Change of Address

Bishop John Richards, lately of Ebbsfleet, wishes all New Directions readers to know that his new address is:

Stoney Road
Devon EX20 4DQ
Telephone & Fax: 01566 783144

519 Days

At last, we can say that the great celebration at the London Arena takes place NEXT YEAR! The Eve of Pentecost in the year of Our Lord 2000 will witness the largest yet gathering of our integrity, as we meet to commit ourselves to His Gospel as we enter upon the third millennium of Christianity. Regular readers of New Directions will already know that, on Saturday, 10th June, 2000, the Archbishop of York will be presiding at a great Solemn Eucharist at 12.00 noon in the London Arena, in the heart of London’s Docklands (and just across the river from the Millennium Dome). Forward in Faith is extremely grateful to the Council General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, and to other Catholic Societies, which have kindly agreed to provide substantial financial support for this event.

Seats will be £10, or £5 for senior citizens or children under the age of 16 on the day of the event. Although we are asking all those wishing to come to pay for their seats when they book them, tickets will not be sent out until the Spring of 2000. In the meantime, all those who book seats will in due course receive an acknowledgement only. Credit Card bookings for Priests who wish to concelebrate, please, to Forward in Faith on 0171 976 0727; for lay people (and priests who do not wish to concelebrate) to the London Arena on 0171 538 1212.

Are you a singer? If so, read on! But even if you’re not, read on and then show this item to those in your Church who do sing! For if there are members of your congregation, choir or music group who would like to sing on 10th June, 2000 in the Forward in Faith Millennial Choir, then we need to hear about them now. We ask only three things of potential singers: first, a reasonable competence in sight-reading, along with real enthusiasm for what we are planning; second, a willingness to attend one of a number of regional rehearsals which Fr Ronald Corp, our Director of Music for Christ our Future, will be organising at various locations during the early months of 2000; and, lastly, the ability to arrive at the London Arena on the day itself by 9.00 am for the final rehearsal. The mass will involve a wide selection of music, both traditional and modern, and will present an enormous but rewarding challenge to all who take part. All those who volunteer to join the choir will be asked, on the day they attend their regional rehearsal, to pay the sum of œ15 (or œ10 for those under 16 on 10th June, 2000) to cover the cost of their entrance ticket to the Arena and to help to defray the costs of providing the printed music they will need for the mass. If you know of numbers of people who would like to sing on 10th June, 2000, please ask one of them (your Organist, perhaps) to act as the point of contact on their behalf and write to us at Faith House now, giving numbers involved for each “line” – SATB. Likewise, individuals who would like to sing should let us have a note of their name and address and their voice. Once we have an idea of where in the country our singers are coming from, we will arrange the rehearsals as conveniently as we are able. At the risk of stating the obvious, we need to set these regional rehearsals up sooner rather than later: so please deal with this now!

Names of Singers, please, to Faith House on 0171 976 0727, along with requests for additional copies of the Christ our Future Poster.

Our detractors would love to point to any empty seats in the Arena and use such spaces as evidence that our constituency is dying off – together, we must ensure that they have no such opportunity! After all, there are only 10,000 seats available, which represents just one 40 seat coach from each Forward in Faith Parish! We are confident that it really will be a case of “first come, first served”!


FF2000 is an International Festival, running from Sunday 23rd July to Sunday 30th July, 2000, for all young people who will then be aged 13 or above. (Yes, it’s even further away than Christ our Future!) It will provide a marvellous opportunity for our young people to meet some of their brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world in the lovely setting of St Gabriel’s, at the Community of All Hallows, at Ditchingham. Activities will include Swimming, Tennis, Hockey, Football, Table Tennis, Wide Games and Treasure Hunts, Folk Dancing and a Disco! There will be Workshops on Art, Drama, Poetry, Printing, Performing Arts, Calligraphy and Pottery and Excursions during the week will include trips to Norwich and to Walsingham.

Great Day at Southwark

Some rather bad-tempered, not to say ill-informed, comment in the church press after the event did little to spoil what was a marvellous day at the beginning of last month, when large numbers of us helped to fill Southwark Cathedral for the consecration of two new bishops. We were there, of course, to support Michael Houghton, as he was consecrated Bishop of Ebbsfleet, in succession to Bishop John Richards. All of Bishop Michael’s Regional Deans were robed and seated in choir and it was good to see familiar faces from all the Forward in Faith constituency – as well as from further afield: Bishop David Thomas from Wales, along with Fr Alan Rabjohns, the Treasurer of Credo Cymru; and Bishops Keith Ackerman and Jack Iker from the United States, along with Fr Sam Edwards, the Executive Director of the Episcopal Synod of America. We received a marvellous welcome from the authorities at Southwark Cathedral, who deserve every plaudit for laying on such a magnificent occasion.

Later in the day, Bishop Michael made his way to S.Alban’s, Holborn, where he gave Benediction to a packed church. If Southwark Cathedral was fairly Forward in Faith in the morning, S.Alban’s seemed completely so! Thanks are due to Fr Howard Levett, the Vicar of S.Alban’s, for his hospitality, and to Forward in Faith Council member Fr David Houlding, who undertook to organise the service. All present agreed that it was a great privilege to be present at Bishop Michael’s first episcopal engagement. We know that all readers of New Directions will continue to hold Bishop Michael, and Diana his wife, in their prayers, as he sets about this great ministry to which he has now been called.