Forward in Faith update

 

New Ways of Being Church

Both in the Church of England at large and in our own constituency, there is much talk these days of being church and, therefore, alongside the Working Party, under the Chairmanship of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, which is examining the structures and management of Forward in Faith, a group of senior priests, all of whom happen to be Regional Deans, have taken up a challenge from the College of Deans to put flesh on the bones of how we should be church - both at the present time and in the future, when women are appointed to the Episcopate and an ecclesial solution has been found for those of us who will in conscience be able to receive their ministry.

Fr Beau Brandie writes:

'It seems to us that all our work must be based on the concept of "making" and that we must be very determined not to feel ourselves inhibited by the way in which that has been done in the past or the structures and formations with which we currently live. In our jargon-ridden age we must, therefore, "think out of the box"; have "blue sky thinking"'; and, rather like the Irishman, if we are wanting to go to Dublin not to start from here! It has seemed to us that there are four areas that we need to address:

We have divided each of these into three further areas:

We have set up teams to work on each of these areas, with Fr Tony Delves taking responsibility for Formation, Fr Sam Philpott for Organisation, Fr Geoffrey Neale for Nurture and Fr Ross Northing for Outreach. Then, we have invited 12 further people to lead the sub-groups. We have been anxious to "pass on the torch"; in other words, to get younger clergy and laity involved, while at the same time drawing upon the widest experience and expertise that we can manage.

We will be delighted to hear from people who have views or contributions to make on any of these subjects or, in fact, views on people who might be consulted or areas that we have somehow missed. You can contact us at <consul-tation@forwardinfaith.com> or by post to 2A The Cloisters, Gordon Square, London WCIH OAG. It is not intended that this will turn into a great General Synod tome but rather that the work will be completed in time to present to the Council by its residential meeting in December.'

New Directions for the ubiquitous Fr Gray!

It has come to our notice that Father Gray, the Incumbent for the past 31 years of the Parish of Holy Trinity, Winchmore Hill is to retire as from 24th April this year. Whilst he is in possession of the ancient Freehold that makes it possible for him to continue in office till death he feels that is right to forgo that privilege and make way for a younger man who would appreciate a modern ABC parish that is affiliated to Forward in Faith that always pays its common fund "in full" in principle.

Whilst Father Gray finds it hard to believe that he is leaving Winchmore Hill after all these years he is looking forward to continuing as Regional Dean in London and Clerical Chairman of London Forward in Faith - continuing to lead pilgrimages to Crete, Rome, Lourdes, Poland and where ever else that is suggested and of course, in Fatima, continuing to cultivate the ecumenical links that the 'Ecumenical Friends of Fatima Association have created over recent years. He hopes that he will be able to help fellow clergy when they want holiday relief etc. Father Gray will be living on the edge of the London Diocese - in the Willesden area - surrounded by at least three ABC parishes.

Pray for him as he ends one era to begin another - and pray for the Patron of the Living, the Revd. John Paul, Vicar of S. Paul's, Winchmore Hill. Father Gray will be celebrating his last Mass as Vicar of Holy Trinity on Sunday 22nd April at 6pm to which friends will be warmly welcome and our fellow clergy invited to concelebrate with him (but do let him know in advance). The Mass will be followed by a party. His new telephone number will no doubt appear before too long on the back page of New Direction - but his e mail address will remain the same.

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