EMAIL NEWS ALERTS
The Independent Reviewer's Report on Wakefield Cathedral
Posted on the 5th Mar 2019
Forward in Faith welcomes Sir William Fittall’s judicious report on Wakefield Cathedral.
† TONY WAKEFIELD
The Rt Revd Tony Robinson
Dr Lindsay Newcombe
The Revd Ian McCormack
New Vice-Chairman of Forward in Faith
Posted on the 17th Nov 2018
Fr Ian McCormack SSC is the new Clerical Vice-Chairman of Forward in Faith. His election was announced to the National Assembly at its meeting in London today. He has been a member of the Council of Forward in Faith since 2014 and a member of the Executive Committee since 2017.
Fr McCormack was ordained in 2010. He is currently Vicar of Grimethorpe and Brierley (South Yorkshire) and was previously Assistant Curate in Horbury (West Yorkshire). He is to be licensed as Priest in Charge of St George in the Meadows, Nottingham, on 28 November. A church historian, he has lectured in Anglican Studies at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield.
As Clerical Vice-Chairman of Forward in Faith, Fr McCormack succeeds Fr Ross Northing SSC. Having served as Secretary and then Vice-Chairman since 2011, Fr Northing decided not to seek re-election for a further four-year term in view of the fact that his parish is to receive the largest residential development in the UK, with at least some 6,800 houses. Fr Northing said, ‘I am absolutely delighted that Fr McCormack has been elected to succeed me. I should like to thank everyone who has supported me in my work as Vice-Chairman.’
Welcoming Fr McCormack’s election, the Chairman of Forward in Faith, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield, said, 'It is definitely good news for Forward in Faith that Fr Ian, one of our younger priests, has been elected as Vice Chairman. I look forward to Ian’s contributions to our future plans for Forward in Faith. We are indebted to Fr Ross for his wise counsel as Vice-Chairman in a period that has seen much change and development in the work of Forward in Faith.'
The Seal of the Confessional
Posted on the 17th Nov 2018
Meeting in London today, the Forward in Faith National Assembly has unanimously called on the House of Bishops to re-affirm the Seal of the Confessional as 'an essential principle of the doctrine of the Universal Church, as received by the Church of England'. The Assembly also called on priests of The Society to reassure the faithful that they will maintain absolute confidentiality with regard to what is confessed in sacramental confession.
Moving the motion, Fr Paul Benfield commented that the Seal 'is not some doctrine invented by high-church Anglicans'. He reminded the Assembly that in 1959 resolutions reafirming the Seal as 'an essential principle of Church doctrine' were passed by the Convocations of Canterbury and York without dissent. The motion simply called on the House of Bishops 'to reaffirm what was expressed in 1959 and has been an essential part of church doctrine of the Universal Church since before the Reformation'.
Fr Philip Barnes explained that he had heard 'many, many confessions' when ministering at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham and as a parish priest. He commented that in an internet age in which 'secrets can be revealed at the click of a button... the Confessional is one of the few places left where a young person (or an older one for that matter) can have confidence that they will be heard without being exposed.' He added, 'It was never abusers who made a confession, ever. But I did have survivors who wanted to talk about what had happened to them... The loss of confidence that setting aside the seal of the confessional would create would risk us losing a means of grace for those who are survivors of abuse.'
The addresses given at the Assembly are published here.
Resources about the Seal of the Confessional are available here.
God's Church in the World: the Gift of Catholic Mission
Posted on the 21st Sep 2018
photo: Edoardo Fanfani
This week over 150 people participated in a conference on catholic mission within the Church of England co-sponsored by Forward in Faith and Anglican Catholic Future. Part of the conference took place at Lambeth Palace at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who welcomed participants and encouraged them to consider what it means to give light and salt to the world.
Keynote speakers included Rowan Williams, Alison Milbank, and Luke Miller. Focussing on mission as gift, Dr Williams spoke of the catholic tradition as offering an 'awareness of the already-happening nature of the kingdom', and reminded delegates that to engage in mission is to extend the invitation to creation to engage in God's very being. Dr Milbank reminded participants that mission does not proceed from lack or scarcity, but from sharing in the inexhaustible riches of God's abundant life; and that in mission we invite everyone to share the Trinitarian exchange of love and self-giving. Archdeacon Miller drew attention to the practical ways in which mission is already being carried out in catholic contexts, highlighted the intrinsic connection between mission and personal holiness, and reminded participants that catholic practice done well is inherently evangelistic and will lead to growth.
Forward in Faith and Anglican Catholic Future co-sponsored the conference to highlight existing excellent catholic practice in mission, and to facilitate discussion on ways in which this outstanding practice may be further enhanced. It was also a way of living out the commitment to the mutual flourishing of the different integrities of the Catholic tradition within the Church of England, as embodied within the the Five Guiding Principles set out in the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests in 2014.
Nomination to the See of Sheffield: Lessons Learned
Posted on the 15th Jun 2018
Forward in Faith welcomes the review by the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, William Nye, of ‘lessons learned’ from the various failures in handling the process following the nomination of Bishop Philip North to the See of Sheffield last year.
Mr Nye reports that some of what has been learned was put into practice in respect of the recent nominations of women to the Sees of London and Bristol. The lack of significant expressions of opposition to either nomination underlines the continuing commitment to the Five Guiding Principles on the part of those who will be unable, for theological reasons, to receive the new bishops’ ministry.
The Five Guiding Principles are foundational to the House of Bishops’ Declaration that was, in turn, an integral part of the 2014 settlement that enabled women to be nominated to episcopal sees. The Declaration makes clear that those who uphold the Church’s traditional teaching in respect of the episcopate continue to be eligible for nomination as diocesan bishops. We welcome Mr Nye’s recognition that ‘following the settlement, not enough was done to educate those in dioceses of [this] possibility’.
Like Mr Nye, we look forward to news of the progress of the Implementation and Dialogue Group in carrying out its task of remedying this lack of education about the Five Guiding Principles and the 2014 settlement more generally. We hope that, when the next traditional catholic is nominated to a diocesan see, the fruit of its work will be seen in much more generous responses within and beyond the diocese concerned.
The House of Bishops’ Declaration also said, ‘It will be important that senior leadership roles within dioceses continue to be filled by people from across the range of traditions.’ The non-implementation of this commitment over the last four years suggests that educational work might usefully begin within the House of Bishops itself.