A SOCIETY PARISH

The Parish of St Thomas of Canterbury is affiliated to The Society under the patronage of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda, which is generally shortened to The Society.

This is an ecclesial body, led by a Council of Bishops and with three specific purposes which are:

  • to promote and maintain catholic teaching and practice within the Church of England
  • to provide episcopal oversight to which churches, institutions and individuals will freely submit themselves
  • to guarantee a ministry in the historic apostolic succession in which they can have confidence

The parishes of The Society enjoy a relationship of full communion not only with their bishop but also with all the other parishes of The Society. In most cases this relationship is established by the Parochial Church Council passing a resolution under the House of Bishops’ Declaration.

The Society is an ecclesial body, not a membership organization. It is supported by Forward in Faith and administered by its Director. Parishes and individuals are encouraged to join Forward in Faith to support its work within the wider Church.

Plans for the creation of the Society were announced by the catholic bishops of the Church of England on 24 September 2010 ‘to provide a place within the Church of England where catholics can worship and minister with integrity without accepting innovations that further distance the Church of England from the greater churches of East and West’. They placed it under the patronage of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda, two English saints with a passion for the unity of the Church.

The Society is episcopally led and the Bishops appoint a representative in each diocese. While parishes can affiliate to The Society, Priests and Deacons can register as Priests and Deacons of The Society. The Society includes members of Religious Communities and Readers.

The Society is committed to:

  • mission
  • the Church of England
  • Christian Unity.

For more information about The Society, click here.

To become a member of Forward in Faith, click here.

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