Meeting with Bishop Toby & our Patron

Please Note: There is a new Meeting ID and Passcode for the meeting on Monday, November 23rd (see below). Please note the previous ID and Passcode will not work.

A letter from the Patron and Bishop Toby

Dear Friends,

In preparation for the upcoming Annual Parochial Church Meeting, (APCM) on 26th November and Fr Philip leaving St Margaret's, we have been working with your Standing Committee and Parochial Church Council (PCC) to arrange a series of two meetings for all congregation members. These will be co-chaired by ourselves, the Bishop of Bradford and the Superior of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, your Patron (with responsibilities in the process of selecting a new parish priest). They will provide an opportunity to learn about the selection process, to listen to one another as we share what we value and hope for at St Margaret’s and to discuss, amongst other things, the particular question of female ministry. Please note that we are inviting people to attend both meetings, as the second will build on the first.

These meetings are scheduled for Tuesday 10 November and Monday 23rd November, both from 7:30pm until 9pm. In the context of current COVID restrictions, they will be held on Zoom. However, if you do not have the required technology for Zoom, you will be able to take part in the meeting by telephone. All the details of how to access the meetings are set out below.

St Margaret's is a church in the Anglican Catholic tradition and has traditionally had a male priest. However, a specific Resolution would need to be passed by the PCC if St Margaret’s were to ask for only a male priest to be considered in the new appointment. We recognise that there are a number of people within the congregation who feel very strongly on this matter both for and against. We have decided, therefore, with the Standing Committee, to provide an opportunity to discuss this issue before it is considered formally by the PCC. These meetings are for information and discussion and no decisions or votes will be taken.

The Church of England has ordained female priests for over 25 years, when, in 1994, 32 were ordained in Bristol Cathedral. The first female Bishops were ordained in 2015. Recognising that there are some who do not agree with these decisions, the Church of England has developed a protocol known as the Five Guiding Principles to enable it to work with this continuing difference of opinion. Booklets describing these Principles have been made available for study, and may be requested from the Vicar or members of the Standing Committee. It is against this background that these meetings have been arranged so that all those taking part in the Annual Parochial Church Meeting on 26th November can be fully informed and are able to make their own personal judgement.

We would like to encourage as many members of St Margaret’s as possible to take part in both of these meetings. It will be helpful in the administration of the meetings for us to have some idea of the numbers who will be joining. Could we therefore ask that you contact Vickie, your parish administrator (preferably by email: stmargaretschurchpa@gmail.com) to let her know if you will be joining. 

In advance of the first meeting, we encourage you to pray and think about what you value most about St Margaret’s and what you hope for your church in the context of the wider parish. 

Please note that as the meetings relate to the appointment of his replacement, Fr Philip will not be attending either of them.

We apologise for the length of this notice but hope that it clarifies the purpose and process for what will be two very important meetings. Please feel free to contact any member of the Standing Committee, (Helen Buswell, Alison Stretton, John McGhee, Steve Betts) if you need further information.

The Rt Revd Dr Toby Howarth: Bishop of Bradford

Fr Oswin Gartside: Superior of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield

Meeting details:

Meeting 2 23rd November

Dial in instruction

All the details of how to access the meeting on-line are set out above. If you know of people who do not have the appropriate technology, please contact Vickie, our parish administrator, and she will ensure that they get a paper copy of the dial-in instructions for phone users.