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Posted on the 15th Dec 2023 in the category Statements


Advent 2023

 

In this season of Advent, we join each of you in watching and waiting for the Christ who comes to meet us. We turn towards him in penitence, mindful of our sins and failings, but also in hope, and in joyful expectation of the fulfilment of His promises and the coming of His kingdom.

 

You will have seen that the House of Bishops has now commended the ‘Prayers of Love and Faith’ (PLF) and has issued Pastoral Guidance which provides the framework within which they may be used. We are glad to read in the Pastoral Guidance that:

The Church of England teaches that Holy Matrimony is a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman, blessed by God in creation and pointing to the love between Christ and the church; a way of life which Christ makes holy. It is within marriage that sexual intimacy finds its proper place.

 

The Bishops of The Society, mindful of their calling to be guardians of the doctrine of Christ as the Church of England has received it, which doctrine is expressed in the common prayer of our liturgy, will not be using the PLF in public prayer. We recognise, however, that the nature of the commendation means that local decisions lie solely with clergy and their PCCs. Society Bishops will be offering further guidance on the PLF to the clergy in their care in due course.

 

We continue to rejoice that the parishes and worshipping communities in our care are places of welcome for all, where those from diverse backgrounds and households can come together as God’s people united around the one altar of sacrifice of the New Covenant.

 

In Advent we recall the place of Mary in the story of our salvation. Her example is of a life lived wholly for God, utterly transparent to His loving purposes. May her prayers support us as we seek, by God’s grace, to grow in holiness and do His will.

 

 

+ JONATHAN FULHAM

The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham,

Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops

 

+ PAUL OSWESTRIENSIS

The Rt Revd Paul Thomas, Bishop of Oswestry,

Chairman of Forward in Faith



Posted on the 16th Aug 2023 in the category Statements


The Society's Council of Bishops has responded to the Government's consultation on mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse.



Posted on the 23rd Jun 2023 in the category Statements



The Society is delighted to learn that Liz Paver has been awarded the Cross of St Augustine for her many years of service to both the Anglican Communion as a Vice-Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council over a seven-year period and also to the Church of England as Vice-Chair of the General Synod’s House of Laity for a six-year period out of a remarkable 30-year stint on Synod. In terms of the latter, Liz was a member of the Catholic Group and served as its Vice-Chair. We are overjoyed that Liz's loyal witness to the Catholic Faith as received by the Church of England has been recognised in this way.



Posted on the 17th Mar 2023 in the category Statements



St Patrick's Day, 2023

 

We met recently and discussed a wide range of topics. This included receiving updates on mission initiatives and undertaking work on our plans for the future.

 

On the Church of England's Living in Love and Faith process, we intend to issue a further statement in the coming months, in line with the timetable outlined for the July 2023 session of General Synod. In the meantime, we wholly endorse the contents of the attached paper on the Church of England's doctrine of marriage, which - among others - the Bishops of Chichester and of Fulham have signed.

 

 

 

+ TONY WAKEFIELD

 

The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield,

Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops

+STEPHEN BEVERLEY

The Rt Revd Stephen Race, Bishop of Beverley

+ PHILIP BURNLEY

The Rt Revd Philip North, Bishop of Burnley

+ MARTIN CICESTR

The Rt Revd Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

+ JONATHAN FULHAM

The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham

+ WILLIAM LEWES

The Rt Revd Will Hazlewood, Bishop of Lewes 

+ PAUL OSWESTRIENSIS

The Rt Revd Paul Thomas, Bishop of Oswestry

+ NORMAN RICHBOROUGH 

The Rt Revd Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough

 

 

Paper on the Church of England's Doctrine of Marriage



Posted on the 18th Jan 2023 in the category Statements



Living in Love and Faith has been a major exercise in learning and listening undertaken by the Church of England, not only about the question of same-sex relationships but on many issues touching on our understanding of the human person, made in God’s image, in relation to marriage, sexuality, gender and relationships. We are grateful for all who have led and contributed to this work, which we believe has a value not just within the life of the Church of England, but as a contribution to the deep reflection on these matters which is taking place within every part of the universal Church. We are of the view that continuing theological work in this field will enrich our understanding of the many complex issues arising.

 

The Church of England has issued a statement on the proposals which will be brought by the House of Bishops for consideration at General Synod in February, following a period of reflection by the national College of Bishops on the Living in Love and Faith resources.

 

We welcome and reinforce the clear commitment to maintain the doctrine of marriage as the Church of England has received it, and which is shared with the great churches of East and West. We are glad that no changes to the Canons or authorised liturgies of the Church of England as they touch on Holy Matrimony are proposed.

 

In two days’ time, prayers and other guidance will be published in draft form, for consideration at General Synod. If commended in due course by the House of Bishops, these prayers would enable clergy, at their discretion, to offer services of thanksgiving and dedication for committed, faithful same-sex couples, and to ask God’s blessings on them.

 

The use of these prayers will be entirely discretionary, and they would be commended by the House of Bishops in accordance with Canon B5 which requires that such forms of service are commensurate with the doctrine and teaching of the Church of England. We will study this material carefully when it is published and, in due course, we anticipate issuing pastoral guidance to the clergy who look to us for oversight as to how best these prayers might be used locally. 

 

We note the commitment by the House of Bishops to rescind Issues in Human Sexuality and to replace it with new pastoral guidance. A number of legal as well as pastoral questions are raised here, which will require significant further work.

 

 

 

+ TONY WAKEFIELD

 

The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield,

Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops

+STEPHEN BEVERLEY

The Rt Revd Stephen Race, Bishop of Beverley

+ PHILIP BURNLEY

The Rt Revd Philip North, Bishop of Burnley

+ MARTIN CICESTR

The Rt Revd Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

+ JONATHAN FULHAM

The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham

+ WILLIAM LEWES

The Rt Revd Will Hazlewood, Bishop of Lewes 

+ NORMAN RICHBOROUGH 

The Rt Revd Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough



 

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