By late June, 350 parishes were under the oversight of bishops of The Society by virtue of resolutions under the House of Bishops’ Declaration. Over sixty parishes still under a Society bishop by virtue of an Act of Synod petition had yet to vote. These figures do not include parishes under the oversight of the Bishop of Maidstone.
For comparison, the total number of petitioning parishes in 2013 – the last year for which official statistics are available – was 368. Thus, it is already clear that the result of the process of passing new resolutions will be will be an increase in the number of parishes under the oversight of the Society’s bishops. Some of the additional parishes formerly had only Resolutions A and B; some previously had no resolution at all.
There is no deadline for passing a resolution under the House of Bishops’ Declaration, but Act of Synod petitions will lapse on 17 November 2016 if they have not been replaced by a new resolution. Anne Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org) is available to advise parishes on passing a resolution.
Map of Society Parishes
The bishops of The Society encourage their parishes to affiliate to The Society. Those that have affiliated so far are listed on the diocesan pages of the Society website. They are now also plotted on a new interactive map:
This map will help people to find their nearest Society church, both when at home and when travelling. Further churches will be added to the map each week as more parishes affiliate. (NB: Society parish affiliation fees are payable by Standing Order only.)
This year, bishops of The Society are ordaining twelve men to the priesthood, eleven of them as stipendiary clergy. Nine of these are 35 or younger and six are 30 or under. The average age of the eleven stipendiary clergy is 32.
Across the Church of England as a whole, the average ages of those ordained to the diaconate last year as stipendiary clergy were 42 for women and 37 for men. The comparable figure for Society clergy was 31. 36 of the men ordained to the diaconate in the Church of England last year were aged 25-29. Of these, six (one in six) are now being ordained to the priesthood by bishops of The Society.
The 2016 National Assembly
This year’s National Assembly will be held at the Church of St Alban the Martyr, Holborn, on Saturday 19 November, beginning with Mass at 10.30 am and concluding with Benediction at 4.30 pm. Our guest speaker will be Sir Philip Mawer, the Independent Reviewer appointed in connection with the House of Bishops’ Declaration. The Council will finalize the agenda at its meeting on 28 September.
All Forward in Faith branch chairmen are ex officio members of the Assembly, as are the Society Bishops’ Representatives (if they are members of Forward in Faith). Forward in Faith registered parishes are entitled to send one clergy and one lay representative (who must of course be members of Forward in Faith) each. (This includes Society parishes that have registered with Forward in Faith – at no extra charge.) There is also provision for representation of members of Forward in Faith who do not worship in registered parishes. Invitations to register for the Assembly will be sent out in September.