The thirteenth Forward in Faith National Assembly

. . . will take place at the Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, London SW1 on Friday 6th & Saturday 7th October, 2006. Forward in Faith Diocesan Branches and Registered and Affiliated Parishes have all had their notice of the Assembly and, as we go to press, 110 delegates’ names have been received at Gordon Square. As these things go, that is not a bad start – but (particularly as the Assembly is earlier than usual this year) we do need to have all the names just as soon as you can possibly let us have them!

Our bishops in the southern province are calling a Sacred Synod for clergy on the morning of Friday 6th October and we hope that priests and deacons (to say nothing of bishops!) who are not delegates to the Assembly but who are intending to be present for the Synod will stay on for some, if not all, of the Assembly on the Friday afternoon and the Saturday. As we enter upon what seems to many of us to be the end game in the matter of women bishops, the more of us who hold to the faith once delivered who are able to take counsel together the better!

Just one week after the Assembly, the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Translation of the image of Our Lady from the Guilds Chapel in Walsingham Parish Church to the then newly-built Holy House. It will give all of us at the Assembly enormous pleasure, then, to welcome to the Emmanuel Centre the Priest Administrator of the Shrine, Fr Philip North, who will give the Devotional Address on the Friday evening. And, continuing the Walsingham theme, our preacher at the National Assembly Solemn Mass on the Saturday morning will the Principal of Pusey House, Fr Jonathan Baker who, earlier this year, was elected as a Guardian of the Shrine.

Elsewhere in New Directions you will have read of the election of the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA. The President of Forward in Faith North America, Bishop Keith Ackerman ssc, very much hopes to be with us at the Emmanuel Centre in October and we look forward to hearing from him about all the latest developments on the other side of the pond. After all, what happens in the Episcopal Church this year usually rears its ugly head in the Church of England sooner rather than later!

All members and supporters of Forward in Faith – whether delegates or not – are of course warmly invited to join us what promises to be the most important Assembly yet.