Posted on the 12th December 2013 in the category Statements
The Report of the House of Bishops Working Group on Human Sexuality (the Pilling Report) is an important piece of work which deserves careful consideration. We encourage our clergy and people to read it and reflect upon it prayerfully.
We note that the Report proposes no change in the doctrine of the Church of England and that its practical recommendations remain, at this stage, recommendations to the House of Bishops.
Those of us who are members of the Church of England’s College of Bishops will be discussing it with other members of the College in January, and we shall also be discussing it at our own meeting in February. We plan to comment more fully after those discussions.
On behalf of the Council
+ TONY PONTEFRACT
The Rt Revd Tony Robinson
Posted on the 10th December 2013 in the category Events
Saint Andrew's day seemed such an appropriate occasion for us to have the next Vocations Day under the Catholic Societies corporate vocations banner “God Calling”, held this year at Christ the King, Gordon Square. Let’s be honest the end of November is perhaps not always the best occasion to try and encourage individuals to travel the length and breadth of England to the City in order to meet with other like-minded individuals who were exploring the possibility of ordination in the Church of England. But yet again we had 33 all squashed into the room for what was without any doubt a very full and exciting programme. Beginning at 10.30am with coffee there was an opportunity for people to renew acquaintances and to introduce themselves for the first time, as there were some people who hadn’t attended any of our vocations work in the past. We then split into 4 groups to study Scripture together and decided that we would look at the New Testament reading for the Feast itself. We then came back together as a group and had a very enlightening, challenging and stimulating talk from Dr Colin Podmore, one of the two speakers of the day, that we had deliberately focused around the whole concept of Anglicanism in the Church of England in particular. One of the things that we are trying to do is take all the candidates through the different selection criteria to make sure that they are informed, enlightened and prepared for ministry in the Church of England. The afternoon session was led by Bishop Jonathan Baker and the whole day was concluded with a series of questions to the panel chaired by myself The General Secretary of the Additional Curates Society and consisting of Daniel Howard a seminarian from Saint Stephen’s House, the Bishops of Fulham and Richborough, Father John Brownsell and Dr Colin Podmore.
For me one of the most moving occasions was when we came to be fed at the Lord’s Table and with a number of invited guests we filled the Chapel at Christ the King to overflowing. Bishop Norman reminded us that as God had chosen a fisherman who left behind his expensive nets in pursuit of service to the Lord, so everyone of us is being called to some ministry within the Church and we need to pray and ask for your prayers that we may respond to that call with the same eagerness and dedication that Andrew and the other Apostles had shown.
Lunch was a speedy but delicious occasion which allowed further opportunity for networking and fellowship. As one of the participants said, for him if nothing else the opportunity to meet with like-minded people who were going through similar processes was such an encouragement and tremendous boost.
Finally I was able to reveal for the first time a new and exciting initiative that will soon be launched on behalf of the Bishops of the Society, which we hope will revitalise and energise our vocational work under a new title Here I Am. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, a regular blog as well as a new website, posters and material, all aimed at resourcing the clergy and challenging the laity to think seriously about what God is calling them to.
The thing that is constantly emerging through these somewhat challenging times is that God is not forsaking us, He is still touching the hearts and lives of men who are prepared to step forward and offer themselves to the sacred ministry in the Church. Please dear friends pray for priests, pray for the Society and those of us who on their behalf and on your behalf seek to remind and challenge individuals that God might be calling them.
Posted on the 27th November 2013 in the category News
The Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, and the Bishop of Horsham, Mark Sowerby - both bishops of The Society - supported the White Ribbon Day Campaign (WRC). They joined around 60 Bishops from other dioceses to raise the profile of WRC which campaigns for men to say: “no to violence against woman”.
For more information about the campaign - click here
They are pictured here along with colleagues at Church House Hove. Picture courtesy of Terry Applin.
Posted on the 27th November 2013 in the category Events
Posted on the 25th November 2013 in the category Events
It was standing room only in the newly refurbished Wakefield Cathedral on 23 November 2013, the Eve of the Feast of Christ the King, for an inspiring event called The Vision Glorious. Gathering together Catholic Anglicans from across the region, The Vision Glorious was an opportunity to give thanks for the faith we have received and to re-commit ourselves to live out that faith in the future. The Principal Celebrant was The Right Revd Glyn Webster, Bishop of Beverley. Glorious Music was led by a choir gathered for the occasion and there were special children’s activities to ensure that all ages could participate in the event.
During his sermon, The Right Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract, called for a renewed and reformed catholic movement within the Church of England. He said that to be truly catholic means “taking seriously the power of the Holy Spirit,... it means conserving the treasures of the past; it means we must be open to fresh initiatives for the future; it means we have a social gospel; it means we are alert to the real questions being asked by our contemporaries; it most importantly calls us to develop our own personal holiness.”
Reflecting upon the Kingship of Christ, Bishop Tony said, “What we do know is that Jesus’ unfailing witness to the truth marks his true kingship. As his subjects, we will be judged on how we have witnessed to his truth, his love, his way.” He therefore encouraged Catholic Anglicans by way of The Society to commit to a vibrant catholic traditionalist wing which continues to add something to the life of our Church.
Following mass Dr Colin Podmore, Director of Forward in Faith, addressed the assembly. He reflected on the legislative package regarding Woman Bishops which earlier in the week had been debated by the General Synod of the Church of England. Speaking after the recent publication of a letter from the Bishops of the Society to its supporters, he clarified the vision for the Society and explained the relationship between it and Forward in Faith. He urged the assembly to support the bishops and help “the Society to grow and flourish as the ecclesial structure that will enable us to live and breathe and flourish within the Church of England”.
The organisers of The Vision Glorious are very grateful for the gracious hospitality provided by the Dean and Chapter of Wakefield Cathedral which enabled the event to run so smoothly.
Sermon by Bishop Tony Robinson