A new Office No, not another revision of Morning and Evening Prayer! At long last, Forward in Faith has moved from the rather tiny office it has occupied on the first floor of Faith House since 1992 to a vast (by comparison) suite of offices on the second floor. Thanks are due in no small measure to the Court of Fellows of the Society of the Faith and in particular to its Principal and its Secretary, the Reverend Sir Derek Pattinson and Mr John Creasey respectively. For it has been in the Society’s office that we have “squatted” these last four years; but at no stage have we been made to feel that we were outstaying our welcome, despite the fact that we undoubtedly were! Thanks are also due to the Society for consenting to lease a significant proportion of the second floor of Faith House to Forward in Faith; it is now possible to visit the Director in his office without first undertaking the quasi-liturgical equivalent of a commando assault course, hidden as he was behind towering piles of papers, files, pews sheets and back numbers of New Directions!
A Farewell . . . and grateful thanks In September 1993, the then Secretary of Forward in Faith, Fr Stuart Wilson, persuaded a member of his congregation at Holy Trinity, Hoxton, Jackie Keegan, to come into the Forward in Faith office for two or three days a week, on a temporary basis, to help the then Director, Michael Barwick. Those who have visited the office, or had occasion to telephone us, or who have been present at any of our first three National Assemblies, will know what sterling work Jackie has done over the last three years. However, domestic difficulties, along with her appointment as PCC Secretary at Holy Trinity, have meant that Jackie has reluctantly concluded that she must give up her work at Faith House. She leaves here with our grateful thanks for all her hard work and indefatigable cheerfulness and with our best wishes for all that the future holds for her.
[Jackie’s departure means that, pro tem., the Director is single-handed; despite his many qualities, he regrets that certain things are beyond him. In particular, he is not yet able to bilocate, with the inevitable result that when work requires him to be absent from the office, he is unable to answer the telephone! We have installed an answering machine, which picks up calls coming in on the first of our three lines; so, if you telephone and get no answer, please be patient and try again later, for what it means is that either the answering machine is already in action on another call or, indeed, that the Director is already speaking to someone else on one of the other lines (thus demonstrating another of his failings – an inability to take more than one ‘phone call at a time!)]
Full Church, Three Bishops and Jolly Good Company At 12.00 noon on Saturday, 5th October a full church at Hawkshead heard Bishop Noel Jones call on all Evangelicals and Catholics in the Church of England to hold on firm to their Faith and to remember that we are called to be “desperate handers-on” of the Faith and not “desperate hangers-on” to the Faith. The Mass was offered with great devotion and the singing of God’s praises brought the congregation of over one hundred and fifty out into the bright sunshine with spirits uplifted. Canon Ambrose Southward, the Vicar of Hawkshead, had arranged for the Village Hall to be available for picnic lunches and the rally in the afternoon. Bishop John Gaisford spoke to the Assembly with a message of encouragement and addressed in particular the difficulties of being one or two scattered across parishes, deaneries and the Diocese. After notices of other events happening in the Diocese a demand was made for there to be “Stational” Masses across the Diocese of Carlisle and for there to be a Handbook prepared listing safe churches and priests within the Diocese. This will be undertaken in the very near future. The day came to a close with Evening Prayer from the BCP led by Bishop Gaisford, with the lessons read by Bishop Jones. The third bishop? There, in the wings, our correspondent was glad to spot Bishop John Satterthwaite, until 1993 Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, now enjoying a well-deserved retirement in Carlisle.
Sibling Rivalry? New Directions is to have a sibling – whether a younger brother or sister, only posterity will be able to judge. For appearing for the first time, just as you read this, is our new quarterly tabloid newspaper forward! plus. forward! plus will be distributed in bulk to Forward in Faith Registered Parishes, to Diocesan Chairmen and the like and will be available absolutely free! Packed with news (particularly if you send us news of your events!), views, humour and everything from gardening hints to devotional material, it aims to fill a gap which New Directions cannot. It will be lavishly illustrated (particularly if you send us photographs or your events!) and will have a four page pull-out section for children. Be sure that you get hold of a copy every quarter! If your parish or group would like a supply each quarter, then please write to the Director at Faith House. The minimum quantity is 25 copies and we ask for orders in multiples of 25 only. And remember – there is no charge at all.
Forward in Faith around the World It is good to report that two more overseas parishes have affiliated with Forward in Faith; a very warm welcome indeed to the Church of S.John the Divine, in Courtenay, British Columbia and its parish priest, Fr John Lancaster, as well as to All Saints’, Wickham Terrace in Brisbane, Australia and Fr David Chislett SSC.
And nearer home . . . A very warm welcome to over one thousand new readers of New Directions this month! As a gesture of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Wales, the members of Credo Cymru, Forward in Faith has undertaken, for a trial period, to send New Directions free of charge to all members of Credo Cymru. We will all be watching the unfolding events in the Church of Wales with great interest over the coming months and take this opportunity of assuring all our traditionalist brothers and sisters in the Principality of our love and our prayers at this difficult point in the life of their Church.