Colin Podmore reports on recent developments

The National Assembly met in the Church of St Alban the Martyr, Holborn, on Saturday 14 November. Edited versions of the sermon preached at the Mass and some of the addresses to the Assembly are published elsewhere in this issue.

The Assembly made a number of amendments to the Constitution of Forward in Faith – in many cases to update it to take account of recent developments. Perhaps the most significant for branches is that it is now a requirement that only those who are members of Forward in Faith can be officers of a branch of Forward in Faith. Branch officers have control of funds for which, although they can only be expended by the branches, the Trustees of Forward in Faith are accountable. In proposing the amendment the Council took the view that those who control the Organisation’s funds must be members of the Organisation. The Constitution, as amended, is available on this page of the website:

The Assembly passed the following resolution unanimously:

‘That this Assembly welcome the Archbishop of Canterbury’s decision to call a meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion and his invitation to the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, and assure Archbishop Justin and his fellow Primates of our best wishes and prayers.’

Moving the motion on behalf of the Council of Forward in Faith, Fr David Houlding spoke of our commitment to the visible unity of the Church and pointed out that maintaining and deepening the unity of the Anglican Communion is an important contribution to this. The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), formed in 2009, consists of 29 dioceses. These include the Anglo-Catholic Dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy, and San Joaquin, all of which had withdrawn from The Episcopal Church; and also the Missionary Diocese of All Saints, formed for members of Forward in Faith North America in other parts of the USA who had similarly left The Episcopal Church.

Anne Gray, who has been employed for the past twelve months as Forward in Faith’s national Elections Officer, introduced new and returning members of the Catholic Group. She commented that the fact that many non-Catholic electors had given high preferences to Catholic candidates was a positive sign, attributable to the quality of their election addresses and the range of their interests. It was announced that grant funding has enabled Forward in Faith to appoint Mrs Gray to the new role of Projects Officer for the Council of Bishops of The Society, for three years from January 2016.

The 2016 National Assembly will be held at the Church of St Alban the Martyr, Holborn, on Saturday 19 November: Solemn Eucharist at 10.30 am, Benediction at 4.30 pm.