Thank you

From Bishop Robert Ladds SSC

As due thanks and praise are expressed and recorded for those who have worked unstintingly for Forward in Faith, it seems timely also to pay tribute to those who committed themselves tirelessly in the early days of the 1990s, working skilfully for the Catholic cause in General Synod and WAOW (Women Against the Ordination of Women). The pioneering work of Dr Margret Hewitt, Jean Oddy, Kathrine Heidt and many others, should not be forgotten or underestimated.

+ Robert Ladds

The Right Revd Robert Ladds ssc
Curate S Mary with Christ Church Hendon
Superior-General Society of Mary
Assistant Bishop of London

It’s nothing

From Reverend Trevor Vaughan

Thank you for the review of my book in January’s issue of New DirecTions.

May I respectfully remind you that you promised to make an addendum in the February issue, advising potential purchasers that Nowt! can only be bought through York Publishing Services by post at 64 Hallfield Road, York YO31 7ZQ, or phone 01904 431213, or visit

Thank you for your help in this matter.

Trevor Vaughan


From Dr Nicholas Lash

I was profoundly shocked that the journal of as respectable a Christian organisation as Forward in Faith should carry as extremely offensive and distasteful a piece as Dominic Scarborough’s ‘Not of One Mind’. I presume Scarborough is an American – I guess this on the basis of one or two American spellings and the fact that the shockingly abusive tone is one that I recognise from the right-wing fringes of the American blogosphere.

On the whole, in this country, we (and I mean, first and foremost, Christians, but also the wider public) conduct our disagreements in a more civilised manner. I hope that somebody will draw Scarborough’s attention to this fact.

Nicholas Lash


From Mr Cuthbert Hepplethwaite

Despite these difficult times for Anglo-Catholics we can surely all rejoice in Our Lady’s care during this 950th anniversary year at Walsingham and in the year we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Society of Mary.

It is to be hoped that when the members of General Synod come to debate the ARCIC document Mary: Grace and Hope they remember that they live in the land called Mary’s Dowry – after all this land was one of the first to keep the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

The feast might truly be called Anglican Patrimony, after all doesn’t it appear in the Book of Common Prayer preface for Christmas Day (‘and that without spot of sin’)? Let us all then this year sing our Aves louder than ever before!

Cuthbert Hepplethwaite
(Address supplied)

When in doubt

From Mr Lance Haward

One may concur with Fr Ivan Aquilina’s proposition of the impossibility of female ordination to the offices of priest and bishop; yet still refute his suggestion that in the light of scripture and the practice of the universal Church it is a proposition both clear and undoubted. That, of course, is the view from the pulpit whose occupants labour under the professional handicap of non-contradictions.

If his assertion were clear, legions of people would not have been able to find complex arguments against him. If it were undoubted, there could have been no such legions to find them. And the fruits of the devil’s gift of confidence are here for all to see.

The Church of England’s tragedy is that it has failed to take note of Oscar Wilde’s great wisdom that the truth is never simple, or more topically in this quarto-centenary, of Miles Smith’s preface to 1611:

‘It hath pleased God in His divine providence, here and there to scatter words and sentences of that difficulty and doubtfulness, that fearfulness would better beseem us than confidence, and if we will resolve, to resolve upon modesty, with Saint Augustine, Melius est dubitare de occultis quam litigare incertis… Admonish the reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremptorily.’

Never was warning more timely or less heeded. That deafness has allowed men and women of passion to argue out of confidence and myopia where they should have been arguing out of doubt and humility.

Lance Haward, Ll.B
27 Lansdowne Road
N10 2AX

Give them a cheer

From Mr John Robinson

As the new Synod begins to take shape we must remember always in our prayers the members of the Catholic Group in Synod.

They fight on our behalf; often, it would seem, against the odds. Their willingness to defend the Catholic faith is a great witness not only to us but to the wider Church of England, They deserve our heartfelt thanks for all they do.

John Robinson
Sunderland SR2 7HQ

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