FIF UPDATE

FROM THE FORWARD IN FAITH REGIONS

Forward in Faith in Carlisle . . .

The re-birth of Forward in Faith in the diocese of Carlisle continues apace, with a Diocesan Festival at S.Mary’s, Hawkshead on 5th October, 1996. Canon Ambrose Southward has kindly come to the rescue after the original proposed venue, Rydal Hall, was found not to be available. The Bishop of Carlisle has granted permission to Bishop Noel Jones of Sodor and Man to preside and preach at the Solemn Eucharist at 12.00 noon. A picnic lunch will follow in the Parish Hall, after which there will be a Rally where the Keynote speaker will be Bishop John Gaisford. The theme of the day is The Faith of our Fathers - Communion and Communicating. Fr Beresford Skelton, Regional Dean for Northumbria explains: “Our being together for the Eucharist in the beautiful Church of S.Mary and our being together for the agape picnic will be expressed, explained and explored in the Rally. A Procession back to the Church for the concluding Act of Worship at 4.00 pm will bring the day to a close. We hope that priests, servers and choirs, together with many people, will be there to give a great act of witness to the people of Cumbria that the Faith of our Fathers is still being taught and lived by many people up and down the diocese of Carlisle.” Further details: Fr. Beresford Skelton 0191 565 6318

. . . and in Peterborough

At a gathering at S.Mary’s, Kettering on 18th May, Canon Geoffrey Neale addressed members on the necessity of adequate Lay Training being made available to enable the laity to proclaim the Gospel and carry forward the work and witness of the Church throughout the diocese and beyond. A new Diocesan Committee was elected, which is already planning the next event, to be held at Brigstock on 28th September, when the Bishop of Richborough will celebrate Mass at 11.30 am. A warm welcome is assured to all members and supporters of Forward in Faith in the diocese, as well as any other interested parties. Further details: Una Ridley 01327 358664

Who’s counting?

Exeter Cathedral was packed to the rafters on Sunday, 30th June to see the ordination of four Forward in Faith members to the Diaconate and the Priesthood. Frs Graham Collingwood, Roland Olliff and William Johnstone were raised to the priesthood, while Tim Handley, Forward in Faith Council member was ordained Deacon. The Bishop of Ebbsfleet presided at the Ordination Service, whilst the preacher was the Principal of St. Stephen’s House, Oxford, Fr Jeremy Sheehy. It was particularly fitting that a Children’s Choir was there to contribute to the worship and welcome Bishop John back to Exeter. When he was Chairman of the Exeter Diocesan Board of Education, there was a special place in his heart for Church Aided Primary Schools and all of the four newly ordained are serving in parishes which have excellent Aided Schools (Heavitree, Marychurch, Bickleigh and S.Peter, Plymouth). The children were lucky enough to have a “grandstand view” and we hope that the sight of those being priested prostrating themselves before the Altar together with the bishop’s inspiring sermon will have combined to create an experience they will long remember. For their teachers too, we hope that much material for their teaching on vocation was gleaned! The Ordination Service was dignified and moving, with a great sense of worship. The congregation (well over 900) and 42 concelebrating priests seemed utterly determined to assure the three new priests and one new deacon of their love and prayers. Rumour has it that the celebration was better attended that the diocesan Ordination earlier that day celebrated by the Bishop of Exeter . . . but then who’s counting?

A Model Worth Copying: Forward in Faith Masses in the Willesden Episcopal Area

Fr David Sherwood, Vicar of S.Mary the Virgin, Kenton and Chairman of Forward in Faith in the Willesden Episcopal Area tells of FiF masses in his local area:

We formed a Willesden Area FiF Committee late last year. From the beginning, it was the wish of the members that there be regular FiF masses. I approached clergy believed to be sympathetic and quite a number responded positively. For a variety of reasons, FiF masses are not being celebrated in all the places I had hoped and there has already been a certain amount of fluctuation in the parishes involved, due to staff changes. This is inevitable, but I keep the list up to date and my name regularly appears in Newsbytes as the contact able to provide current information to enquirers.

The form of the mass is at the discretion of the celebrant; for example, I usually preach at the FiF mass in my parish on a relevant subject but not every priest will do this, nor is he expected to do so. We simply offer Forward in Faith as the intention. I do not expect FiF members to go on a church crawl, but I do feel that we are addressing a number of objects:

i] To offer prayer for the objects of FiF; ii] To offer mutual support, particularly in those parishes where the priest may feel isolated; iii] To give people the chance to get to a FiF mass, particularly if there is no such mass in their own parish, or if it is held at an inconvenient time for them; iv] To give people the chance to sample worship in a parish where FiF is supported. If they feel unhappy in their own parishes, this may give them a new spiritual home, perhaps as a temporary respite from their own too liberal priest, or on a permanent basis.

We are at an early stage in this process, but I commend it to others to imitate.

Editor’s note:

The current list of Forward in Faith masses in the Willesden Area reads as follows. (However, as Fr Sherwood remarks above, they are in a developing situation and interested parties should take care to check times and venues with him on 0181 907 2914.)

Week 1: Sunday 9.00 am Christ Church, Hayes Wednesday 7.30 am S.Andrew, Kingsbury Thursday 7.00 pm S.Anselm, Hayes Friday 9.30 am S.Michael, Tokyngton Saturday 10.00 am S.Francis, Willesden Green Week 2: Tuesday 9.30 am S.Anselm, Hatch End Wednesday 10.00 am S.Andrew, Willesden Green Week 3: Wednesday 6.00 pm Christ the Saviour, Ealing Thursday 7.30 pm S.Lawrence, Whitchurch Saturday 9.30 am S.Mary, Hayes Week 4: Tuesday 7.30 pm S.Mary, South Ruislip Wednesday 9.30 am S.Mary, Kenton Saturday 9.00 am S.Joseph the Worker, Northolt

How to address the clergy?

A number of Forward in Faith members have wondered whether our Regional Deans ought not to have some distinctive title in order to identify them; after all, Archbishops are the Most Reverend, Bishops are Right Reverend, Deans and Provosts are Very Reverend. An anonymous suggestion reaches us from Chichester Cathedral, where the Regional Dean for that area was recently preaching at the Cathedral Eucharist on Sea Sunday. Accosted by one of the Cathedral Stewards, Canon Brandie was much diverted by the suggestion that he - and his fellow Regional Deans - should henceforth be addressed as the Really Reverend . . . !

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