Colin Podmore reports on recent developments and future plans
New Year – New Logo
After my appointment as Director of Forward in Faith was announced in October 2012, one of the comments made to me most frequently – especially by our younger members – was: ‘Please can you do something about the logo?’ My answer to that, as to many other helpful suggestions, was that that was indeed on my list but not at the top of it: there were more urgent matters to address.
The old logo of Forward in Faith has served us well, but there is a widespread feeling that it was a thing of its time and has begun to make us look out of date – like a 1990s organization not a twenty-first-century one.
The need for leaflets relating to the House of Bishops’ Declaration (see below) and for a new website (see below) means that the time has come for a new visual identity. We are grateful to Brian Beddowes, who designed the Society ‘branding’ and the PEVs’ and Society websites, for producing this for us.
Logos and design being matters of taste, there is unlikely ever to be complete agreement about them. The perils of ‘design by committee’ are notorious. But such a design process does need more than one or two people’s eyes. I am grateful to the Executive Committee for their contributions to the discussion and its outcome – saving us from mistakes and suggesting improvements.
We believe in tradition as something that is living and dynamic. We don’t believe in everything staying exactly the same, but neither do we believe in rootless change that ignores the past. This is reflected in the clear continuity between the old Forward in Faith badge and the new logo. Key elements of the old badge – a cross on a yellow circle with rays of light – are reflected, in a different way, in the new logo. Perhaps the cross is even more central than it was. It is a simple and uncluttered design. The use of blue as well as yellow gives a clear linkage to The Society and will be useful in circumstances when both sets of branding (the ecclesial community and the membership organization) need to appear together.
Because we believe in tradition and continuity, there is no problem with people continuing to wear the existing yellow badge, but over the coming months our branches will probably want to adopt the new logo for their newsletters and publicity material.
Resolutions under the House of Bishops’ Declaration
Until mid-November 2016, the existing resolutions A, B and ‘C’ will be treated as if they were resolutions under the House of Bishops’ Declaration. This two-year transitional period is intended to give PCCs time to pass a new resolution under the Declaration.
In some parishes, everyone will be clear that this is the right way forward, but in many a period of teaching and discussion will be needed. Where the issue hasn’t been raised since the resolutions were originally passed, some people may need to be reminded why we have a problem with receiving priestly (and now also episcopal) ministry from women, and how a resolution will promote parish unity by securing a ministry that all can receive.
A working group appointed by the Council of Forward in Faith has prepared a booklet offering advice to PCCs and Parish Priests on passing resolutions under the Declaration. We have also prepared leaflets and cards for PCC members and members of the congregation with information about the process, positive reasons for passing resolutions, and reminders about why ordaining women as priests and bishops is problematic.
Our aim is to have sent this material to every resolution parish by the time this February edition of NEW DIRECTIONS is published. If your parish has not received a copy of this mailing and needs one, please contact the Forward in Faith office.
Affiliating parishes to the Society
At the same time, we are also taking the next step in the development of The Society. In 2013 the Council of Bishops began to meet regularly and a new website was launched (www.sswsh.com). In 2014 Bishops’ Representatives were appointed for each diocese, and priests were invited to register as Priests of The Society.
Now, parishes are invited to affiliate to The Society. Information about this is included in the mailing to resolution parishes.
Affiliation is open to parishes that receive episcopal ministry from a member of the Council of Bishops
as their diocesan or area bishop, or
where a petition under the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993 is in force during the transitional period, or
having passed a new resolution under the House of Bishops’ Declaration.
The minimum annual affiliation fee is £60, payable by Standing Order (annually, or in quarterly or monthly instalments).
Parishes that are affiliated to The Society may also opt to register as a Forward in Faith parish at no extra cost (for further details, see the affiliation leaflet), so that they can be represented in the National Assembly and receive discounts on advertising.
Parishes that affiliate to The Society will receive a laminated card that can be displayed on a noticeboard and will be entitled to use the Society logo and branding (available on the Society website under ‘Resources’). They will be listed on the Society website.
Society parishes are asked to encourage their members to support The Society by joining Forward in Faith (the membership organization which supports, administers and pays for its work).
Training for Bishops’
By the time this issue of NEW DIRECTIONS is published, the Bishops’ Representatives will have attended a training day at St Alban’s, Holborn, at which they will have received copies of the
material that is being sent to parishes and heard presentations about the House of Bishops’ Declaration, resolutions, parish vacancies, and affiliating parishes to The Society. The Bishop’s Representatives will be available to advise and support parishes in passing and maintaining resolutions. Their names and contact details may be found on the Society website.
Like the Forward in Faith badge, the website is very much a thing of its time and has reached the end of its usecul life. At the time of writing a completely new website is being designed and built by Brian Beddowes. The commentary on the House of Bishops’ Declaration that appeared in NEW DIRECTIONS over several months in 2014, which was published in user-friendly sections on the old website, will be transferred to the new one. The advice booklet and other items from the parish mailing will also be available there.
2015 National Assembly
The next National Assembly of Forward in Faith will be held at St Alban’s, Holborn, on Saturday 14 November 2015. If you an ex-officio member of the Assembly – or hoping to be appointed as a representative of your parish or branch – please put the date in your diary. ND
Providing ministry, sacraments and oversight which we can receive with confidence
We express our gratitude to those from whom Forward in Faith received a bequest during 2014:
Stephen John Andrews
Harold Frederick Godfrey
Graeme Hands (priest)
Margaret Faulkner Howarth
Louisa Nancy Winifred Ridley
Henry William Gordon Vincent (priest)
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: And let light perpetual shine upon them.