FiF UPDATE

 

1901 WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR . . .

Two Forward in Faith Churches are celebrating their Centenaries this year in some style:

S. Agatha's, Sparkbrook, in Birmingham, begins its celebrations with a S. Agatha's-tide Eucharist at 11.30 am on Saturday, 3 February, at which the Preacher will be Fr Geoffrey Kirk, National Secretary of Forward in Faith. A Centenary Dinner Dance follows on 10 February and then, on Saturday. 12 May at 11.30, the Celebrant and Preacher at the Centenary Eucharist will be the Archbishop of York.

On Saturday, 10 June, there will be a Summer Serenade of music for Choir, Trumpet and Organ at 7.30 pm. Saturdays and Sundays in July will see Exhibitions, Flower Festival, Teas, Organ Recital, all culminating with Sung Evensong at 4.00 pm. On 14 July, the Bishop of Birmingham will preach at Choral Evensong, which will feature church choirs from around the diocese.

Forward in Faith Chairman Bishop John Broadhurst will be the Celebrant and Preacher at the Rededication of the Stations of the Cross at 11.30 am on Saturday, 22 September and then, on October 11, Dr Carl Chinn will speak on "Sparkbrook and its History". The Celebrations conclude with an Advent Carol Service on 2 December, at 4.00 pm.

Further details from the Vicar of S.Agatha's and Chairman of Forward in Faith Birmingham, Fr John Hervé, on 0121 449 2790.

All Hallows, Easton, in Bristol started its celebrations last month. Still to come, though, is the Chrism Mass to be celebrated there by the Bishop of Ebbsfleet at noon on 7 April, the Bristol Archdeaconry Walsingham Cell Mass at 7.30 pm on 14 May and Centenary Choral Evensong at 6.30 pm on 10 June, at which the Bishop of Bristol will preach.

The Celebrations reach their climax with the Centenary Solemn Mass at 12.00 noon on Saturday, 3 November. The Bishop of Ebbsfleet will preside and the Preacher will be Fr John Morley-Bunker, who was Vicar of All Hallows from 1971 until 1982. Music will be provided by the Choir of Bristol Cathedral.

Further details from the Vicar of All Hallows and Chairman of Forward in Faith Bristol, Fr Keith Newton, on 0117 977 4260.

NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER

The 2001 National Conference of Forward in Faith Australia, taking place in Brisbane from 20 to 22 July, will be a critical one for those of the traditionalist integrity in that country. The Draft Bill for women bishops will come before the Australian General Synod, which meets in Brisbane the following week, and it will be the final opportunity for Forward in Faith Australia to influence the outcome. With that in mind, Fr David Robarts, Chairman of FiF Australia, has invited Fr Geoffrey Kirk and Stephen Parkinson, Secretary and Director respectively of FiF in England and Scotland, to attend the Australian National Conference. Each will give Keynote Addresses and then, after the Conference, stay on in Brisbane in order to support FiF Australia's presence at the General Synod.

The Draft Bill envisages "low level alternative Episcopal oversight", designed to work as follows:

"A parish can seek alternative oversight only with a high level of support: the Incumbent, churchwardens, and a majority of parish members (voting at two specially-convened meetings) have to agree to the request. The request, once formally made, is then passed by the diocesan bishop to the Metropolitan (or, in the case of Tasmania, the Primate) who ensures provision is made in line with an arrangement made by the diocesan bishops of the province. The expectation is that a bishop within the province will be designated to care for the parish/parishes concerned. If that is not possible, a bishop from elsewhere within the Anglican Church of Australia will offer alternative oversight. In either case, the designated bishop will visit the parish with the permission of the diocesan bishop, and will report to the bishop on his ministry in the diocese."

Fr David Chislett, Secretary of FiF Australia, has commented:

"This kind of approach was deliberately rejected at the 1999 FiF Australia Conference. From our point of view, it is now eight years out of date. It would have been welcomed in the case of women priests (it is not dissimilar to the arrangements that exist in England and Wales), but it fails to express the level of impairment in communion that will exist in Australia if women bishops become a reality. It is totally unacceptable."

Forward in Faith members in the UK and elsewhere in the world will want to hold their brothers and sisters in Australia in their prayers during the coming months, as they prepare for the next stage in their struggle.

AVAILABLE FREE FROM THE FIF OFFICE

Copies of:

The Forward in Faith Statement on Communion & Code of Practice,

The Implications for the Church of England of the Ordination of Women as Bishops,

The Case for a Free Province of the Church of England

and

The Ministry of Women - a booklet providing access to some of the more important texts relevant to the Ministry of Women in the Church of England ~

~ are all available, free of charge from the Forward in Faith Office. Please send a C5 SAE, together with a note specifying which documents are required.

AVAILABLE FOR SALE FROM THE FIF OFFICE

Postcards of the Icon of Christ our Future, beautifully reproduced for us by the Medici Society, retail at 50 pence each, or 12 for £5, post free. Cards are also available in bulk on a discounted basis for re-sale on church tract tables and bookstalls - please enquire.

The new Forward in Faith Safe Church Guide, covering the whole country, was published late last year. Priced at £5 (post free), it lists over 1,100 churches where members and supporters of Forward in Faith can worship with confidence. Indispensable for all travellers, we expect it to sell very rapidly, so early orders are recommended. Orders for 10 or more copies attract a 10% discount.

Canon Richard Price, formerly Chairman of Forward in Faith Chester, has written a Guide for Lay People entitled "A Straight Course in a Changing Church". He writes: "In the Dioceses I have experienced, only a few parishes have availed themselves of the Act of Synod and come out publicly against the ordination of women to the priesthood. This has left hundreds of layfolk (and not a few clergy), who have traditionalist sympathies, in a difficult situation. Can the Church, in particular organisations like Forward in Faith, offer any practical support for them? Nowadays they often feel marginalized and isolated by the changes sweeping the Church." So well has Fr Price's Guide sold, the first edition is already out of print, but new supplies will be at Faith House this month, price £1.50 (post free). Orders of 10 or more copies attract a 10% discount.

Also still available are Forward in Faith Badges (£1.75), Forward in Faith Prayer Books (£2.50), Forward in Faith Car Stickers (£1.50) and Forward in Faith Prayer Cards (10 pence).

There are also still a few copies left of Michael Harper's marvellous book "Equal and Different" at the special price of £5 (publisher's price £8.99).

Orders for any of the above, with cheques made payable to "Forward in Faith", to Colin Niblett at Faith House.

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