News from the Forward in Faith Regions

A New Regional Dean

For some time, the Regional Dean for Anglia, Fr Keith Haydon, has been conscious that he has not been able to devote to the task all the time which the post of Regional Dean demands. Anglia is one of the larger of our Regions, comprising as it does the dioceses of Chelmsford, St. Edmundsbury & Ipswich and Norwich and extending all the way from the River Thames in the south to The Wash in the north. Fr Haydon is of course Vicar of Walsingham, in the extreme north of the Region, and he has found that the distances involved, together with the very particular demands that Walsingham, of course, makes on him, indicate that he should give way to another. He does so with our very grateful thanks for all that he has done since September 1995 and, moreover, he does so in order to become Sub-Dean for the Region, for he has very kindly accepted the Council’s offer to take on that mantle, under which he will be able to concentrate on the northern half of the Region, whilst his replacement concentrates his initial efforts on the southern half. The Council has appointed Fr Alan Cross, Vicar of St. Barnabas, Woodford Green in the Diocese of Chelmsford since 1989, as the new Regional Dean and he has taken up his responsibilities already. Fr Cross has been a familiar figure at our National Assemblies over the years, where he has represented the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. We now look forward to his formal Commissioning as Regional Dean for Anglia by Forward in Faith’s National Chairman, Bishop John Broadhurst, which will take place at the Region’s forthcoming Eucharistic Celebration The Road Ahead, on Saturday, 21st June at 12.00 noon at The Garrison Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Colchester. Forward in Faith members from all over the east of England should make sure that they are present to support Fr Cross that day, as he begins to undertake this vital ministry amongst them.

News from Manchester . . .

St. Mark’s Church, Chadderton saw the Annual General Meeting of Forward in Faith Manchester on Friday, February 7th. Over 200 members gathered to hear a plethora of speakers including Fr Charles Razzall, member of General Synod for Manchester, Fr Alan Cooke, Dean of the Manchester Forward in Faith Clergy Chapter, Fr Paul Lomas, who reported to those present on the 1996 National Assembly, Canon Eric Lowe, Regional Dean for the North West, Fr Paul Plumpton and Mr Michael Winterbottom, respectively Clerical Chairman and Lay Chairman of Forward in Faith Manchester, the Bishop of Beverley and Stephen Parkinson, National Director of Forward in Faith. The Director reminded his audience how helpless most of them had felt just four years ago, and how that sense of powerlessness had evaporated because traditionalists had been wise enough to see from the beginning that it was only by working together that they would be able to provide a future for themselves in the Church. He was able to congratulate Forward in Faith Manchester for being, as he put it: “one of the very best run and organised branches of Forward in Faith, which served as an example to the rest of our movement.”

. . . and from Sheffield

Saturday, February 8th at SS.Philip & James, New Bentley, Doncaster saw the Annual General Meeting of Forward in Faith Sheffield. Following a Solemn Mass in the Church, some 50 members repaired to the Church Hall for lunch, after which they heard from Fr Tony Delves, Chairman of the branch, Mr. Neil Thorley, who reported on the National Assembly, Fr Bernard Holdridge, Archdeacon of Doncaster and Mrs Elizabeth Paver, General Synod member, who together reported on the process now under way to choose a successor to Bishop David Lunn of Sheffield. Finally, Stephen Parkinson, hot-foot from across the Pennines where he had spoken the previous evening, gave an address in which he underlined the fact that what had been achieved nationally over four years by Forward in Faith had only been possible because of a willingness of those involved to eschew insularity and work in harmony and co-operation with all who shared our views, wherever they might be.

Advance Notice

Forward in Faith members will relish yet more opportunities to fill some of our cathedrals to bursting, inter alia to remind people that they’re still around! So, in your diaries please:

Rochester Cathedral Saturday, May 24th; Lincoln Cathedral Saturday, June 7th; Peterborough Cathedral Saturday, September 20th.

Watch out for full details in future issues of New Directions.


Congratulations to Fr David Houlding SSC, Vicar of the Forward in Faith Parish of All Hallows, Gospel Oak, on his election as Master of the Province for England and Scotland of The Society of the Holy Cross – SSC. Since the foundation of Forward in Faith, SSC has been instrumental in much of what we have achieved and we look forward to the continuance of that most important relationship. Forward in Faith members will all wish to pray for Fr Houlding as he installed as Master and indeed for all the priests of the Society, as they meet in Sacred Synod this month.

National Assembly – Advance Warning!

Regular readers will be surprised to learn the extent to which our annual National Assembly seems to come as a shock to some of those it most directly affects! Each May, we write to all our Diocesan Chairmen and all our Registered Parishes, inviting them to name their Delegates for the Assembly, which always takes place in the Autumn of every year. The difficulty which a minority of those written to seem to have in responding to what seems, on the face of it, to be a simple request, suggests that they have simply overlooked the fact that the National Assembly follows the Summer Holidays just as surely as Easter follows Lent! So – for the benefit not only of those whose memory is short but also of all those who need and want to know: the fourth Forward in Faith National Assembly will take place at The Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, London WC1 on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th September. And, as usual, Dioceses and Parishes will hear from the Director about it in May. Perhaps this prior notice will enable all those to whom the Director writes in a few weeks’ time to respond by return! (The Director confirms that the all-time record for lateness in notifying the name of a Delegate is still held by a man who used to be a parish priest in North London, who provided a missing name as he walked into Central Hall, Westminster for the opening of the first National Assembly!)