A Most Important Date
St Alban’s Abbey will, we know, be packed to the doors – standing room only – at 11.00 am on Saturday, 15 September, for our constituency’s farewell to the Bishop of Richborough. Bishop Edwin retires at the end of October and he and Jane will be moving to the South Coast for what we hope will be a very long, happy and active retirement. Their contribution to the good health of our movement is incalculable, as will be evidenced in St Albans that day. Be there!
Letters went out in June to all registered parishes and to all dioceses, asking for the names of their delegates to the Seventh National Assembly, to be held on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 October, at the Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, SW1. However, registration forms and the draft programme have still not gone out to something over 200 delegates – for the simple reason that we have yet to be given their names! If you are expecting to be at the Assembly, but have still not been invited to register by the Forward in Faith office, please do speak either to the person who should have sent your name in, or to Colin Niblett at Faith House on (020) 7976 0727.
The National Assembly Solemn Eucharist will take place in the Church of Christ the King, Gordon Square at 9.30am on Saturday, 13 October – the Feast of St Edward the Confessor. The Principal Celebrant will be the Bishop of Fulham and the preacher will Fr Michael Melrose, Rector of St Giles, Reading and Forward in Faith Regional Dean for Oxford. The Choir of St Giles, Reading has kindly agreed to sing at the service. A Devotional Address on the Friday will be given by Fr Alan Rabjohns, Chairman of Cost of Conscience, Vicar of St Saviour’s, Roath, in Cardiff, and a member of the Provincial Council of Credo Cymru. Another familiar face at the Assembly will be the President of Forward in Faith North America, Fr David Moyer SSC who is again flying in with his wife Rita; we shall look forward to hearing from him all the very latest news of Fr Sam Edwards and his beleaguered parish of Accokeek.
Other details of the Assembly timetable will emerge in due course, but one thing to which we can look forward will be the opportunity, hopefully on the Saturday afternoon, of saying au revoir to a Flying Bishop and his Flying Buttress! Naturally, we will be making a presentation on behalf of Forward in Faith to Bishop Edwin and to Jane, as they move to Lymington and, no doubt, Bishop Edwin will have a final word or two for us before he goes!
It goes without saying that all members of Forward in Faith are of course most welcome to attend all or part of the National Assembly.
An Urgent Request
As noted last month, our office suffered a serious computer crash during the Director’s absence abroad. Although most of the lost data has now been restored, there remains some doubt as to whether all the entries in Stephen Parkinson’s diary have been successfully retrieved. If any reader has arranged with the Director for him to visit FiF Diocesan Meetings, Chapter meetings or whatever, he would appreciate a call or a note to confirm the details which ought to appear in his schedule for the coming months.
Forward in Faith Australia
The following were the four principal resolutions passed by the Annual Conference of Forward in Faith Australia, at its meeting in Brisbane in late July:
1. This Conference, having regard to Resolution iv.11 of the Lambeth Conference 1998, declares that Forward in Faith Australia is in communion with the Traditional Anglican Communion in so far as the constitution and canons of the dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia permit.
2. In the event that the current General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia passes enabling legislation for women bishops but does not make acceptable provision for orthodox Anglicans, this Conference calls upon all orthodox Anglican bishops to act decisively to ensure proper episcopal care is provided for members of Forward in Faith Australia.
3. We, the members of Forward in Faith Australia, meeting at our National Conference in Brisbane on 22 July, 2001, express our wholehearted and unstinting support for the Reverend Samuel L Edwards SSC, the lawful Rector of St John’s Parish – Christ Church, Accokeek and St John’s Chapel, Pomonkey – in the Diocese of Washington, in his present unhappy struggle occasioned by the ecclesiastical authority for the time being in that diocese, Mrs Jane Dixon.
The Conference was heartened to learn of the support given Fr Edwards by the Bishop of Fort Worth, the Right Reverend Jack L Iker SSC and encourages all orthodox bishops of the Anglican Communion to express support for Bishop Iker in his courageous stand for gospel truth and godly order.
4. This Conference requests the National Council of Forward in Faith Australia to take such steps as are necessary in order to achieve the following objectives:
(i) The appointment of a full-time member of staff, empowered to take such executive action as is necessary in order to achieve the objectives of Forward in Faith Australia, as set out in its Mission Statement;
(ii) The agreement of a budget, designed to raise such income as will be necessary each year to pursue the said objectives.