Members gathered from The south, the north west and the east to share the fruits of their ministry and to ordain our youngest ever ordinand, aged 22.
GATHERING MARCH 2013
Members gathered and shared details about their ministry and lives. Innovative work was taking place making Christian Ministry more accessible. Street chaplaincy, personalised funerals, bar and club outreach, social engagement and solidarity with the poor were all discussed. SICM welcomed 5 new members.
GATHERING AT WELLING IN MARCH
We shared a moving and encouraging time together and welcomed Revd Judith Carpenter as a new member. We made plans for Greenbelt and heard about requests from the USA and Hong Kong for membership.
GATHERING AT CALLINGTON IN OCTOBER
An inspiring time was shared at the home of Revd Theresa's and a new member welcomed to SICM. A prayer and pastoral chaplain was appointed and plans were made for a newsletter. Bishop Jonathan had spoken about SICM on Premier Christian Radio the day before and after Greenbelt, everyone was in buoyant mood.
Revd Richard Britton writes: This was my first time at Greenbelt. What an amazing experience it was – we met so many great people and heard a lot of emotionally charged stories. It was very exhausting for Jonathan, Mark and me, being on the stall for such a long time, but it was also uplifting, inspiring and rewarding. I am already looking forward to next year’s festival!
It reminded me a bit of Glastonbury in 2000, with the harshly overpriced food vendors, the array of wonderful craft traders and the appealing miscellany of various activities and attractions. You could say this is Glastonbury with God! It was, on the other hand, far more comfortable than Michael Eavis’s famous rock festival. When I asked a boy where the toilets were, he directed me and then said “...don’t worry, father, they are real toilets!” Jonathan and I were constantly berated by campers who said we were cheating – we were staying at my Mum’s house for the weekend!
Bishop Jonathan made an excellent speech about SICM on Saturday to a generously sized audience. There were many subsequent enquiries about our Society at our stand afterwards, as well as a lot of praise for Jonathan’s radical and inclusive vision for Christ’s church. On Sunday, we attended the outdoor holy-communion service, which was as crowded as a Morrissey concert! There was a mixture of gospel music and traditional music in the service, as well as a striking sermon from Lutheran minister Revd. Nadia Bolz-Weber. I also had the privilege to meet the Revd Steve Chalke who radiated grace and kindness.
There were priests from other denominations, mainly the Church of England, who discreetly discussed with us some of the issues they are facing in their parishes in terms of restrictions placed on them by their less than broad-minded superiors. Sexuality, and the fear of professional damage from revealing it, was a major theme. Others included some bishops’ resistance to interfaith work and priests being overwhelmed with petty matters that distracted them from taking the love of Christ outside the church building to where it is most needed. It is not only priests who have been disaffected with the mainstream church. We encountered church-goers who had also met disapproval or rejection from peers and some ministers due to sexuality, trans-gender and marriage breakdown issues. It seems that, in some murky corners of the Church of England, the motto is “Christ’s love for all, except for...” The response to the concept of SICM has been very positive. We had several clerics from other denominations come over to privately express their support and say what a wonderful organisation we are part of.
Of course, we did have some people expressing opposition, but most of these people failed to explain their negativity in an intelligent way. Understandably, some people were apprehensive about what is, comparably, a new “church” concept, but once they enquired further they saw the abundant possibilities for the fruits it can bring.
The Daily Mail should also come to these sorts of places before they write their vituperative articles about how teenagers these days have flagging moral values. Some of the young people we spoke to were so articulate, with a beautifully creative sense of humour that gives me hope for the future of Christ’s church. Through their unbiased minds, pure from the ravages of politics, they saw SICM as church stripped of dogma and creed and driving forward the gospel of Jesus Christ and the wisdom of the New Testament. Whenever we encounter prejudice or oppression from the established church, we should think about the fantastic youth who will be making this world a better place in the future. Thank God Almighty for them.
GATHERING MARCH 2011
We enjoyed a wonderful gathering at Welling. Revd Katie Watson moved us with a thought provoking seminar on 'Being a Christian in the Army' following her own experiences in Sarajevo and Northern Ireland.
We welcomed and ordained Revd Richard Britton as a new member and welcomed Revd Jamie Hartridge as an Associate member.
Revd Theresa Frampton-Smith and Revd Suzanna Neill were elected as co-chairs of SICM, Revd Robert Moss was elected as Treasurer and Bishop Sheila Wharmby as Secretary.
The next meeting was arranged for September 13th at Callington as guests of Revd Theresa Framton-Smith and next year's meeting is March 20th 2012 which we hope to hold in Newcastle.
NEW MEMBERS - March 2011
We look forward ro our next gathering at which new members will be ordained and received and a new Chair appointed.
GREENBELT - 2011
We are hoping to attend, exhibit and speak at Greenbelt this year. There will be many motivated and broad based Christians to whom God will issuing a vocational call into ministry.
OCTOBER 6TH 2010 - AN INSPIRATIONAL GATHERING
Yesterday we shared a wonderful meeting at Bishop Stewart's home. There were 12 attending, plus Jodie, a beautiful Labrador. It was an inspiring, challenging, warm and welcoming day. Thank you so much to all those who led the day with fine presentations on funeral ministry, discrimination and diversity and then a feast of readings, poetry, songs, prayers, sermon, Communion and lovely food. Thank you too to Bishop Stewart for his superb organisation. It was also a joy to incardinate Revd Robert Moss into membership. We look forward to our next gathering on March 22nd at Welling.
MARCH 23RD 2010: THE TWENTIETH GATHERING WAS HELD AT BISHOPS HAVEN IN WELLING MARKING THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF SICM.
A constructive, loving and happy gathering enjoyed a contribution from Revd Dr Allan Sweeney, the incardination of Bishop Sheila Wharmby and the ordination to the priesthood of the Revd Peter Goodwin.
News was received of two applicant members.
The gathering decided to evolve the structures of SICM by authorising the President to take over responsibility for the functions of the Chair during any vacancy and has decided to invite nominations for the office of Chair to be voted on at next year's March gathering which will be held at Bishops Haven in Welling on March 22nd 2011.
SICM intends to hold a gathering in the interim at Bournemouth, perhaps around September. A date will be announced later.
Bishop Stewart Harrison was elected as our new Treasurer with grateful thanks to Bishop Roger Gurling for his many years of dedicated service.
Revd Peter Goodwin was elected as our new Secretary with grateful thanks to Revd Andy Blatchford for his many years of dedicated service also.
The gathering looked forward to new growth in the coming year.
November 2009 : SICM has been contacted by a Brazilian Bishop wanting to explore linking together.
On October 17th 2009 SICM gathered at Tamworth for ordination.
SICM was featured on local radio.
On March 17th 2009 SICM gathered at Tamworth for ordination.
On October 16th 2008 SICM gathered at Sandhurst for ordination.
On June 4th 2008 SICM gathered at Welling for ordination and incardination.
On September 26th 2007 SICM gathered at Bournemouth.
On April 24th 2007 SICM gathered at Welling.
THE OCT 2006 SICM GATHERING AT BOARS HILL
We welcomed two new members at a most inspiring gathering at the Carmelite Priory, Oxford. It was decided to continue with our advertsing as it had attarcted new members. We also decided to arrange one day gatherings as need required, especially to accomodate further ordinations. However one fixed date for the diary is September 26th 2007 when we will gather in Derbyshire. We are also to experiment with a round robin news mail to keep members in touch. This will be via email for internet users arranged by our Chair, Stewart, Bishop Elect and via post arranged by Pastor Alberto Arlenghi. Please do keep in touch, share the good news and fruits of your ministry and let us edify one another for the upbuilding of the Body of Christ.
The President reflects on the gathering in Birmingham in 2004.
As though that which had first been kindled amongst us by the Holy Spirit was aflame again; as though that which is utterly distinctively SICM had become clear.
At Dartford people came nursing wounds inflicted by their Christian experience and finding a Bishop among us offered some, a sense of recognition and an unexpected access to Apostolic Orders . At Leyland this inclination was encouraged by the influx of those seeking Catholic Ordination. Great debate ensued at Bournemouth about the legitimacy of our Orders which led at Hazlewood to the formation of The Open Episcopal Church. The Church and SICM rubbed shoulders at Liverpool but it became clear that each was constraining the other and that from then on they should hold separate meetings. Aylesford was the first solely SICM gathering, although it was hard still to breathe purely SICM air. At Birmingham we did.
I write this, not because there is anything but a warm relationship between SICM and The Open Episcopal Church; after all many are members of both. However, while sharing a similar vision of inclusivity, the OEC packages that in a distinctively Catholic Apostolic tradition and culture, whereas SICM is avowedly ecumenical in its espousal of every Christian tradition and cultural resource.
In SICM we are concerned to be faithful to the kaleidoscopic, varied and gloriously diverse Christian heritage. Every member brings with them their particular Christian background, knowledge and experience. Each will contribute, lead worship, pray and worship in their own way and by so doing will refresh, educate, inspire and equip the fellowship.
Other than the broadest Christian parameters, there are no right and wrong ways of praying, believing, worshipping and being; no rules or even SICM traditions to be maintained. There is instead the wonderful freedom of the children of God to be at ease and to be themselves within the house of God.
At Birmingham, for the first time, we tasted some of this freedom. An agape interspersed within the evening meal. Meditation and open prayers. A silent eucharist amidst scattered autumn leaves. Worship using poems, hymns and prayers from the East and the West. It was a happy, carefree time.
We also realised that SICM did not need heavy business style meetings. In fact the very ethos of SICM was to be almost business free. The real purpose of gathering was to explore our Christian ministries, to celebrate our faith, to enrich each other with our experiences and our knowledge, to worship creatively. In addition long gatherings, annually based, with overnight stays built in, were too time consuming and costly. We wanted SICM to be more flexible; a day here, a day there; its life tangible throughout the year, accessible to members, visiting different areas, bright and hopeful, liberating people for ministry.
At the gathering I was also elected as lifetime President of SICM. The Holy Spirit had come upon me in 1999 in Sheffield with burning conviction that I had to establish an organisation to assist people in responding to God’s call to ministry and so I placed the advert in the Church Times for a Conference for Independent Christian Ministry. The Holy Spirit had come upon me in the writing of the Founding Principles. When I was asked by the members whether I was willing to accept the election to the Presidency, I felt again the Holy Spirit commissioning me to continue to work to guide SICM to fulfil its distinctive unifying role within the Church and within God’s world.
God is love. Christians are those who seek to evidence that love most fully in the world. Christianity is the practice of that love. God’s love knows what is important and what is not. It distinguishes between the real and the superficial. It sees to the heart of all things and can discern that which is genuine. The only religion in which I am interested, the only faith to which I cleave, the only spirituality that I respect is that which is life enhancing and which enlarges our capacity to love, give, forgive and inspire and which mandates us to a way of life that pursues justice and establishes peace.
SICM is unique in this country; perhaps in the world. No other Christian organisation locates us in the virginal stream of Christ’s life before all the ecclesiastical accretions. We are the fisher folk called to our Lord’s side for active service in his name.
SICM provides our true home, house ‘oikos’ ( leading to ecumenical ) capable of encompassing the whole Christian family. No need to argue, no need to be compromised, no need to renege on God’s distinctive call, no need to be rejected oir passed over, no need to be ostracised, no need to be anything other that a full participating member of Christ’s body, God’s family on earth.
Since Birmingham we have met in Welling and Oxford and in 2006 look forward to gatherings in Birmingham and Downham Market.
Let us celebrate our SICM history. Let us be bold in our ministries looking for the fields ripe for harvest, in which we seek out and find those God is calling to our Society for ordination and ministry, in which we know the power and grace of the Holy Spirit.
A SYNOPSIS OF NEWS FROM THE START
The SICM meeting in Oxford in the autumn of 2005 was a wonderful inspiration at which we welcomed new members and made exciting plans for the future.
The SICM meeting at Welling in June 2005 was a happy occasion with a short business meeting at which Revd Canon Pam Lees and Revd Canon Stewart Harrison were elected as the new Chairs of SICM.
The SICM meeting in Bournemouth on December 4th 2004 was a great success. About 20 people gathered at the home of Canon Stewart Harrison for worship and sharing after which we travelled to the Kinson Church for a service of Eucharist and Ordination.
The day was inspiring and saw three new members accepted into SICM. The worship also had a distinctly SICM feel to it, drawing upon ecumenical resources to provide a truly enriching experience.
The 2004 gathering was held at the Quaker Study and Retreat Centre, Woodbrooke, in Birmingham. It was an inspiring time and useful in reflecting upon the present and future direction of the Society. Bishop Jonathan Blake was unanimously elected as lifetime President of SICM in recognition that God gave him the vision which led to the establishment of SICM and in hope that he would continue to provide guidance and inspiration in the future, keeping the distinctively SICM vision on track.
Members were encouraged by the life, ministry and general health of SICM and looked forward to its growth and development in the year ahead.
It was decided that from now on the ‘business’ of SICM would be kept to an absolute minimum and we would look forward to using our gatherings for ministerial and personal enrichment to further equip us for our public ministry.
It was also felt necessary, given the financial constraints and time pressures of our clergy to restructure the next gatherings. Accordingly it has been arranged that the next ordinations will take place on December 4th, set within a celebratory day at Bournemouth.
The next such celebratory gathering, hopefully with ordinations will be March 5th and October 18th 2005. Venues and programmes to be published anon. See the Next Gathering page of the website. In 2006 we will return to Woodbrooke.
THE 2003 GATHERING OF THE SOCIETY WAS HELD AT AYLESFORD PRIORY AND REVD PAUL BILLEN WAS ELECTED AS THE NEW CHAIR OF SICM. IT WAS ALSO DECIDED TO APPOINT AN EXECUTIVE MADE UP OF THE CHAIR AND THE AREA COORDINATORS WHOSE APPOINTMENTS ARE NOT ONES OF HIERARCHY OR STATUS BUT ONES OF FUNCTION TO MAINTAIN THE MOMENTUM BETWEEN GATHERINGS AND TO EXPEDITE DECISIONS OF THE GATHERING. IT WAS ALSO DECIDED TO CHANNEL MUCH OF SICM’S LIFE THROUGH THE AREAS, HOPING THAT THE AREA COORDINATORS WOULD BE ABLE TO INITIATE MEETINGS, ACTIVITIES, FELLOWSHIP AND SUPPORT. THE MAIN GATHERINGS WILL BE HELD AROUND THE COUNTRY AND IT IS HOPED THAT THE PEOPLE LIVING NEARBY WILL MAKE A SPECIAL EFFORT TO ATTEND. ORDINATIONS WILL NORMALLY HAPPEN AT THESE. HOWEVER IT WAS ALSO DECIDED THAT ORDINATIONS IN THE AREAS COULD TAKE PLACE WITH THE AGREEMENT OF THE EXECUTIVE AND IF ALL THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTATION HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE CHAIR AND IF AT LEAST 7 SICM MEMBERS ATTENDED WITH NOTICE HAVING BEEN GIVEN TO ALL MEMBERS TO ALLOW THEIR INVOLVEMENT IF POSSIBLE. IT WAS AN EXCELLENT GATHERING WITH MUCH ACHIEVED AND A MARVELLOUS SENSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
IN OCTOBER 2002 THE TWO CO CHAIRS OF SICM BISHOP JONATHAN AND ARCHBISHOP RICHARD WILL BE STEPPING DOWN FROM THEIR POSITIONS AFTER SERVING FOR THREE YEARS AND SICM WILL NEED TO APPOINT A NEW CHAIR WHO WILL HELP GUIDE AND LEAD THE ORGANISATION IN THE FUTURE.
ON NOVEMBER 8-10TH 2001 AT THE CHAPEL AT HAZLEWOOD CASTLE WE WELCOMED 5 ORDINANDS, ONE OF WHOM WAS ORDAINED WITH THE SICM RITE AND FOUR WITH THE PROVINCE RITE AND TWO INCARDINEES, AS WELL AS CELEBRATING WITH THE PROVINCE FOR OPEN EPISCOPAL MINISTRY AND JURISDICTION THE INAUGURATION OF THE OPEN EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
ON MAY 10TH, 2001 AT THE MIRAMAR IN BOURNEMOUTH, FIVE PEOPLE WERE ORDAINED DEACON AND PRIEST, ONE WAS ORDAINED DEACON, FOUR WERE ORDAINED PRIEST (SUB CON), ONE WAS AUTHORISED AS A MISSIONARY, FOUR WERE INCARDINATED, TWO WERE RECEIVED INTO ASOCIATE MEMBERSHIP AND FOUR WERE ADMITTED AS FRIENDS.
THE SOCIETY TOOK THE STEP, IN ADDITION TO PROVIDING THE SICM ORDINATION CEREMONY FOR THOSE WHO WANTED IT, OF INVITING THE BISHOPS OF THE PROVINCE FOR OPEN EPISCOPAL MINISTRY AND JURISDICTION TO CONDUCT AN ORDINATION CEREMONY ACCORDING TO THE FULL RITES OF THE ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH, FOR THOSE MEMBERS WHO WANTED THIS, SO THAT, IN ADDITION TO THE INSTRUMENT OF ORDINATION GIVEN BY THE SOCIETY, THE ORDAINING BISHOP WOULD BE ABLE TO ISSUE LETTERS OF ORDERS FROM THE PROVINCE.
THIS OPENS UP A NEW WAY FORWARD, IN THAT AS WELL AS THE ORDINATION CEREMONY GIVEN AT THE FOUNDING PRINCIPLE 10, MEMBERS CAN REQUEST A VISITATION FROM A DENOMINATION TO PROVIDE THEIR ORDINATION SERVICE AS PER FOUNDING PRINCIPLE 11, SO THAT THEIR COULD BE A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT SERVICES SIDE BY SIDE, YET ALL ENCOMPASSED WITHIN THE ONE SOCIETY.
THIS IS THE NEW WAY FORWARD. OFFERING THE LOVE THAT ACCOMODATES AND RESPECTS ALL, WHERE NO ONE IS EXCLUDED OR MADE TO FEEL INFERIOR.
ON NOVEMBER 4TH, 2000, AT FARINGTON LODGE, IN LEYLAND, LANCASHIRE, 16 PEOPLE WERE ORDAINED AND 1 PERSON INCARDINATED INTO THE SOCIETY AND AUTHORISED FOR THEIR MINISTRY.
THE DAYS THAT WE SHARED TOGETHER WERE INSPIRING, A VISION UNFOLDING OF A PLACE WHERE ALL COULD COME, FROM THEIR DIFFERING TRADITIONS, YET UNITED TOGETHER IN THEIR DESIRE TO OFFER CHRISTIAN LOVE TO ALL.
ONE EXCITING NEW DEVELOPMENT THAT TOOK PLACE INVOLVED THE FOUNDING OF THE CHRISTIANS, OFFERING THE SAME OPEN MEMBERSHIP TO LAY PEOPLE THAT SICM OFFERS TO PRIESTS AND MINISTERS.
IN ADDITION, THE NEW INITIATIVE TAKEN IN FOUNDING THE PROVINCE FOR OPEN EPISCOPAL MINISTRY AND JURISDICTION NOW PROVIDES EPISCOPAL PROVISION FOR THOSE FOR WHOM THIS IS IMPORTANT.
THEREFORE, WITH A FACILITY FOR BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND MINISTERS AND LAY PEOPLE, ALL THE STRUCTURES ARE IN PLACE TO PROVIDE A WONDERFUL NEW MOVEMENT FOR THE CHURCH, BASED UPON CHRIST`S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE TO ALL, OFFERING TO HEAL AND RESTORE THE FRAGMENTED CHURCH OF TODAY, AND TO SPREAD GOD`S LOVE ABROAD TO ALL.
ON MARCH 30TH 2000, MEETING AT THE GREAT HALL, HALL PLACE, IN BEXLEY, KENT, 15 PEOPLE WERE ORDAINED PRIEST AND 5 WERE INCARDINATED INTO THE SOCIETY AND AUTHORISED FOR THEIR MINISTRY.
THE RT REVD RICHARD PALMER, WHOSE APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION SUCCEEDS FROM THE MEDIEVAL CHURCH AND CAN BE TRACED FROM 1566 A.D WAS JOINED BY FIVE OTHER PRIESTS FOR THE ORDINATION CEREMONY.
THE SOCIETY WHICH HAS THE FACULTY TO ORDAIN WITHIN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH ISSUED EACH CANDIDATE WITH A CERTIFICATE AS FOLLOWS;
INSTRUMENT OF ORDINATION AND AUTHORISATION
THE SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT CHRISTIAN MINISTRY, ACTING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MANDATE GIVEN IN THE FOUNDING PRINCIPLES, DID SOLEMNLY AND LAWFULLY ADMINISTER HOLY ORDERS UNDER THE GRACE OF THE ALL LOVING GOD, IN FULFILMENT OF THE DIVINE COMMISSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND DID ADMIT, ORDAIN AND AUTHORISE OUR BELOVED IN CHRIST ( THE CANDIDATE`S NAME ) TO THE ORDER OF PRIEST AT THE GREAT HALL, HALL PLACE IN BEXLEY ON THE THIRTIETH DAY OF MARCH IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF THE SEAL OF THE SOCIETY IS AFFIXED AND WE HAVE SUBSCRIBED THE SAME THE DAY AND YEAR ABOVE WRITTEN.
THE SOCIETY ALSO ISSUED THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATES TO THOSE WHO HAD BEEN AUTHORISED.
INSTRUMENT OF MINISTERIAL INCARDINATION TO THE SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT CHRISTIAN MINISTRY
THE SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT CHRISTIAN MINISTRY, ACTING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MANDATE GIVEN IN THE FOUNDING PRINCIPLES, DID SOLEMNLY AND LAWFULLY GIVE WELCOME AND RECEPTION UNDER THE GRACE OF THE ALL LOVING GOD, IN FULFILMENT OF THE DIVINE COMMISSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND DID AUTHORISE AND REGULARISE THE MINISTRY OF OUR BELOVED IN CHRIST ( CANDIDATE`S NAME ) AT THE GREAT HALL, HALL PLACE IN BEXLEY ON THE THIRTIETH DAY OF MARCH IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF THE SEAL OF THE SOCIETY IS AFFIXED AND WE HAVE SUBSCRIBED THE SAME THE DAY AND YEAR ABOVE WRITTEN.
ALL MEMBERS WERE GIVEN THE FOLOWING CERTIFICATE OF MEMBERSHIP
THE SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT CHRISTIAN MINISTRY CERTIFICATE OF MEMBERSHIP
( PERSON`S NAME ) WAS ADMITTED TO FULL MEMBERSHIP OF THE SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT CHRISTIAN MINISTRY ON THE THIRTIETH DAY OF MARCH IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOUNDING PRINCIPLES GIVEN ALL PRIVILEGES CONTAINED THEREIN UNCONDITIONALLY. BY THESE PRESENTS THE MEMBERSHIP AFFORDS AND OFFERS UNINTERRUPTED SUPPORT, COMMITMENT AND ABIDING LOVE AT ALL TIMES AND IN PERPETUITY FOR AS LONG AS MEMBERSHIP OF THE SOCIETY IS MAINTAINED.
SIGNED ON BEHALF OF THE SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT CHRISTIAN MINISTRY BY THE FOUNDING MEMBERS
THOSE WHO WERE ORDAINED INCLUDED READERS, ACCM AND ABBM REJECTS AND THOSE AWAITING SELECTION CONFERENCES.
THEY CAME FROM ANGLICAN, CATHOLIC, AND FREE CHURCH BACKGROUNDS. THEY INCLUDED EVANGELICALS, CHARISMATICS, LIBERALS AND HIGH CHURCH CATHOLICS.