The Forward in Faith National Assembly will take place at the Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, SW1 on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 October. Much of our time together will be spent considering the Report of the Shadow Working Party on Women and the Episcopate, published this month under the title Consecrated Women?
But we shall take time as usual to hear about our Youth Work, our Website and our publishing. There will of course be a Report from Forward in Faith North America, as well as news from Forward in Faith Australia, which by then will know the result of the latest attempt in the Australian General Synod to approve legislation to permit women bishops down under.
We will as usual gather at Christ the King, Gordon Square for our National Assembly Mass. The Bishop of Fulham will preside and Fr Sam Philpott will preach and, during the Mass, the bishop will commission Fr John Pitchford as our new Regional Dean for The Marches.
Amongst the resolutions we will consider the following four are worthy of particular note:
This Assembly directs the Council of Forward in Faith to seek counsel’s opinion regarding the ownership of church property (church, churchyard, parsonage house and any other lands or buildings held by the Vicar and Churchwardens or the Parochial Church Council) in the event of the parish being forced, for theological or ecclesiological reasons, to withdraw from the Church of England.
Proposed by the PCC of the Forward in Faith Registered
Parish of SS.Stephen and Mark, Lewisham
This Assembly looks forward to the publication of the Report of the Working Party on Women in the Episcopate which has been meeting under the Chairmanship of the Bishop of Rochester and encourages the wider church and in particular the General Synod of the Church of England to use both the Working Party’s Report and Forward in Faith’s Report as the focus for further study and meaningful dialogue between proponents and opponents of the ordination of women to the episcopate, in order that both parties may be continue to be enabled peacefully to co-exist within the Body of Christ.
Proposed by the Reverend Robin Ellis
Seconded by the Reverend Simon Ellis
This Assembly, in view of the likelihood of the consecration of women as bishops, expresses its concern about the impact of such consecrations and any consequent ecclesial reordering on priests and religious of this constituency who are serving in situations outside parishes which have petitioned for extended episcopal care.
This concern prompts the Assembly to request the Council to formulate, and work for the acceptance of, proposals for appropriate provision by the General Synod for priests and religious who are left with no alternative but to resign in the event of such consecrations.
Proposed by the Reverend Canon Tom Mendel SSC
Seconded by the Reverend Brother Christian SSF
This Assembly commits itself to do all things necessary to secure a structural solution for those unable in conscience to receive the ordination of women, which will become necessary in the event of the ordination of a woman as a bishop in either the Province of Canterbury or York, or in the event that the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993 is rescinded by the General Synod of the Church of England.
Proposed by the Reverend Paul Plumpton
Seconded by the Reverend Alan Cooke