National Assembly 1996

The 3rd Forward in Faith National Assembly will take place at The Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, London WC1 on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st September, 1996. As usual, we will gather during the afternoon on the Friday and work through until Night Prayer at about 9.00 pm, reconvening again for the Eucharist on Saturday morning before continuing our business and concluding around 6.00 pm. All diocesan organisations of Forward in Faith and all Forward in Faith Parishes should by now have heard from Faith House and, indeed, most delegates will by now have been registered with us. The National Assembly is, of course, the single most important event in the annual life of Forward in Faith and all members who are not delegates are free to attend and observe the proceedings throughout. Diocesan Assemblies and Registered Parishes are able to submit resolutions to the Forward in Faith Council for debate at the Assembly, and it is encouraging to note that the first of these has already arrived at Faith House.

Christ the King, Gordon Square

The National Assembly Eucharist will take place this year in the magnificent Church of Christ the King, Gordon Square, in Bloomsbury. Built for and by the Catholic Apostolic Church, it has in recent years been used by the Chaplaincy to the University of London. However, the University ceased its use some years ago and it has, sadly, stood empty – although the Trustees of the Catholic Apostolic Church have been thus enabled to carry out significant amounts of restoration. Now, by the kind agreement of the Trustees, and with the consent of the Bishop of Edmonton, in whose area it is, Forward in Faith has taken a lease on the very generously proportioned Chapel adjoining the Church, together with the Crypt beneath it. We will also, under the terms of the lease, have regular access to the main Church (which seats several hundreds) when we wish. It is our hope that we will be able to put the crypt to regular use for meetings, catechetics and the like, and to institute a regular weekday Eucharist in the Chapel. If this scheme is successful, the Gordon Square site will in time no doubt form the heart of Forward in Faith’s work both in the capital and nationally. Of that more anon; suffice it to say for now that the formal launch of our tenure of Christ the King will be on September 21st, during the National Assembly and that we hope that as many members as possible will join the delegates for their Eucharist that morning at 9.30 am.

And so to St. Paul’s . . .

Just four days after the National Assembly, Forward in Faith will again be out in force in London for the Consecration of Fr John Broadhurst as Bishop of Fulham at 11.00 am on Wednesday, 25th September in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Tickets are not required for seats in the nave and we naturally hope that members and supporters of Forward in Faith from all over the country – and beyond? – will be present to support Fr John. The new Bishops of Kensington and Stepney are also to be consecrated at this service, so it would be a very good thing if all Fr John’s supporters made a point of wearing their Forward in Faith Badges! If you haven’t got one (or, more likely, if you have given yours away!) please be sure to order one now. At just £1.50 (post-free), they are indeed a bargain! Just send a note, along with your remittance, to Faith House.

As already reported, Forward in Faith is to provide for Fr John his pectoral cross. Our good friends and neighbours in Faith House, Watts & Co, have been commissioned to make it and significant numbers of members have already made contributions towards its cost. If you would like to be associated with this gift, please send your cheque, in favour of Forward in Faith and marked clearly on the reverse “Fr Broadhurst’s gift”, to the Director at Faith House.

Lichfield Cathedral – at the centre of Mercia

Forward in Faith members from all over the region of Mercia – and beyond – with their Regional Dean, Fr Ronald Crane, gathered at Lichfield Cathedral on Saturday, 1st June for a Solemn Eucharist at which the Bishop of Ebbsfleet presided and preached. With some 50 concelebrating priests and a congregation of 1,100, it was, by all accounts an awe-inspiring occasion. After preaching a marvellous and moving sermon, Bishop John commissioned Fr Alan Buik as Sub Dean for the Region. It will be Fr Buik’s task to assist Fr Crane in his ministry to the members of Forward in Faith in what is a very large and populous region. We know that all members will want to hold him in their prayers as he sets about this task. At the end of the service, Bishop John and the entire congregation made their way in procession to the nearby Parish Church of St. Chad, where everyone present renewed their Baptismal Promises and were sprinkled by the Bishop with water from St. Chad’s Well.

News from West Wessex

We are pleased to report, following our announcement last month, that Bishop John Richards commissioned Fr Julian Lever as Regional Dean for West Wessex during a Forward in Faith Bath & Wells Rally at All Saints, Weston-super-Mare on Saturday, 22nd June.

News from Regent Street

Friday, 14th June saw the long-awaited Forward in Faith London Dinner & Dance at the Café Royal, Regent Street. Some 120 members welcomed as their guests Bishop Edwin Barnes and his wife Jane, Bishop Brian Masters and – as guest of honour – the soon-to-retire Bishop John Klyberg. Fr Gray, the diocesan chairman, presented a small gift to Bishop John as a token of Forward in Faith’s gratitude for all that he has done for traditionalists in London whilst he has been Bishop of Fulham. Fr Geoffrey Kirk made a characteristically witty speech on behalf of all the guests, thanking London Forward in Faith for their hospitality. The dancing followed, but I fear that your correspondent’s utter ignorance of the art prevents a full and detailed report. However, he was able to note that the first on the floor were Bishop and Mrs. Barnes – who couldn’t even wait for the pudding! – and that the beau of the ball was Fr Nicholas Wheeler, Chaplain to the Bishop of Edmonton, who appeared to dance with most of the ladies present! The belle of the ball was without doubt Judi Broadhurst, whose undertaking of so much of the arrangements for what was a most successful evening was rightly marked by the presentation of the most enormous and beautiful bouquet of early summer flowers.

Readers going Forward in Faith

Some three dozen Licensed Readers who are also members of Forward in Faith met in conference at St. Alban’s, Holborn on 22nd June. Bishop Edwin Barnes, Archdeacon George Austin and Fr John Broadhurst addressed them on the many issues facing traditionalist members of the Church of England – and Readers in particular. They divided into groups in order to discuss what action they, as Readers, wish to take as members of Forward in Faith, as well as exploring how they hoped Forward in Faith might be able to help them in their ministry. A plenary session, chaired by Fr Geoffrey Kirk, brought the day to a close. A full report of the conference will appear in a future issue of New Directions.