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.


Election of the next Bishop of St Davids

Posted on the 4th Nov 2016

Credo Cymru has issued a statement following the election of Canon Joanna Penberthy as the next Bishop of St Davids. It is published on the Credo Cymru website and is reproduced below.


We assure our brothers and sisters in the Church in Wales of our support and our prayers.


A statement by Credo Cymru in relation to

the election of Canon Joanna Penberthy to the see of St Davids

On November 2nd the electoral college of the Church in Wales provided a sufficient majority to elect, for the first time, a woman to be the Ordinary of the diocese of St Davids. In the diocese Welsh culture, language and faith have been deeply intertwined since the days of St David himself and Canon Penberthy has ministered there for many years as an incumbent. We assure her of our prayers as she prepares to undertake the considerable responsibilities of her new office and we recognise too the various skills and experiences she will bring to it. In wishing her well we must, however, point out that her election does underline a particular and pressing need.


Over the last twenty years, assurance has been given publicly and repeatedly by those in authority in the Church in Wales that there is a place for those church people who on grounds of theological conviction and conscience remain unable to recognise the sacramental ministry of women as bishops and priests. Such assurance was repeated in the legislation passed by the Governing Body to permit women to be consecrated as bishops; such Christians remain “within the spectrum of teaching and tradition within the Anglican Communion”. Accordingly we believe that the election of Canon Penberthy makes it a pressing necessity that a male bishop in the apostolic succession with whom we may enjoy full communion be enabled to minister sacramentally and pastorally to such Anglicans in the diocese of St Davids. Thereby additional episcopal care would be provided in the new situation that has been created by the electoral college and action taken to ensure that the “highest possible degree of communion” may indeed lead to “mutual flourishing across the whole Church in Wales.” 



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