Forward in Faith commission Synod Clerk
‘FORWARD IN FAITH will continue to speak the truth in love about those issues which exercise us because of their impact, as we see it, on the unity and apostolicity of the Church’ pledged the Chairman of Forward in Faith, the Rt Rev Jonathan Baker, at a service to commission Dr Colin Podmore as the new Director held in St Alban’s, Holborn on Monday.
Twelve bishops and over 40 priests joined in concelebrating the mass for a packed congregation of 300. The service, drawn from Common Worship, was sung to a setting by Herbert Howells.
Dr Podmore is well known in the Church of England as a former clerk of General Synod and the congregation included members of Synod and representatives on national Church of England institutions. He promised to work for the ‘unity of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ and for its mission in the world’.
In his sermon Bishop Baker conceded that many see Forward in Faith as a pressure group ‘with a negative and backward looking agenda’. He described it as being like Marmite among ecclesiastical organisations ‘loved and loathed in equal measure’ but he urged those who disagreed with Forward in Faith to hear its message with ‘equal love’.
He lamented the tragedy ‘that the Church of England should have come to this: that faithful Anglicans who are inspired by convictions which the whole of the Church still affirms in her title deeds and carries in her DNA should be perceived as disloyal, a fifth column perhaps.’
On Thursday of this week a new AngloCatholic organisation is due to be launched at a service at the Church of the Annunciation, Marble Arch, at which the celebrant will be the Bishop of Ely, Stephen Conway. To be known as ‘Anglican Catholic Future’ it will seek to appeal to those who believe the Catholic movement has concentrated too much on ‘divisive issues’ and promises dialogue with those ‘with whom we share a common heritage of understanding with the Western church’.
Among the speakers at future events are the Rev Lucy Winkett and the Rev Chris Chivers.