage making a further statement in due course.
The Rt Revd Tony Robinson
Dr Lindsay Newcombe
The Revd Ross Northing SSC
Clerical Vice Chairman
The Archbishop of York's statement is published here.
Independent Reviewer addresses Forward in Faith National Assembly
Posted on the 22nd Nov 2016
The Independent Reviewer appointed in relation to the House of Bishops' Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests, Sir Philip Mawer, addressed the Forward in Faith National Assembly, held at St Alban's, Holborn, on Saturday 19 November 2016. He commented, 'What the House of Bishops with the endorsement of the General Synod has done in enunciating the Five Principles and establishing a framework of procedures to underpin them is a brave and worthy attempt to model a way for Christians to live with their differences.'
Preaching at the Eucharist, the Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner, reminded the Assembly that 'Scripture provides us with the contours of divine revelation that issue first in worship, but that incite us also to an ethical foundation of moral life' and that 'the drama of liturgical worship is one of the great acts of our witness on earth to the reality of heaven'.
Mrs Anne Gray, Projects Officer to the Council of Bishops of The Society, shared her reflections on the process of passing resolutions under the House of Bishops' Declaration, which has resulted in a 12% increase in the number of parishes under the oversight of bishops of The Society.
The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North, introduced a consultation exercise on priorities for the future of catholic life in the Church of England, under six headings: Forming all the baptized in Christ, Making young disciples, Offering worship that transforms, Celebrating sacramental priesthood, Being intentional in evangelism, Serving the common good.
Fr Darren Smith reported on the Catholic Societies' 'Here I Am' vocations initative, Fr Edward Martin and Fr Paul Noble presented the Bishop of Richborough's annual Initial Ministerial Education session, held at Walsingham.
Fourteen members were elected to the Council of Forward in Faith, five of the eight laypeople elected being women. Nine former members of the Council having not stood for re-election, 25% of the Council members are new. The full list of Council members is published here. The motion ‘That this Assembly express its gratitude to the retiring members of the Council for their service to Forward in Faith and the Catholic Movement over many years', moved by Fr David Houlding, was passed unanimously.
Photographs, texts and sound recordings of the Assembly are published on the Forward in Faith website here.
Election of the next Bishop of St Davids
Posted on the 4th Nov 2016
Credo Cymru has issued a statement following the election of Canon Joanna Penberthy as the next Bishop of St Davids. It is published on the Credo Cymru website and is reproduced below.
We assure our brothers and sisters in the Church in Wales of our support and our prayers.
A statement by Credo Cymru in relation to
the election of Canon Joanna Penberthy to the see of St Davids
On November 2nd the electoral college of the Church in Wales provided a sufficient majority to elect, for the first time, a woman to be the Ordinary of the diocese of St Davids. In the diocese Welsh culture, language and faith have been deeply intertwined since the days of St David himself and Canon Penberthy has ministered there for many years as an incumbent. We assure her of our prayers as she prepares to undertake the considerable responsibilities of her new office and we recognise too the various skills and experiences she will bring to it. In wishing her well we must, however, point out that her election does underline a particular and pressing need.
Over the last twenty years, assurance has been given publicly and repeatedly by those in authority in the Church in Wales that there is a place for those church people who on grounds of theological conviction and conscience remain unable to recognise the sacramental ministry of women as bishops and priests. Such assurance was repeated in the legislation passed by the Governing Body to permit women to be consecrated as bishops; such Christians remain “within the spectrum of teaching and tradition within the Anglican Communion”. Accordingly we believe that the election of Canon Penberthy makes it a pressing necessity that a male bishop in the apostolic succession with whom we may enjoy full communion be enabled to minister sacramentally and pastorally to such Anglicans in the diocese of St Davids. Thereby additional episcopal care would be provided in the new situation that has been created by the electoral college and action taken to ensure that the “highest possible degree of communion” may indeed lead to “mutual flourishing across the whole Church in Wales.”
Over 400 Parishes under Catholic Bishops
Posted on the 21st Oct 2016
Over 400 parishes have so far passed a resolution under the House of Bishops' Declaration to bring them under the oversight of a bishop of The Society. (In addition, other parishes have passed a resolution that brings them under the oversight of the Bishop of Maidstone.)
According to official figures (Statistics for Mission 2012: Ministry), at the beginning of 2013 there were 368 parishes with a petition under the former Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod in force. The replacement of the Act of Synod with the House of Bishops' Declaration has thus resulted in a significant increase in the number of parishes under the oversight of one of the Church of England's catholic bishops.
A number of other parishes with a petition under the Act of Synod still in force have yet to vote on the new resolution. The total is expected to rise further before 17 November, when any remaining Act of Synod petitions will lapse. (Parishes can of course pass new resolutions under the House of Bishops' Declaration after that date.)
The Chairman of the Council of Bishops of The Society, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson (Bishop of Wakefield), said, 'I am delighted that so many parishes have voted for a ministry that all can receive, and the oversight of a bishop with whom all will be in full communion. This gives us a firm basis for mission and growth, and for flourishing within the life and structures of the Church of England.'