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Forward in Faith: Catholic devotion is a vital witness

25 November 2016

alan martin

“Nurture devotion”: the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, preaching at the Forward in Faith National Assembly in St Alban’s, Holborn, last Saturday

“Nurture devotion”: the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, preaching at the Forward in Faith National Assembly in St Alban’s, H...

THE Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, urged members of Forward in Faith, at their National Assembly in London last weekend, to take care to nurture Catholic devotional practices in the young, and new Christians.

In his sermon at St Alban’s, Holborn, he said: “I shall never forget the experience, in Walsingham, of seeing a young man recently released from a Young Offenders’ Centre kneeling next to a peer of the realm. They were equal in the sight of God, equal in their offering of the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, equal in dignity as they approached the altar for communion at the intersection of time and eternity.”

The drama of liturgical worship was an act of witness “to the reality of heaven, to the communion of saints, and to our intimate encounter with Jesus”, as was the “joy and awe” with which they, as communicants, approached the altar. “I want you to ensure that you are ever attentive, in a casual and inattentive culture, to the quality of your devotional practices, and to the care with which you nurture them in the young and in new Christians.”

The Assembly heard that 412 parishes had resolved to seek ministry from the traditionalist bishops of the Society under the Patronage of St Wilfrid and St Hilda — rather more than the 368 Resolution C parishes that existed in 2014.

“We are sailing away from the battles of the past towards a safe harbour,” the Society’s projects officer, Anne Gray, said. “But this mustn’t mean we become stranded in self-absorption: it enables a refit and re-equip for our real task, that of mission.”

She had seen positive signs that they were becoming less isolated, “and more a respected, integral part of the Church of England” — as, for example, in the attitude of the Strategy and Development Unit at Church House to co-operation on statistics and mapping.

The Independent Reviewer appointed under the women-bishops legislation, Sir Philip Mawer, was also positive: “I am delighted to say that, after what might be seen as two ‘test cases’ in year one, this year I have, so far at least, been entirely unemployed.”

He hoped that the reason was that “bishops, dioceses, and parishes are simply getting on with the job, and are successfully rising to the challenge of implementing arrangements within the framework established by the Declaration” (accompanying the Measure).

After a presentation about the “Here I Am” vocations initiative, and IME 4-7 (post-ordination training) at Walsingham, during which the members were urged not only to pray for more priests, but to talk about vocations more to potential ordinands in the parishes, the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North, introduced a presentation and group discussion on the future of Catholic life in the Church of England.

As part of this, members were asked for their views on “six priorities”: forming all the baptised in Christ; making young disciples; offering worship that transforms; celebrating sacramental priesthood; being intentional in evangelism; and serving the common good.


Priest in Charge (Rector Designate)

London and Home Counties

Our suburban parish on the border between the London Borough of Croydon and the lovely Surrey countryside and with a spacious modern Rectory, is seeking a Priest-in-Charge (Rector Designate) to lead our church as we seek to fulfil our mission to proclaim Jesus, change lives and serve our community.   We are looking for a leader who, with energy and dynamism, who will develop the vision for the church to enable the children and families work to be a priority in order to grow the church both in numbers and spiritual maturity. In addition, the new person will care and tend for the existing ageing congregation many of whom have ¬faithfully served the church for many years.   The person we are looking for should have: strong communication skills, the ability to engage and encourage people across the age ranges and to convey the church’s mission, vision and priorities; a commitment to preach the Word of God in thoughtful and stimulating ways; an energy and dynamism probably more extrovert than introvert; a pastoral heart, showing empathy and good listening skills, the ability, willingness and experience to help us to develop and enjoy a variety of worship styles, including a wider range of musical worship and a deeper corporate prayer life -whilst recognising and valuing our heritage;   For further information and to apply, please click the 'apply for this job' button below.   For an informal conversation with the Archdeacon of Croydon, please contact the Archdeacon’s PA Kathleen.bailey@southwark.anglican.org to arrange a time for a phone conversation.   Closing Date: Sunday 12 June 2022 Parish Visit for shortlisted candidates: Monday 11 July 2022 Interviews: Monday 11 July 2022   Please note we have a policy in Southwark Diocese that to be appointed to an incumbent status post, a priest must have served a title in an Anglican church in the British Isles.   This post is subject to DBS enhanced disclosure

Organists and Layworkers

Forthcoming Events

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

4-8 July 2022
HeartEdge Mission Summer School
From HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology.

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