Forward in Faith update

One particular resolution passed by the National Assembly has placed a significant, though welcome, burden on a Sub-Committee of the Forward in Faith Council. Resolution 01, proposed by FiF Southwark, having been amended by David Warren and Fr Graeme Buttery from Durham, was easily passed: "That this Assembly, whilst giving thanks for the leadership of Forward in Faith since its inception, and the foundations and achievements to date, recognises that future challenges require a renewal of our institutional structure. This Assembly therefore calls upon the Council to establish a review of the structures of the council, executive, regions and Diocesan branches, to ensure effective representation and capacity for response and management, and to arrange for this review to be completed so that recommendations may be made to a delegate conference of Regional Deans, Diocesan Branch Chairmen and Council, by not later than 31 May, 2007."

The FiF Council was so taken with the spirit behind this motion and, indeed, so confident that it would be passed, that, at its meeting in September, it asked four of its members to make themselves available to undertake such a review. Accordingly, the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Dr Gill James, Fr David Waller and the Director will be meeting as this Sub-Committee for the first time later this month.

They are naturally anxious that this review will be as wide-ranging as possible and, in the very limited time available, hope to gather as much evidence from around the country as possible. A brief questionnaire handed out to delegates at the Assembly has provided a wealth of data, but much more is needed! The Sub-Committee would therefore warmly welcome letters from FiF members; not just from Regional Deans, Diocesan Chairmen or National Assembly delegates, but from all those countless members whose voices might otherwise not be heard.

The Sub-Committee wants to hear what you think: how could FiF’s organisation be improved? (If you think it needs no improvement, they need to hear from you as well!) How could FiF’s diocesan structures be improved? How might the ministry of Regional Deans be made more effective? Is the FiF Council (with 40 members) too large? Or, perhaps, too small? Is the balance between lay and clerical members on the Council as it should be, or does it need adjustment? (24 clergy and 16 lay – of whom three are Religious.) The range of questions you might answer is limited only by the scope of your imagination!

Please write to Stephen Parkinson at 2A The Cloisters, Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AG, or by e-mail to: stephen.parkinson@forwardinfaith.com

as soon as possible and, in any event, no later than Friday, 1st December.

Delegate Conference

A date has been reserved for the delegate conference referred to in the resolution and those whom it will affect should ensure that they have it their diaries now. It will take place at a venue to be announced on Wednesday, 16th May, 2007.

Obviously such a conference will be consultative only and final decisions regarding any changes in FiF’s structures will lay with the Forward in Faith Council (the members of which are the Trustees of Forward in Faith), after it has consulted the next National Assembly. But, if this exercise is to have any value at all, we need to know what you – the members – actually think. We have to know your opinions so that we can truly be responsive to your aspirations for our corporate future. It is time for the silent majority to make itself heard! So please write to us now!

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