Structural Review

Last October, as you’ll recall, delegates to the 13th Forward in Faith National Assembly, at the Emmanuel Centre, Mar-sham Street, agreed a resolution, 2006/01, which was moved by Fr Martin Hislop, on behalf of the Southwark Area Assembly, and amended by Mr David Warren and Fr Graeme Buttery. The final, agreed text was as follows:

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


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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.

During the debate on 2006/01, the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, on behalf of the Forward in Faith Council, announced that a Working Party of the Council had already been set up, under his Chairmanship, in order to address these issues. The Working Party – comprising Bishop Andrew, Dr Gill James, Fr Paul Plumpton, Fr David Waller and the Director, with Mr Richard Doney acting as Minutes Secretary – has met on a number of occasions since last October and exchanged a veritable torrent of email. In particular, the Working Party was delighted to be able to discuss a number of most useful submissions from FiF members around the country and to meet with a number of key figures, whose advice has been very influential in forming our views on the way forward.

It will, however, come as little surprise to members that the review is not yet complete, but the Working Party has reached a significant number of tentative conclusions which it will be sharing next month with the Clerical and Lay Chairmen of FiF Area Assemblies, the College of Regional Deans and the FiF Council in order to gauge the degree of support they attract, prior to the production of its final report, which will be debated by the National Assembly later this year.

All the above have been invited to a Delegate Conference, which will take place, as arranged (and as already advised in these pages), in central London on Wednesday, 16th May. This will be a private meeting (not least because our venue is but a finite space!) but, obviously, details of what transpires will emerge in due course. We would ask all FiF members to hold all who will attend the conference on 16th May in their prayers, as they gather in order to discern the next steps in this journey.

Note: If any reader believes that he or she should have been invited to the Delegate Conference but hasn’t heard from us in this regard, they should contact us as soon as possible. (The invitations were distributed by email or by letter during the penultimate week of March.)

The FiF College of Deans

Anglia Regional Dean Fr Alan Cross SSC: 02085044687
Chichester Regional Dean Fr Beau Brandie SSC: 01273 604687
Derby Regional Dean Fr William Butt: 01246472270
East Wessex Regional Dean
Fr Barry Fry SSC: 0238022 3107
Kent Regional Dean
Fr David Herbert SSC: 02084673809
Lichfield Regional Dean
Fr Allan Buik SSC: 01782 838288
London Regional Dean Fr Malcolm Gray SSC: 02083602947
Mercia Regional Dean
Fr Ronald Crane SSC: 01213738348 fathercrane@btinternet.corr
Northern Yorkshire Regional Dean
Fr Gareth Jones: 01765 601745
Northumbria Regional Dean Fr Beresford SkeltonssC: 0191565 6318
Norwich Regional Dean Fr Peter Keeling SSC: 01328820310
North Wales Regional Dean Fr Robert Rowland SSC: 01745 570750
Oxford Regional Dean
Fr Ross Northing SSC: 01908562148
Scotland Regional Dean
Fr Len Black SSC: 01463 233797
South Wales Regional Dean
Fr Hadyn England-Simon SSC: 01443 433651
South Yorkshire & Notts Regional Dean Fr Tony Delves SSC: 01709898426
Southwark Regional Dean Fr Andrew Stevens SSC: 02088540461
Tamar Regional Dean
Fr Sam PhilpottSSC: 01752 222007
The Marches Regional Dean Fr John Pitchford SSC: 01684575893
The North West Regional Dean Fr Alan Cooke: 01616242005
The Ouse Regional Dean Fr Geoffrey Neal: 01234720938
Trent Regional Dean

Sub Dean

Fr Reginald Stretton: 01509412935
Fr Paul Noble SSC: 01205 362734

West Wales Regional Dean Fr Philip Wyn Davies SSC: 01974299010
West Wessex Regional Dean
Fr Peter Clarke SSC: 01935 850408