Posted on the 13th Dec 2013 in the category News
The Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner - a bishop of The Society - has used the YouTube social media platform to deliver his annual Christmas message to his parishes. The bishop explores the heart of the Christmas story and talks about the reality of Christmas for many.
The Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, and the Bishop of Horsham, Mark Sowerby - both bishops of The Society - s - See more at: http://www.sswsh.com/fullposts.php?id=91#sthash.2qbUNPeN.dpuf
Posted on the 12th Dec 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 Dec 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.