Pentecost Launch for forward!

Sunday, May 26th – Pentecost – sees the long awaited launch of our new weekly Pew Sheet forward! During Lent, some eighteen parishes have been using a trial run of five weeks’ sheets and initial reactions are so far overwhelmingly favourable. Orders are beginning to flow into Faith House and we are confident that substantial numbers of parishes will be using it from the outset. Writers in early issues include the Archbishop of York and the Bishops of London and Chichester; each issue will contain a portion of commentary on Holy Scripture, together with items on matters of social concern or historic interest, on prayer and liturgy and the creeds. Printed in full colour, it is designed to brighten up the material which we place in our congregations’ hands each Sunday and will, we are sure, prove to be an indispensable teaching resource in the parishes. Sample copies, price lists and order forms are available from the Director of Forward in Faith at Faith House – please send an A5 size SAE for full information.


The Forward in Faith Festival for Youth will be taking place over the weekend of 4th/6th October at S.Alban’s Church of England Comprehensive School and S.Alban’s Church, Conybere Street, Birmingham. It will provide a wonderful opportunity for teenagers to encounter the Gospel in a setting appropriate to themselves. Although places will be limited and must obviously be on a “first come, first served basis”, the organisers are obviously extremely anxious that all parts of the country are well-represented. The cost will be just £15 per person for the entire weekend, including all meals. All that will need to be found in addition to this is the cost of travel to and from the event. We imagine that PCCs will want to meet such costs, so as to ensure that we have a gathering of young people which is worthy of our constituency. The time to act is now! For further details, contact Fr Ronald Crane at The Vicarage, 266 Washwood Heath Road, Birmingham B8 2XS – Telephone & Fax: 0121 327 1461. Do not permit our detractors to say that traditionalists in the Church of England are all above a certain age! Let’s show them that we have teenagers galore – who will be here to witness to the truths of our faith for many, many years to come!

Sacred Synod

Priests in the West Midlands and surrounding areas will want to note that there is to be a Sacred Synod at S.Mark’s, Washwood Heath, Birmingham on Tuesday, 9th July. The Bishop of Ebbsfleet will be the Principal Celebrant at a Concelebrated Mass at 12.00 noon. In the afternoon, there will be an Address by the Bishop of Richborough: The Christian Priesthood Today: What does it mean to share Our Lord’s Priesthood in the Church of England in 1996? Lunch will be available at £3.50; enquiries, and bookings by 5th July, to 0121 327 1461 (‘Phone & Fax).

Worcester AGM

Fr Geoffrey Kirk was the keynote speaker at the AGM in March of Worcester Forward in Faith. In his address, he suggested to his audience that tenacity should be their watchword; he was detecting signs that it might be possible for traditionalists to continue to live in the Church of England in these dark and difficult days, but that such life was only possible if “those on the ground” did not give in. But they would need to be tenacious in their struggle for, if they were not, the future would indeed be bleak.

Mothering Sunday in Birmingham

The newly-elected Forward in Faith Committee in Birmingham held its first event on the evening of March 17th, when close on one hundred worshippers gathered at S.Agatha’s, Sparkbrook for Evensong and Benediction, followed by a reception. The Regional Dean for Mercia, Fr Ronald Crane, (sub-consciously following Fr Kirk’s example of the previous day!) exhorted his listeners to be tenacious in their struggles for the faith, in what was, by common consent, a rousing and inspiring address.

In Stiffkey’s fair vale . . .

The Bishops of Edmonton and Fulham are leading the London Region of Forward in Faith (the Church of England diocese of London and Southwark) in a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham on Saturday, 11th May. After a Service of Preparation at the Parish Church at 12.00 noon, the pilgrims will process to the Shrine Church. After a picnic lunch, there will be Sprinkling at 2.30 pm, followed immediately by the Solemn Mass. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will conclude the day at 5.00 pm.

Many of that day’s pilgrims will of course be back in Norfolk just a couple of weeks later for the National Pilgrimage on Bank Holiday Monday, May 27th – Solemn Mass at 1.00 pm.

In the footsteps of S.Chad

Saturday, June 1st will see Forward in Faith members and supporters from all over Mercia and beyond gathering at Lichfield Cathedral at 12.00 noon for a Solemn Eucharist at which the Principal Celebrant will be Bishop John Richards; afterwards, the congregation will make its way to S.Chad’s Well for Sprinkling. This is yet another opportunity for us to fill one of our cathedrals to bursting point – please put the date in your diaries now, and watch for further details in coming issues of New Directions.

The Light Fantastic?

London Forward in Faith is holding a major fund-raising evening on Friday, 14th June, by holding the first ever (we stand ready to be corrected!) Forward in Faith Dinner and Dance at the Cafe Royal, Regent Street, W1. Put the date in your diary now, and the time – 7.30 pm until midnight – and have a wonderful evening out in town! Full details in New Directions next month.

The Mysterious Affair at Torre?

The Deanery Pastoral Committee in Torbay has a plan for re-organisation for the next millennium. The highly confidential document was published in all the local papers. Surprise, surprise! The only parish in the plan to be wiped off the sands of Torquay is the Forward in Faith parish of All Saints, Torre. No longer “viable”, it is to be split and absorbed into two neighbouring parishes. The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, confirming recently in the parish, found a congregation of 200 for the occasion. The average Sunday attendance is over 50 communicants and a thriving Sunday School is a feature of this UPA parish. So much for the Staying in the City report! But the congregation at Torre need not fear. They have allies in their fight for survival – including the Agatha Christie Society, for this was her parish church, where the queen of detective stories worshipped. There is, perhaps, little chance, then, of any ecclesiastical corpse at Torre . . .