New Diocesan Catholic Fellowship

During the question and answers slot at a Shaped By God Together conversation day before Christmas, Bishop Martyn spoke about his commitment to the diversity of traditions within the Church of England and his desire to see all of them flourish in the diocese.

One of those traditions has recently formed a new group within the diocese to provide fellowship and support and to encourage discussion and debate. Fr David Jennings, one of the founders of the group explains that “The Diocesan Catholic Fellowship intends to represent the catholic tradition in its inclusive, liberal and conservative forms. Our emphases are upon the centrality of the Eucharist, the sacraments, and the importance of the parochial system and parish priests”, adding “we feel the Fellowship will be an important resource within the diocese.” Fr Johannes Arens, another of the group’s initiators added “It is time that Catholics in the Church of England focus on what they have in common rather than what divides them. Our mission has greatly suffered from our disagreement in the past years.”

The group, which is open to both lay and ordained members who are happy to sign up to its statement of affirmations will join other fellowship and support groups that exist within the diocese which also represent particular traditions and emphases such as The New Wine Network, Inclusive Church, the Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship, and The Society (of Saint Wilfred and St Hilda.)

Bishop Martyn commented that “the diocese has many informal networks which support people of different traditions within the church. I have always wanted to encourage these networks in any way that I can and I count it a privilege to be invited to celebrate an inaugural Eucharist with the Leicester Diocesan Catholic Fellowship. Even as I pray for their flourishing, so I pray for the unity of the church in all our diversity."

Candlemas saw the inaugural Eucharist of the Leicester Diocesan Catholic Fellowship at the Church of St Catherine, Burbage. Bishop Martyn presided at the Eucharist, and Fr Stephen Foster preached the sermon on the Feast of Candlemas, taking the prophetic voice of Anna in the temple as his theme, reminding the congregation that their speaking of Jesus Christ through their worship, sacraments and social action as catholics is an essential gift to the church.

If you would like to contact the fellowship then please email





First published on: 17th January 2022

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