Appointment of the Bishop of Maidstone

Posted on the 5th May 2015

Forward in Faith welcomes the appointment of Prebendary Rod Thomas as Bishop of Maidstone, as a further step in implementing the Five Guiding Principles enshrined in the House of Bishops' Declaration. We assure him of our prayers and good wishes as he prepares for his episcopal ministry.



The Rt Revd Tony Robinson



New Forward in Faith website

Posted on the 4th Feb 2015

Forward in Faith has a new website at


The new Resources section includes detailed advice to PCCs and Parish Priests about passing a Resolution under the House of Bishops' Declaration, together with leaflets and other resources to facilitate consideration of the issues. There is also a full commentary on the House of Bishops' Declaration.


The About Us section contains more information about Forward in Faith and its work, organized in a more accessible way.


Please explore and enjoy the new site!


The Ordination of the Bishop of Burnley

Posted on the 3rd Feb 2015

Forward in Faith expresses its gratitude to the Archbishop of York for making arrangements for the Bishop of Burnley’s ordination which gave full expression to the Guiding Principles enshrined in the House of Bishops’ Declaration.


The first Guiding Principle speaks of the respect and canonical obedience that lawful office-holders deserve. The Archbishop of York presided in York Minister and the Bishop of Burnley took the oath of due obedience to him. No one present could have been in any doubt as to the Archbishop’s metropolitical authority or the respect in which he is held.


The fourth and fifth Guiding Principles embody commitments to enabling those who, for theological reasons, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests to flourish, and to making sacramental and pastoral provision for us ‘in a way that maintains the highest possible degree of communion and contributes to mutual flourishing’.


The reference to a ‘degree of communion’ recognizes that full communion cannot exist where some bishops and priests are unable to receive the sacramental ministry of others. For over twenty years traditional catholic priests have been granted ordination by bishops with whom they enjoy full communion (because they can receive the ministry of all the priests whom those bishops ordain). The ordination of women as bishops gives rise to a need for similar provision for ordination to the episcopate. Such arrangements contribute to enabling our priests and bishops to flourish, allowing them to experience at the moment of ordination the full communion with the ordaining bishops that all other ordinands enjoy.


We are grateful that the service in York Minster was nevertheless characterized by a very high degree of communion and fellowship, expressed not least in the fact that all could receive communion together.


The arrangements determined by the Archbishop of York also contributed to ‘mutual flourishing’. We trust that no one imagines that the flourishing of traditional catholic ordinands could involve their being ordained by bishops whose sacramental ministry they cannot receive. If all the male bishops present had participated in the laying on of hands, the Bishop of Stockport (whose gracious presence we acknowledge with gratitude) would therefore have been alone in having to refrain from doing so. It would be difficult to see that as an expression of ‘mutual flourishing’.


Plainly, a future female Archbishop of York could not be the principal consecrator of a traditional catholic bishop. By delegating that ministry to the Bishop of Chichester, Archbishop Sentamu has ensured that there need be no difference between his role on this occasion and that of a future female archbishop. We hope that those who support the ordination of women as bishops will agree with us that any such distinction should be avoided.



The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract



Appointment of the first female bishop in the Church of England

Posted on the 17th Dec 2014

Today’s announcement is an inevitable consequence of the legislation that was passed by the General Synod. We are conscious that there will be enormous pressure on the Revd Libby Lane as the first female bishop in the Church of England. We send her our good wishes and assure her of our prayers as she embarks upon this new ministry, while offering continued support to those parishes, clergy and people that are unable to receive it.



The Rt Revd Tony Robinson          Dr Lindsay Newcombe          The Revd Ross Northing

Chairman                                        Lay Vice-Chairman               Clerical Vice-Chairman


Flourishing in the Church of England: Sermon by Fr Philip North

Posted on the 18th Nov 2014

Flourishing in the Church of England: Forward in Faith begins to respond to the challenge


Forward in Faith’s National Assembly, held at St Alban the Martyr, Holborn, on Saturday 15 November 2014, began with a concelebrated Solemn Eucharist. The principal celebrant was the Rt Revd Peter Wheatley, Bishop of Edmonton. Among the nine episcopal concelebrants included the Bishops of Chichester, Fulham, Pontefract and Richborough.


In his sermon, Fr Philip North (Team Rector of the Parish of Old St Pancras and Bishop-designate of Burnley) referred to the House of Bishops’ Declaration and its Five Guiding Principles. He urged traditional catholics: ‘Let us be fearless in grabbing hold of the invitation the Church has given us to flourish’. He added: ‘The five principles… assure us that we remain within the spectrum of the teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion. Now we need to inhabit it boldly and fearlessly. Now we need the imagination and the courage to make it work.’


Click here for Fr North’s sermon »


Further texts, photographs and sound recordings from the Assembly will be added in the coming days.







Records 41 to 45 of 78