The National Assembly of Forward in Faith met at St Alban the Martyr, Holborn, on Saturday 17 November. The keynote speaker was Mr William Nye, Secretary General of the General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council.
New Clerical Vice-Chairman
Fr Ian McCormack SSC was elected unopposed as the new Clerical Vice-Chairman of Forward in Faith. Fr McCormack was ordained in 2010. He was formerly Assistant Curate in Horbury (West Yorkshire) and then Vicar of Grimethorpe and Brierley (South Yorkshire). He was licensed as Priest in Charge of St George in the Meadows, Nottingham, on 28 November. A church historian, he has lectured in Anglican Studies at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield. He has been a member of the Forward in Faith Council since 2014 and of the Executive Committee since 2017.
Fr McCormack succeeds Fr Ross Northing SSC. Having served as Secretary and then Vice-Chairman since 2011, Fr Northing decided not to seek re-election for a further four-year term in view of the fact that his parish is to receive the largest residential development in the UK, with at least some 6,800 houses. Fr Northing said, ‘I am absolutely delighted that Fr McCormack has been elected to succeed me. I should like to thank everyone who has supported me in my work as Vice-Chairman.’
Welcoming Fr McCormack’s election, the Bishop of Wakefield, said, ‘It is definitely good news for Forward in Faith that Fr Ian, one of our younger priests, has been elected as Vice Chairman. I look forward to Ian’s contributions to our future plans for Forward in Faith. We are indebted to Fr Ross for his wise counsel as Vice-Chairman in a period that has seen much change and development in the work of Forward in Faith.’
New Council Member
Fr David Way SSC, the Vicar of St Peter’s, Plymouth, was elected as a new member of the Council of Forward in Faith.
The Seal of the Confessional
The Assembly heard presentations on the Seal of the Confessional by Canon Robin Ward and Fr Philip Barnes. It went on to pass unanimously the following resolution, moved by Fr Paul Benfield on behalf of the Council of Forward in Faith:
‘That this Assembly
(a) call on the House of Bishops to re-affirm the Seal of the Confessional as an essential principle of the doctrine of the universal Church, as received by the Church of England, and
(b) call on Society priests to reassure the faithful that they will maintain absolute confidentiality with regard to what is confessed in sacramental confession.’
Forward in Faith Lapel Badges
The new Forward in Faith lapel badges are now available from the office at £2 each (including postage and packing – payable in advance).