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.