Director of Forward in Faith Receives an Award from the Archbishop of Canterbury

Posted on the 13th Jun 2017


On Friday 9 June 2017, in a ceremony at Lambeth Palace, Dr Colin Podmore, Director of Forward in Faith received the Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship from the Archbishop of Canterbury.


In the citation for the award Archbishop Justin Welby first acknowledged the way in which Colin's scholarship and extensive writing have served both the Church of England and the wider Church during the period when Colin worked at Church House, Westminster.  However the Archbishop also went on to recognise:

"As Director of Forward in Faith, scholar and author he continues to make a distinguished contribution to the wellbeing of the whole of the Church of England."

Forward in Faith's Chaiman, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, speaking on behalf of the Council, said:

"We are delighted that Dr Colin Podmore has been awarded the Lanfranc (Archbishop of Canterbury from 1070 to 1089) Award for Education and Scholarship by the Archbishop of Canterbury in recognition of his service to the Church of England and his scholarship and authorship of many publications and reports."



(Photo credit Lambeth Palace)


Funeral of Bishop David Thomas

Posted on the 19th May 2017

The Funeral Mass of Bishop David Thomas will be held on Monday 5 June, at 11am in St Mary's Priory Church, Abergavenny. The Principal Celebrant will be the Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

Bishop David's family wishes that the Mass be celebrated in white and has invited a small number of priests to concelebrate. All other bishops and clergy are warmly invited to robe, should they wish. Vesture for bishops will be convocation dress; for priests and deacons it will be choir dress.

To assist with organization, all clergy who wish to robe are asked to indicate their intention by emailing


Bishop David Thomas RIP

Posted on the 12th May 2017

Responding to the news of the death of Bishop David Thomas, Provincial Assistant Bishop of the Church in Wales, 1996-2008, Bishop Tony Robinson, Chairman of Forward in Faith said:


It is a great sadness to report the news of the death of Bishop David Thomas. He will be remember by many as a kind and pastoral bishop with great wisdom. Our prayers for Rosemary and his family at this time.


Forward in Faith welcomes reference to the Independent Reviewer

Posted on the 24th Mar 2017

Forward in Faith welcomes reference to the Independent Reviewer


Forward in Faith welcomes today’s statement from the Archbishops that they have asked the Independent Reviewer, Sir Philip Mawer, to address the concerns that have arisen in the Church following recent events relating to the See of Sheffield.


We are grateful for their formal statement that, as Archbishops, Primates and Metropolitans, they reaffirm their commitment, and that of the House of Bishops, to its Declaration and to the Five Guiding Principles.


We stand ready to engage with Sir Philip as he reviews the operation of the Declaration in respect of what was done over the last two years to inform and educate clergy and laity about the 2014 settlement, and also in respect of the recent nomination to the See of Sheffield and reactions to it. We trust that his report will correct the misrepresentation of the Declaration and of the Five Guiding Principles that has occurred.


The Archbishops’ call to pray openly for those with whom we disagree, and to demonstrate the mutual love which we are called to share, is something that all should take to heart.



The Rt Revd Tony Robinson



Forward in Faith's information about the House of Bishops' Declaration and the Five Guiding Principles, first published in January 2015, is available here.


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.







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