Posted on the 16th July 2014 in the category Statements
We invite you to read this Pastoral Letter, and make it available, in all our churches on Sunday 20 July 2014.
The approval of the Women Bishops legislation brings to an end a decade of debate about what provision should be made for those who are unable, for theological reasons, to receive the ministry of women as priests and bishops.
In the earlier stages of that debate we offered the Church of England a vision of how provision could be made with full ecclesiological integrity not just for us but also for the Church of England as a whole. It is now clear that the reality will be shaped differently, and will fall short of our ideal.
None the less, we believe that we can have confidence in our future as catholics who are called to live out our Christian vocation in the Church of England, maintaining a distinctive witness to the quest for the unity of the Church. The House of Bishops’ Declaration embodies a commitment to enabling us to flourish within the Church of England’s life and structures. It does so because our theological convictions about ministry and ordination remain within the spectrum of Anglican teaching and tradition. As Resolution III.2 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference stated, ‘those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to, the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate are both loyal Anglicans’.
The Declaration assures us that bishops will continue to be consecrated within the Church of England who can provide episcopal ministry that accords with our theological convictions. It makes provision for parishes to gain access to that episcopal ministry by passing a new resolution, supported by a Resolution of Disputes Procedure established by regulations made under Canon, with an Independent Reviewer. We will be offering advice and resources to parishes to assist with this.
We note that bishops’ authority to exercise episcopal functions comes from their ordination as bishops, and that that authority is distinct from the legal authority that they receive by delegation from the diocesan bishop. The debate over the nature of provision for our future life as catholics within the Church of England has helped us to focus on this important point with greater clarity.
The Society will have a crucial role to play in providing a continuing sacramental life in which parishes, clergy and people are in full and uninterrupted communion with the bishop who ministers to them, and with each other. We will ensure that parishes receive support in articulating the theological convictions that the Society exists to embody and, where necessary, in participating in the Resolution of Disputes Procedure.
As your bishops, we want to thank you for your faithfulness during this long period of uncertainty. Now that the debate about provision is over and the House of Bishops’ Declaration is in place, we can look forward to a time of greater stability in which, by the grace of almighty God, we can all focus, with renewed energy, on proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord, and on witnessing to him as we serve our local communities and our nation.
On behalf of the Council of Bishops
+ TONY PONTEFRACT
The Rt Revd Tony Robinson The Commemoration of John Keble
Bishop of Pontefract Monday 14 July 2014
Bless the bishops, clergy and people of The Society.
Bind us together in love and faith.
Renew us in service and witness.
And by your Holy Spirit
Guide our future and make plain your purposes.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Saint Wilfrid, pray for us.
Saint Hilda, pray for us.
Posted on the 14th July 2014 in the category Statements
Statement from the Council of Bishops
Many in the Church of England are celebrating today, following final approval of the legislation to permit women to be ordained as bishops.
While recognizing this, we deeply regret the further obstacle that this decision places in the path to the full, visible unity of the whole Church.
We do, however, welcome the provision that has been made in the House of Bishops’ Declaration. It recognizes that our theological convictions about ministry and ordination remain within the spectrum of Anglican teaching and tradition. It assures us that bishops will continue to be consecrated within the Church of England who can provide episcopal ministry that accords with those theological convictions. It makes provision for parishes to gain access to that episcopal ministry by passing resolutions.
This gives us confidence in our future as catholics who are called to live out our Christian vocation in the Church of England. For this we give thanks to God.
On behalf of the Council of Bishops
+ TONY PONTEFRACT
Rt Revd Tony Robinson
Bishop of Pontefract
Posted on the 26th June 2014 in the category News
The Bishops of The Society are delighted to support the launch of the Here I Am initiative. Bishop Tony Robinson, the Chairman of the Council of Bishops said, "We are very aware that the Church constantly needs more people called to serve the sacred priesthood. We hope this new campaign using up to date digital media will encourage more vocations."
Here I Am is the title of the campaign which has the backing of the catholic societies of the Church of England with the full support of the Additional Curates Society. Those responsible have embraced digital media to encourage people to explore a vocation to priesthood alongside other kinds of ministry in the Church of England and the Church in Wales.
A new You Tube channel features specially commissioned films looking at how people are called to ministry, what the selection process involves as well as examining the kind of people who are called to follow a path to priesthood.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has backed the initiative: “I am delighted to see the Catholic Societies working together in order to promote and encourage more vocations to the sacred priesthood under this new and exciting banner of Here I Am”.
Fr Darren Smith, spokesman for Here I Am, said that vocations were emerging across the church in a variety of ways:
“People looking at the material we have carefully produced will quickly discover that there is no single mould, shape or pattern for the priestly vocation.”
He adds: “Browsers to our website will find details of courses, what happens if they want to take it to the next step and what the work of a priest in the Church of England today involves.”
A new Twitter account @hereiamvocation will be launched at the same time. Organisers hope that people will follow the initiative and join in a wave of prayer for vocations. Bishops and priests representing the catholic societies are already working in every part of England and Wales and it was felt that material that had served them well previously was ready for an upgrade to reflect where the digital audience can now be found. “We are excited and expectant about the future of ministry and mission in anglican catholic churches and communities,” Fr. Smith explained.
The next Vocations Conference is at St Stephen’s House from 29 - 31 August
For full details and booking form contact
Additional Curates Society
Gordon Browning House
Unit 7, Spitfire Rd
Birmingham B24 9PB
tel 0121 382 5533
visit them on Facebook
Posted on the 4th June 2014 in the category Announcements
Posted on the 21st May 2014 in the category News
On Monday 19 May, the Right Reverend Tony Robinson, the Area Bishop for Wakefield, paid an official visit to the Westfield Centre Food Bank at South Elmsall. At the Food Bank he met several members of the committee, representatives from ASDA a valued sponsor, a representative from the South Elmsall Community Facilities Ltd and Fr Robert Hart from S Helen's, Hemsworth. He was informed of how the Food Bank operated and was given an insight into the running and storage of the donated foodstuffs at the centre. Bishop Tony gave encouragement to those who were seeking to relieve the plight of those who are most in need, he also shared from his own experiences of other Food Banks in his Episcopal Areas.
After the visit, Bishop Tony, a Bishop of the Society, said, “Food banks have become a familiar part of the life of many of communities providing emergency food supplies to those who are falling into hard times often as a result of cuts in benefits or sanctions imposed by job centre staff. I am very grateful for the many volunteers from our churches who are involved in this very important work caring for the most vulnerable.”