National Assembly

The National Assembly met at St Alban’s, Holborn, on Saturday 19 November 2016. There are addresses and photographs elsewhere in this issue, and as usual, texts and photographs are available on the Forward in Faith website (go to and click on the link to the 2016 Assembly).

Every four years, the Assembly elects regional representatives to the Council of Forward in Faith. This time, the elections saw a significant turnover in the membership of the Council, marking the end of one era and the beginning of a new one.

Ten members, some of whom had served for many years, did not stand for re-election: the Revd Dr Terry Buckingham, Mr David Fordham, Mr Eddie Moores, Dr Christopher Mott, Mrs Mary Nagel, Preb. Sam Philpott, the Revd Paul Plumpton, Mr Eddie Moores, Canon Andrew Stevens and Mr David Warren. The Assembly passed unanimously the following motion, moved by Fr David Houlding: ‘That this Assembly express its gratitude to the retiring members of the Council for their service to Forward in Faith and the Catholic Movement over many years.’


The following members were elected to the Council:


Beverley Clergy Fr Graham Hollowood

Beverley Lay Mrs Deborah Cartwright

Beverley Lay Mr George Crofts

Ebbsfleet Clergy Fr David Fisher

Ebbsfleet Clergy Fr Darren Smith

Ebbsfleet Lay Mr David Smart

Ebbsfleet Lay Mrs Mary Snape

Fulham Clergy Fr Martin Hislop

Fulham Lay Miss Ann George

Richborough Clergy Fr Edward Martin

Richborough Clergy Fr Martyn Neale

Richborough Lay Mr Christopher Daubney

Richborough Lay Mrs Sarah Mowbray


For one of the Beverley Clergy places there was no candidate, so there will be a by-election next year. Meanwhile, in addition to Fr Hollowood three other priests from the Northern Province are national, ex officio or co-opted members of the Council.

The National Assembly will next meet at St Alban’s, Holborn, on Saturday 18 November 2017.


The Staff Team

As reported in November, our new Administrative Assistant is Alison Shaw. Having given me some assistance in the autumn, Alison took up her permanent post with Forward in Faith at the beginning of January. She will be working on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and will be available to deal with administrative matters between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm.


Ben Fowler, who also gave me some assistance during the autumn, has joined the staff on a short-term contract as Development Assistant. During 2017 he will be working one day a week on projects relating to the branch structure and membership.


Anne Gray continues as Projects Officer for the Council of Bishops of The Society. We are grateful to the Number One Trust for the grant funding that makes this possible. Anne works from home, three days a week. In her first year in this role she concentrated largely on supporting parishes in passing resolutions under the House of Bishops’ Declaration. By the end of 2016 there were 413 parishes under the oversight of members of the Council of Bishops having passed a resolution under the House of Bishops’ Declaration – a 12% increase on the number of petitioning parishes under the former Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod. Anne will now be concentrating on other projects, but remains available to advise any parishes that have not yet passed a resolution but wish to do so.


Fr Peter Hudson continues as our part-time Chaplain. Attendance at the mass celebrated at 12.30 pm each day in the English Chapel at Gordon Square, in the heart of the busy university district of Bloomsbury, is increasing. Parishes of The Society are prayed for on a rota basis, the Chaplain having contacted the parish priest about intentions for prayer. Members of Forward in Faith visiting London are encouraged to come to mass and make themselves known to Fr Peter. The Chapel is open from 8 am to 4 pm and there is a constant stream of people coming to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. The Chaplain is available for pastoral consultation between 11 am and 1.30 pm. We are grateful for a grant from the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament which covers the cost of leasing the Chapel, and for an anonymous annual donation which covers the cost of the Chaplain’s stipend and ministry.  


Parish Affiliation to The Society

By mid-January 260 parishes were affiliated to The Society. There were still nearly 50 FiF registered parishes, and a hundred other resolution parishes, that had yet to affiliate. If your church is under the oversight of a member of the Council of Bishops of The Society and is not displaying the Society porchcard or shown on the map on the Society website (, please speak to your priest or churchwardens to encourage affiliation. NB the annual affiliation fee of £60 (which includes FiF registration at no extra charge) is payable by standing order only.

Colin Podmore