Blackburn & Liverpool launch the newest chapter of CoS

On Saturday 13 October, Feast day of St Edward the Confessor, servers and clergy from the two diocese of Blackburn and Liverpool met at St Leonard’s church in Walton le Dale and founded the newest CoS Chapter.

The day began with an Eucharist celebrated by the Associate Priest of St Leonard’s, Mother Enid Briggs at which St Edward was remembered. Following there was a buffet lunch during at which David Stephenson, Chairman General, gave an introduction to the Company and what it means to be a part of it. He talked about the spread of Chapters not only across the UK but also now in Australia and the challenges this presented to the Central Committee and relating this to allowing Chapters, because of the diversity members represent, to work in a way which suits local needs and resources. All present were enthusiastic about the prospect of being of the Company in their dioceses and had ideas about evangelism and teaching opportunities which might work for them. A committee of volunteers was voted in and David issued everyone with a lapel badge and welcomed them as new companions. The new chapter committee plan to hold a formal service of welcome and open event for more servers from the dioceses in the near future.

Company of Servers Festival 2014

Our sister organisation, the Company of Servers will be holding this year’s Festival at Southwark Cathedral on Saturday 3rd May.
All SCP clergy are invited to attend and concelebrate (alb and white stole) at the Festival Mass which starts at noon. In the afternoon there will be lunch (please bring a packed lunch) and AGM for the company. We will then walk over to St Paul’s Cathedral to join in the 20th Anniversary of the Ordination of women to the priesthood.
Whether or not you can attend, please make sure all your altar servers know about the Festival and please encourage them to attend.
If you can display a poster, it’s downloadable from here.

New Visitor for SCP announced

We are delighted to be able to announce that The Rt Revd Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro has agreed to be Vistor of the Europe Province. Bishop Tim succeeds Bishop Nigel McCulloch. The press release can be found here.

Former Rector General appointed Bishop of Croydon

It was announced on Friday 3 February that Fr Jonathan Clark SCP is to be the 10th Bishop of Croydon, an Area Bishop in the Diocese of Southwark. This is wonderful news for the Society. Jonathan is currently Chair of Affirming Catholicism. He will be consecrated bishop in Southwark Cathedral on Wednesday 21 March at 11am.
The Dean of Southwark, The Very Revd Andrew Nunn SCP, Rector General, expressed his delight at this appointment. “Jonathan brings a huge wealth of parochial and pastoral experience as well as a sharp intellect and real committment to priestly ministry within the Church.”

Manchester Vocations Day 2013

We had a great SCP Vocations weekend last weekend in Manchester. Nineteen attended from all over the country – and beyond. Some were having early thoughts, some were going to BAPs soon.

There is a brief report here:

We’ve set the dates for next year’s Manchester vocations weekend: 9th, 10th, 11th May. It filled very quickly this year so please bear that in mind if you know someone whom you think would be interested in coming.

Revd Canon Ian Gomersall

Canon Mark Bonney to Ely

We are delighted that the Revd Canon Mark Bonney, Canon Residentiary and Treasurer of Salisbury, and member of the Salisbury Chapter of SCP, has been appointed Dean of Ely. This is excellent news for Ely and the SCP Chapter in that diocese. More details, including a video interview, can be found here.

We wish Mark well and assure him and his family of our prayers.

New Bishop of Chichester

The Rector of SCP and Chair of Affirming Catholicism in Chichester have written to their members following the announcement of Bishop Martin Warner’s appointment as their new Bishop.
The text of the letter can be found here.

Dearmer welcomes new members

The branch of the Dearmer Society in SEITE welcomed new members at a Mass at St Mary and St John, Balham.  Further details about the Society can be found on this website.

1st International SCP Conference

The 1st International Conference took place in Rome from 10-14 June 2012. There were 88 deligates including 13 people from the Australian Province and 5 from North America.
The conference was a resounding success, the feedback has been incredibly positive not only due to the excellent input from Dr Paula Gooder, but also the opportunity to spend time with brother and sister priests from far flung places, the opportunities to visit places of historial and spiritual interest, and the conversations and laughter shared and relationships developed.

PRESS RELEASE 9th July 2012

The Society of Catholic Priests[1] is pleased that the General Synod has agreed to adjourn the debate regarding the consecration of women to the episcopate.  The majority of 288 Synod members prevailed against 144 with 15 abstentions.   Although the Society had been hoping that the legislation would go through unamended, we did not want to see women discriminated against in primary legislation in the way that had been proposed by the House of Bishops’ amendments.     The Society of Catholic Priests are clear that it is important for provision to be made for those who cannot accept the ministry of women so that they are able to remain within the Church, but are equally clear that such provision cannot enshrine discrimination in legislation.  The Society hopes that the bishops will consider withdrawing Clause 5(1)(c) and looks forward to working with the bishops and others to produce something that is as near to the Measure accepted by all but 2 of the Dioceses in England as is possible.

[1] The Society of Catholic Priests  is a society of men and women serving as Priests throughout the Anglican Communion.  The Society was formed in 1994 with the object of promoting the formation and support of priestly spirituality and Catholic evangelism.

Another new CoS Chapter formed

On Saturday 15 January the London Chapter of the Company of Servers was formed.  The Rector General presided and preached at a Mass in St Matthew’s, Westminister, after which a committee was elected and a chaplain appointed. Further information can be found on the Company of Servers’ website.

Another new CoS Chapter formed

On Saturday 4 June the Worcester Chapter of the Company of Servers was formed. Further information can be found on the Company of Servers’ website.

New Leicester Chapter

Leicester Chapter was formed on the feast of St Edward the Confessor, 13 October 2011 when Fr Andrew Nunn, Rector General, inaugurated the Chapter. 13 priests came together from across the diocese to become new members of the society. They elected Fr Johannes Arens as their chapter rector, Deacon Lisa Temperley-Barnes as secretary and Fr Tom Meyrick as treasurer.

Rector General to be the new Dean of Southwark

It was announced on Sunday 30th October that the Revd Canon Andrew Nunn SCP has been appointed as the 10th Dean of Southwark.
Further details can be found here:

Dioceses vote on the ordination of women to the episcopate

The diocesan debates and votes on the Measure which will enable the ordination of women to the episcopate have now taken place.  As you know 42 out of the 44 dioceses voted in favour.  This has been a tremendous result.  Full details of the voting and the following motions, which some dioceses passed, are on the WATCH website.
I am grateful to all those members of SCP who have spoken in debates, addressed Deanery Synods and generally given active and vocal support in this stage of the process.
I am very conscious that we have Chapters of the Society in Chichester and London whose Synods did not vote in favour.  To our brothers and sisters in those dioceses we give our full support.
However, we are not at the end of the process yet and the February and July General Synods are critical.  So continue to pray and support one another and let the truth be known that catholics in the Church of England wish to see women take their proper place in the House of Bishops.
Andrew Nunn
Rector General

New Lichfield Chapter

Lichfield Chapter was formed on the feast of St Bede, 25 May 2011 when Fr Andrew Nunn, Rector General, inaugurated the Chapter and chaired the first meeting.  The Chapter grew out of a joint one with Worcester.
The members of the Chapter are looking forward to establishing their life within the diocese and the wider Society.

General Synod Vote on Women Bishops

The Rector General has issued the following press release following the vote in General Synod. Please download and use freely!


The Society of Catholic Priests (SCP) warmly welcomes the decision of the General Synod of the Church of England to proceed with the legislation to ordain women to the episcopate. We are delighted that the people of our dioceses will now be able to give consideration to the proposals.

The members of the Society are conscious that many brothers and sisters within the catholic wing of the Church of England are unhappy with the legislation but are confident that the statutory Code of Practice will provide such a level of care for those who cannot accept the ministry of ordained women that they will be able to remain partners with us in God’s mission to our nation.
We look forward to working in our dioceses, deaneries and parishes through prayer and debate to enable the church to move swiftly and decisively to the first ordination of women bishops in our two provinces.
Speaking immediately after the debate the Society’s Rector General, Canon Andrew Nunn commented: “SCP is confident that the majority of Anglicans who identify themselves as catholic will welcome this development and feel a new energy for catholic evangelism in England.”


SCP and CoS celebrate new Chapters

Both the Society and the Company of Servers celebrate the formation of new Chapters.
The Company of Servers has chapters in Bath & Wells, Exeter, Norwich, Ripon & Leeds, St Albans and York and chapters are in formation in Southwark and Guildford.
SCP in North America is just celebrating the formation of a new Chapter in Los Angeles with the Suffragan Bishop as a member and in Australia a Chapter has been formed in Adelaide.
We give thanks to God for such vitality in the lives of both SCP and CoS.


The Rector General and the Chair of Affirming Catholicism, Fr Jonathan Clark, have written to all diocesan bishops, sending them a free copy of the DVD ‘Sanctus’.  The DVD shows examples of fresh expressions of church from the catholic tradition as well as containing the sermon given by Archbishop Rowan at the conference in Coventry last year.  We hope that bishops will encourage parishes of all traditions to engage creatively with evangelism through fresh expressions.
Copies of the DVD can be obtained by following this link.


We are delighted that it has been announced that Bishop Stephen Conway SCP is to be the 69th Bishop of Ely.  Bishop Stephen is not only a member of our Society but also Visitor of our newly created Company of Servers.  We look forward to his enthronement and assure him of our prayers.

General Synod election results

Congratulations to members of SCP who have been elected to the General Synod of the Church of England – and thanks to those who supported them.  The full list of SCP members on Synod can be found here.

Nottingham Conference 2010

A very successful and happy conference was held in Nottingham from 14-16 July on the theme of ‘The Bread for the World’.  Members of the Society came from Wales, mainland Europe, Australia as well as England.
Follow this link to find a reflection on the conference and downloadable copies of the papers delivered.

New website for ‘fresh expressions’

If you’re in SCP and interested in, or part of, fresh expressions (‘FE’), is the place to go. The aim is to develop a network of practitioners and support fresh expressions of church in both the catholic and contemplative traditions. You can also join a mailing list.
Fr Jonathan, our Rector General comments, ‘It’s an experiment to see if we can build relationships and content through participation. As contemplatives and catholics, we have a reputation for being slightly Luddite, so why not visit and help us prove it’s not true?’

Include Me In Campaign

SCP has been a member of the Inclusive Church General Synod Campaign Coallition, established to encourage ordained and lay people to stand in the forthcoming Church of England’s General Synod elections. A campaign statement has been issued as nomination papers are released.  To read it click here.
A set of ‘road maps’ has been created to help people through the process.  They are downloadable here.
The Church of England has also produced a video to encourage and inform people which can be viewed here. There is also a dedicated website for the General Synod Elections here.
For those who would welcome a simpler expanation of General Synod here is one from Dave Walker.

Women Bishops

The Revision Committee has now reported on their proposals for the ordination of women to the episcopate.  The report can be found by following the link here.
SCP and Affirming Catholicism have both issued press releases this morning (Tuesday 11 May) in response to the report of the Revision Committee on women in the episcopate.  They can be found below.

Vocations Weekend in Manchester

The SCP Vocations Weekend at St Chrystostom’s Manchester was a real success. Fifteen people enrolled but the organisers had more applicants.  However, they decided to limit it to this number. The participants came from a wide variety of places, and were from different backgrounds, and stages of considering vocation – this helped make it a very varied weekend. Costs were kept low to make it accessible to everyone, and that was helped, of course, by an SCP grant. SCP Manchester priests were great in their welcome and the participants visited four different parishes all with SCP members as parish priests. And all was rounded off with Benediction.

You can find a brief report on St Chrysostom’schurch blog:

So successful was the weekend that it will be repeated next year in Manchester, so do encourage people to come:13-15 May 2011.

Company of Servers First Festival

On Saturday 24th April servers and clergy gathered from across the country for the first Annual Festival and AGM at St Saviour’s, St Albans.
More information is available on the CoS website: .

New Chapter

On Friday 26 March the Rector General, Fr Andrew Nunn, formally set up a new Chapter for the Lincoln Diocese.  Please pray for Mtr Felicity Couch and the new members of the Society.


… to Bishop Stephen Cottrell, a member of the Society, who has been appointed Bishop of Chelmsford. Further information can be found on the Chelmsford website.

Not all Catholics are traditionalists

The majority of Anglo-Catholics are in favour of women’s ministry, say SCP and Affirming Catholicism. Churches and parishes which have a catholic tradition and are served by priests, both male and female, are growing and flourishing, and look to the future with enthusiasm.
The text of the 24 October news release is below.

People must look at us and think we’re mad …

Are priests barmy? Television soaps have protrayed their fair share of the mad, the bad and the incompetent. In his sermon at the closing Eucharist at the 2009 SCP conference, Fr Andrew Nunn reflects on the true nature of priesthood; the text of his this address can be downloaded below.
By kind permission of the speakers, the conference addresses of the Very Revd Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham, and Jan Sutch Pickard, a former Warden of the Iona Community, are also available here.

‘Love’s Labour’: Tuesday, 6 October 2009

SCP with our sister organisation Affirming Catholicism are proud sponsors of this practical day for all catholic Anglicans, led by Bishop Stephen Cottrell. Participants will rediscover how evangelism is close to the heart of the catholic witness to the faith. A brochure can be viewed here.
The day will cost £20. More details and online bookings are on the Affirming Catholicism website.
Numbers are limited to 100 participants. Love’s Labour is sponsored by Affirming Catholicism and the Southwark Chapter of SCP.

Ancient Faith Future Mission

Following the success of the National Pilgrimage to Coventry, members of SCP will be present at the launch in May of a book of collective writing exploring fresh expressions from a sacramental and contemplative perspective as presented in Coventry Cathedral.

  • Tuesday 12th May 10:30am (time t.b.c.)
    Christian Resources Exhibition
    Sandown Race Course, Esher
    Jonathan Clark SCP, Ian Mobsby, Tessa Holland, Ian Adams, Philip Roderick, Simon Rundell SCP
  • Wednesday 20 May 6.30pm
    London Centre for Spirituality Lombard St EC3V 9EA
    Bishop Stephen Cottrell, Richard Giles, Simon Rundell SCP, Tim Sledge SCP (t.b.c.) Philip Roderick, Tessa Holland, Jennie Hogan, Michael Volland, Toby Wright SCP, Ian Mobsby
  • Thursday 28 May, 6.30pm
    Wesley Owen Bookshop 113 Vicar Lane Leeds, LS1 6PJ
    Bishop Stephen Cottrell SCP, Richard Giles, Carl Turner and Sue Wallace, Johannes Arens SCP

Some of the best names in the field have contributed to this book which will make a unique and important contribution to the understanding and practice of mission today: Rowan Williams, Brian McLaren, Steve Croft, Stephen Cottrell, Abbot Stuart Burns OSB, Richard Giles, Jonathan Clark, Karen Ward, Ian Mobsby, Ian Adams, Sue Wallace, Simon Rundell SCP and others.
The book will cost £16.99 and is to be published by Canterbury Press
Fuller details can be found here.

Is SCP ‘political’?

Canon Andrew Nunn, Rector General of the Society, asks whether we can afford not to be a campaigning organization at times like these. His letter is published in the Society’s January newsletter, and can be downloaded below. (Where is my newsletter?)

Gospel Imprint

Gospel Imprint, launched at end of the Lambeth Conference, sets out to be a fresh voice sharing free resources with all Christians who are seeking to learn, worship and witness to the generosity of the Kingdom of God. SCP is proud to be the joint sponsor of this exciting new venture with its sister society Affirming Catholicism.
Its publications are free and intended to be shared widely. A website and initial range of leaflets were launched at the Lambeth Conference, and can be downloaded here. An initial range of prototype liturgical resources will be available shortly.

SCP Rector to move to Worcester

We send our congratulations to The Rt Revd John Inge, Rector of the Ely Chapter of SCP and currently Bishop of Huntingon, who has been appointed as the next Bishop of Worcester.

SCP Rector General moves to amend covenant motion

Our Rector General, Fr Jonathan Clark has tabled an amendment to ensure that General Synod retains the right to endorse the Church of England’s official response to proposals for an Anglican Coventant. Fr Jonathan has also published a joint article with the leading evangelical theologian, the Rev?d Canon Dr Graham Kings, which affirms the need for a covenant which can build mutual respect and increased tolerance across traditions. For more information, see the Affirming Catholicism press release.

Rector General’s working party reports

2 April 2007
Our Rector General, Fr Jonathan Clark was chair of the Affirming Catholicism working party that prepared a submission to the Legislative Drafting Group asked to make proposals to enable women to become bishops in the Church of England. The working party’s final submission is now available.
Fr Jonathan comments on the work:
‘It wasn?t an easy task, and the conclusions are not necessarily comfortable, but they may help the church to resolve how it maintains itself as a recognisably catholic part of the whole body of Christ.
‘The General Synod has asked the legislative drafting group to produce proposals which will require all members of the Church to accept the fact of women bishops but which affirms that it is possible to dissent from that decision while still remaining loyal Anglicans. We argue that the clear implication of this tough brief is that pastoral arrangements can be put in place for those who regret or disagree with the decision to admit women to the episcopate but not for those who want to insulate themselves from the rest of the Church by living as though women had never been ordained.
‘We believe that as a witness to the universal nature of the priesthood of Christ the church should ordain to serve as deacons, priests and bishops in the church of God all those whom the church discerns as being called by God to such offices regardless of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation.’
The Affirming Catholicism news release can be read here.

Open letter to Archbishops from SCP

12th February 2007

An open letter has been sent today to the Archbishops of Canterbury, York, Wales and Armagh on behalf of an Anglican clergy organisation (The Society of Catholic Priests), which represents over 500 priests, calling on them to refrain from action against The Episcopal Church of the USA at their meeting in Tanzania this week. The letter warns the leaders of the Anglican Communion gathering in Dar es Salaam not to treat the Episcopal Church in the USA as the source of all the problems in the Communion. Instead, the Rev?d Jonathan Clark, who heads up SCP, asks the Primates to recognise that:

fractures within the Communion run not between but through provinces, dioceses and parishes.

Action against the Episcopal Church would only delay a discussion that needs to take place across the whole Anglican Communion. The letter points out that members of SCP would experience action against The Episcopal Church also as a rejection of their belief that issues of sexuality should not be used as doctrinal tests.
The Society of Catholic Priests represents anglo-catholic clergy working in Britain and Ireland as well as other parts of the Communion. The Society focuses on providing mutual support to priests in their spirituality and work of mission. Its position is that ?the church should ordain to serve as deacons, priests and bishops in the church of God all those whom the church discerns as being called by God to such offices regardless of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation?. This is the first public statement on behalf of the Society on the issues which threaten to divide the Communion.
The Rev?d Richard Jenkins, Director of sister Anglican organisation Affirming Catholicism said:

This letter reflects a real and concern among ordinary clergy that the Anglican leadership isn?t doing enough to value those who in conscience feel that the Church should take a more open attitude to lesbian and gays. Staying together with integrity means learning to value all shades of opinion.

For further information please contact Rev?d Jonathan Clark
/ +44 20 7254 6072 / 07968 845698

1.In 1994 a group of priests from the Southwark Diocese, who felt they could no longer belong the traditional catholic societies for priests, met over a period of six months. The meetings allowed them to reflect on thier theological position and find a way of providing priestly support and formation as well as encouraging Catholic evangelism. From those meetings the Society of Catholic Priests was born.
2.The Society has at the last count 547 members, organized in chapters across England, Wales and Ireland. The Council of SCP is headed by the Rector General, elected by the membership for a three year term. See for more information.
3.The present Rector General, Jonathan Clark, is Rector of St Mary Stoke Newington and St John Brownswood Park in the diocese of London and the London Borough of Hackney (see for more information on St Mary?s). He also represents the diocese of London on the Church of England?s General Synod.

An open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, the Archbishop of Wales and the Archbishop of Armagh

The Rectory
Stoke Newington Church St
London. N16 9ES
12th February 2007

Dear Fathers in God

I am writing to you in my capacity as Rector General of the Society of Catholic Priests, a society which has over 500 members, men and women priests, across the provinces that you lead. We are not a campaigning organisation: our aims are the formation and support of priestly spirituality, and catholic evangelism. But I feel obliged, on behalf of the members of the Society, to write to you on the eve of your meeting in Tanzania.

The impression is being created in some quarters, and notably I fear in the Bishop of Winchester?s contribution to the Church of England Newspaper this week, that The Episcopal Church of the USA is the sole cause of the problems in the Communion, and that suitable action against it will lead to some sort of resolution. As you know, but may I remind you, that is not the case. The fractures within the Communion run not between but through provinces, dioceses and parishes.

Were the Primates? Meeting to follow through the Bishop of Winchester?s suggestions in creating structures of official recognition for an ?orthodox? body within The Episcopal Church, not merely the vast majority of The Episcopal Church, but hundreds of clergy and thousands of lay people across your own provinces would feel that they were being judged, excluded and condemned. Members of SCP would feel that such an act by implication judged them, along with The Episcopal Church, as ?unorthodox? ? not merely those who happen to be gay or lesbian, but all of us who believe that issues of sexuality should not be used as doctrinal tests.

I do not envy you your task of maintaining the Church?s unity at this time, and along with the whole Society I pray for you in it. But I am sure that any scapegoating of one branch of the Communion will only temporarily, if at all, put off the real work we will have to do in every part of the Church. As members of SCP we commit ourselves ?to seek the peace and unity of Christ?s church, aspiring to live in full communion with all of the baptized?. I hope that you will find a way forward which enables us to remain, along with our brothers and sisters who see things differently, valued members of the Church.

Yours in Christ

Rev’d Jonathan Clark, Rector General

Gospel Imprint

1 February 2007
This will be a new range of parish level publications and liturgical resources to be launched in mid-2007.
Available on the internet as pdf downloads, these resources will be aimed at resourcing clergy and lay people to grow in and share their Christian faith. In accessible language the library of resources will introduce people to core teaching and provide resources for worship and devotion. We are undertaking the project jointly with our sister organisation Affirming Catholicism.
We are looking for contributors within SCP and for who those who can help with project management. We would also be grateful for offers of financial sponsorship.
For more information, please email