Another opportunity to make yourself heard

Many thanks to the New Directions readers who responded to last months invitation to make representations to the Forward in Faith Council regarding National Assembly resolution 2006/01:

That this Assembly whilst giving thanks for the leadership of Forward in Faith since its inception, and the foundations and achievements to date, recognises that future challenges require a renewal of our institutional structure. This Assembly therefore calls upon the Council to establish a review of the structures of the council, executive, regions and Diocesan branches, to ensure effective representation and capacity for response and management, and to arrange for this review to be completed so that recommendations may be made to a delegate conference of Regional Deans, Diocesan Branch Chairmen and Council, by not later than 31 May, 2007.

Southern Sacred Synod

Some fascinating and very useful submissions were received – so much so, that we now invite members to consider this resolution passed by the Southern Sacred Synod in October:

As the Legislative drafting group begins its work, this Synod farms that nothing less than a structural provision (such as the alternative province outlined in Consecrated Women?) will suffice for our ecclesial future in the Church of England, and enable our work, pastoral, evangelistic and ecumenical, to grow and prosper.

We therefore request our bishops and Forward in Faith to take immediately the steps, financial, demographic and structural, which will make that Province a credible present reality and bring it into being in the event that the provisions of the proposed legislation are inadequate to our needs.


The key phrase for the Forward in Faith Council is of course ‘We therefore request . . . Forward in Faith to take immediately the steps . . .’ When your Council meets this month, it will be considering how it is to respond this clear request from the clergy of our integrity of the Province of Canterbury. The Council will be exploring the extent to which the Synods resolution impinges upon FiF Southwarks resolution on our structures. Is this all one task? Or is it two discrete tasks which must be undertaken separately?

There are arguments to support either position – so we invite you – our members – to submit them! Please write to: Stephen Parkinson at 2A The Cloisters, Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AG or by e-mail to:

The next stage

Meanwhile – if you are the Chairman of a FiF Branch, a Regional Dean or a member of the FiF Council – please ensure that the date reserved for the delegate conference referred to in Resolution 2006/01 is in your diaries now. It will take place at a venue to be announced on Wednesday, 16th May, 2007.

Obviously such a conference will be consultative only and final decisions regarding any changes in FiF’s structures will lay with the Forward in Faith Council (the members of which are the Trustees of Forward in Faith), after it has consulted the next National Assembly. But, if this exercise is to have any value at all, we need to know what you – the members – actually think. We have to know your opinions so that we can truly be responsive to your aspirations for our corporate future. It is time for the silent majority to make itself heard! So please write to us now!


If you pay your subscription to Forward in faith by any other method than Bankers Order, you naturally run the risk of overlooking your payment one year and not realizing that you have done so until your New Directions mysteriously stops arriving!

Those who have not paid their subscription as the year comes to a close will get a reminder this month. If they ignore the reminder, this is the last New Directions they may see until they put their house in order! So please save us the trouble of not sending you the first New Directions of 2007 and make sure that you’re in touch with us before Christmas!

Talking of which . . .

A very happy Christmas indeed to all the members of Forward in Faith and warmest thanks to the hundreds of you who are kind enough to send Christmas Cards to our offices; they really are appreciated! ND

Four pamphlets from Forward in Faith

A follow up on the success of its Shadow Working Party Report of last year, Consecrated Women?, edited by Jonathan Baker

Each pamphlet is priced at £2·50 (including postage in the UK) and

can be ordered (payment with order) from:

Forward in Faith, 2A The Cloisters, Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AG

A Guide
by Edwin Barnes
is a straightforward guide to the theology contained
in Fr Baker’s book
and would serve admirably for use in either group work
or individual study

The New Province
A Summary
by James Patrick explains in layman’s terms the legal arguments in Part 2 of Consecrated Women? and the draft Measure offered to the Church by FiF

A Comparison
by John
Hunwicke compares the theology in Consecrated Women? with that in the Rochester Report

Options, Options by Geoffrey Kirk examines the options facing the C of E
over women bishops, and set out in the Rochester Report, and demonstrates their shortcomings