LLF update from the Catholic Group on General Synod

Posted on the 9th Jul 2024

On Monday 8th July 2024, the General Synod voted, by a narrow margin in the Houses of Clergy and of Laity, and with a reduced majority in the House of Bishops, to approve the motion on Living in Love and Faith (LLF). 


The motion was passed as follows:

Bishops: 22 for, 12 against, 5 abstained

Clergy: 99 for, 88 against, 2 abstained

Laity: 95 for, 91 against, 2 abstained.


During the debate, both Archbishops and the Bishop of Leicester (lead bishop for LLF) confirmed that conservatives remain a valued part of the Church of England and made undertakings to explore provision for conservatives on this issue, for which we are grateful. Consequently, members of the Catholic Group will continue to engage with the LLF process nationally and we encourage continued engagement in dioceses.


Following this vote in General Synod, there will now be a further process of negotiation detailing the provision needed for conservatives, and we will continue to work alongside friends in the Alliance.  Moving forward, it is envisaged that standalone services will be introduced after the February 2025 meeting of General Synod, by which time provision should be provided and which is envisaged will be based on a model of delegated episcopal oversight.


The motion as approved by Synod was as follows:


'That this Synod:

support the overall proposal and timetable set out in GS 2358;

request that the House of Bishops, with the advice of the LLF working groups:

i. revise the Pastoral Guidance to remove restrictions on the use of PLF in ‘standalone’ services alongside the introduction of an arrangement to register for Pastoral Reassurance;

ii. establish the basis for the provision of Pastoral Reassurance through a House of Bishops’ Statement and Code of Practice which provides for the delegation of some specific and defined episcopal ministry, and which is overseen by an Independent Review Panel;

iii. report to this Synod at its February 2025 group of sessions on the further theological work carried out under the auspices of the Faith and Order Commission around the nature of doctrine, particularly as it relates to the doctrine of marriage and the question of clergy in same-sex civil marriages. This work to be appropriately budgeted and resourced by the Archbishops’ Council in terms of theological advice, travel and meeting costs in order to increase the likelihood of meeting the timescales as set out in GS 2358

Agree that taken together the Pastoral Guidance, the Bishop’s Statement and Code of Practice for pastoral provision will replace Issues in Human Sexuality.

Agree for the arrangements for Pastoral Reassurance to be regularly monitored over a period of at least three 2 years before being formally reviewed by General Synod.’


Further information can be found here.


Fr Adam Gaunt

Chair of the Catholic Group


Living in Love and Faith (LLF)

Posted on the 26th Jun 2024

26th June 2024

As we have our own settlement dating back to 2014, and benefit from the episcopal provision which goes with that settlement, it would not be appropriate for us to sign the Alliance's letter of today's date.

For the avoidance of doubt, we want to make clear - via this short statement - our wholehearted support for:

1. The Society bishops' statement of today's date.

2. The statement from 11 Church of England bishops of today's date, expressing concerns about the LLF process.

3. A settlement to be reached with all those who cannot in good conscience go along with the developments being proposed, and which are starting to be put in place, through the LLF process.

Fr Adam Gaunt, Chair of the Catholic Group in General Synod
Emma Joy Gregory, Vice-Chair of the Catholic Group in General Synod
Tom Middleton, Director of Forward in Faith


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





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