It is said that actions speak louder than words, and indeed they do. In this case it is images that speak louder than words. The picture below says it all. There is very little need for editorial comment this month.
As a constituency we can be grateful that faithful men have been called to serve us as bishops, we must pray for them, support them and work with them as they seek to achieve a secure future for our constituency. They have a hard task ahead of them but one in which they have our support. We need as a constituency to send a clear message to those who would see us marginalised and side-lined: time and time again we have stated ‘a code of practice will not do,’ the delegation of bishops is unacceptable and in all conscience we would be unable to accept the ministry of a man ordained by a female bishop. We hope and pray that the Church of England, which we love, will never try to force people to accept the innovation of the ordination of women. For the time being though let us put aside our worries and let us celebrate our faith with these two new bishops and with all of the bishops of our constituency. It is perhaps most sensible to give the final word to one of the new Bishops. Fr Jonathan Baker, through the medium of the internet sent this message to his new Episcopal Area:
‘I assure you of my prayers and to ask you for yours. As I said when my appointment was made public I think that the appointment of myself and Fr Norman Banks is a sign of great hope for Catholics in the Church of England. A sign that the Archbishop of Canterbury understands that we are a needed and valued part of this Church: and that we are here to stay. And so I want to invite you all to take heart and to pray for the spread of the Gospel, for the renewal of the Catholic faith in the Church of England, for vocations to the ordained ministry and the religious life and for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to renew each one of us in our Christian calling and discipleship so that together we can all take the good news of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ to all the people we serve.’ ND