From our new bishop:

Posted on the 2nd August 2013 in the category Announcements

The clergy of the Ebbsfleet parishes are invited to read this statement in church
or make it available to members of the congregations.


Dear brothers and sisters, Dear Friends:

Now that my appointment is announced, I am eager to be with the people who belong to the See of Ebbsfleet, and be a bishop for you.

This new mission comes after eight years supporting the Archbishop of Canterbury's wider ministry ecumenically. In that role I have had the privilege of seeing at close quarters the infinite variety of ways in which the Church is alive and active around the world, and sharing in the joys and in the sufferings of fellow Christians.

Now I am asked to be of direct service to the Church myself – as a bishop, and especially as one of the episcopal visitors for the Province of Canterbury. This vocation is humbling, disorienting and challenging. I am very conscious of the trust that the Lord, through the Archbishop and those who have advised him in making the appointment, has placed in me. I hope that, through the grace of ordination and the prayers and support of many, I will be able to honour that trust.

The Provincial Episcopal Visitors are given a special responsibility: to care for those who, following catholic conscience, cannot accept the ministry of women in the priesthood and episcopate, to advise them and be spokesmen for them. Now is not the time for comment on that topic, or indeed on any other that is testing the communion of our church at present. What is entrusted to me now—as to any bishop—is more fundamental than that: it is the care and nurture of the Church, the body of Christ, in which and through which the Lord gathers to himself what is most precious to him – human beings.

Bishops seem to be talked about more but understood less these days. The bishop's main task is to be at the heart of the Church, proclaiming the Gospel in deed and word, a pastor of people. He is the heir of the apostolic tradition; and the spiritual guide of the Church. His job is to unite in communion the parishes and communities assigned to his care, and to maintain their unity with the churches in other places, through his relationship of communion with their bishops.

In practical terms, that will mean focusing on supporting you, working to deepen your communion and promoting your contribution to the Church's life locally. It means helping us grow in number, in prayer and in discipleship; helping us all to be close to the poor and people who have no other help; and encouraging dialogue with people who are far from faith. That means we must all foster vocations to marriage, to priesthood, to Christian community life, especially among the young.

Having been a member of the Society of the Holy Cross for over twenty years, I already know some of the priests of the See of Ebbsfleet. I now look forward to visiting all the clergy and the parishes in their care, so that I can know you and your setting, and be known by you.

I look forward to sharing my work in a special way with the Bishops of Richborough, Beverley and Fulham (my much-loved predecessor, and namesake!), and the other bishops of the Society, in serving parishes that hold traditional Anglican faith and practice. Together we must offer reassurance and support, journeying alongside our parishes through rapidly changing times that will leave no part of the Church unaffected. Christ shows us, and our discipleship tells us, that without the reality of loss and death it simply is not possible to give ourselves totally, fully, into the hands of God – so we must face it and dare to take the risks of faith.

And I shall want to work closely with all the bishops, especially the diocesan and suffragan bishops of the thirteen dioceses of the Ebbsfleet episcopal area, to promote mutual trust and reconciliation and thus increase our shared capacity for the kind of new evangelization that is so urgently needed in our country.
My ordination will be in Westminster Abbey on 25 September. I hope very much that it will be possible for you to be with me on that occasion. It will be the feast of Bishop Lancelot Andrewes, a brilliant light of profound apostolic faith in a very testing period for the Church in this land. That day I hope our whole church will be praying the collect for his feast with real sincerity: "perfect in us that which is lacking in your gifts: of faith, to increase it; of hope, to establish it; of love, to kindle it."

Please pray for me and for Sarah my wife, as we have already been praying for you.

in the Lord:
Jonathan Goodall
2 August 2013

Announcement of new Bishop of Ebbsfleet

Posted on the 2nd August 2013 in the category Announcements

I am delighted to inform you that Downing Street announced this morning that the Rev'd Canon Fr Jonathan Goodall SSC, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Personal Chaplain and Ecumenical Secretary, has been approved by The Queen to be the Fifth Bishop of Ebbsfleet, in succession to Bishop Jonathan Baker SSC.

Fr Jonathan's Episcopal Ordination will be held at Westminster Abbey on the 25th of September 2013.

The Reverend Canon Jonathan Goodall (aged 52), studied music at Royal Holloway College, University of London, and then, after some years working for Macmillan Publishers, trained for the ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He served his curacy in the Bicester Team Ministry in Oxford Diocese from 1989 to 1992, and from 1990 to 1992 also as Assistant Chaplain, HM Prison Bullingdon. From 1992 to 1998 he was Minor Canon, Chaplain and Sacrist at Westminster Abbey. From 1998 to 2005 he served successive Bishops of Gibraltar in Europe as Chaplain and Research Assistant, and Liturgical Officer in the Diocese in Europe. Since 2004 he has been a Priest Vicar of Westminster Abbey, and since 2005 an honorary canon of the Cathedral Chapter of the Diocese in Europe. From 2005 he has been Chaplain and Ecumenical Secretary to successive Archbishops of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace.


Canon Goodall is married to Sarah, a musician; and they have two children, Thomas (24) and AnnaMary (19). His interests include live classical music, walking, reading, and cooking.


Fr Ross Northing SSC, Vice-Chairman of the Ebbsfleet Council of Priests
2 August 2013


See also:


New Bishop of Ebbsfleet announced

Canon Jonathan Goodall (r) with Archbishop Justin

Friday 2nd August 2013

The Revd Canon Jonathan Goodall will succeed Bishop Jonathan Baker as the new Bishop of Ebbsfleet

Downing Street has today announced the appointment of the Revd Canon Jonathan Goodall as Suffragan Bishop of Ebbsfleet. 

Canon Goodall will be ordained in Westminster Abbey on 25 September, together with the new Suffragan Bishop of Tewkesbury.

The new bishop of the Suffragan See of Ebbsfleet will be commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury to serve, in line with the 1993 Act of Synod, as one of two Provincial Episcopal Visitors for the Province of Canterbury.

The Provincial Episcopal Visitors work with the diocesan bishops to provide extended pastoral care and sacramental ministry on the Archbishop’s behalf, as well as acting as spokesmen and advisors, to ensure that “the integrity of differing beliefs and positions concerning the ordination of women to the priesthood should be mutually recognised and respected.”

Canon Goodall, who since 2005 has been the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Chaplain and then Ecumenical Secretary at Lambeth Palace, succeeds Bishop Jonathan Baker as Bishop of Ebbsfleet.
Commenting on his appointment, Canon Goodall said:
“I am delighted, as I’m sure many will be, that Archbishop Justin is demonstrating his love and care and commitment to our whole church by bringing the number of provincial episcopal visitors up to full strength. Although it’s a time of upheaval and uncertainty, I’m eager to be with the parishes who belong to the See of Ebbsfleet and to serve as them as bishop, which has to mean giving my life for them. But not only for them: as bishop I promise to give my life to the Church of God as a whole, and to build up the faith, trust and mutual respect that will bring our witness to life.”
Welcoming the news, Archbishop Justin said:
“I am personally delighted that Canon Goodall has agreed to take up the post of Bishop of Ebbsfleet after eight years of distinguished, wide-ranging service at Lambeth Palace, promoting our local and global ecumenical relationships very effectively. He brings to the post an exceptional intellectual ability, as well as a wealth of pastoral and personal gifts which prepare him perfectly for this key role during a very demanding time for the Church of England."
He added: "I also want to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to those who have exercised pastoral care for traditionalist priests and parishes in recent months, especially Bishop John Ford and Bishop Lindsay Urwin.”
About the Revd Canon Jonathan Goodall
The Revd Canon Jonathan Goodall, 52, studied music at Royal Holloway College, University of London. After some years working for Macmillan Publishers, he trained for the ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He served his curacy in the Bicester Team Ministry, in Oxford Diocese, from 1989 to 1992. 

From 1992 he was Sacrist, Chaplain and Minor Canon of Westminster Abbey. From 1998 to 2005 he served successive Bishops of Gibraltar in Europe as Chaplain and Research Assistant, and Liturgical Officer in the Diocese in Europe.

Since 2005 he has been Chaplain and Ecumenical Secretary to successive Archbishops of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace.

Canon Goodall is married to Sarah, a musician. They have two children, Thomas, 24, and AnnaMary, 19.

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Ebbsfleet Regional Festivals

Posted on the 1st July 2013 in the category Events

Saturday 20th April, 12 noon

Saint Marks, Washwood Heath Road, Birmingham B8 2XS

Click here to download a print ready poster


Saturday 1st June, 12 noon

Saint Paul's, Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth DT4 0BJ

Click here to download a print ready poster


Saturday 14th September, 12 noon

Saint Peter's, Crabb's Cross, Redditch B97 5LB

Click here to download a print ready poster

Ebbsfleet Eucharistic Festival: Brean 2013

Posted on the 1st June 2013 in the category Events

A Message from the Vice-Chairman of the Ebbsfleet Council of Priests

Posted on the 14th May 2013 in the category Announcements

April 2013


Dear Brothers and Sisters,


Once more I find myself writing to you following the departure of a Bishop of Ebbsfleet. It does not seem that long ago that I was writing to you upon the departure of Bishop Andrew, and yet now I write again the day after Bishop Jonathan’s installation as Bishop of Fulham in his stall in St Paul’s Cathedral, London.


Following the failure of the Women Bishops Measure last year in the General Synod of the Church of England there has been much concern expressed on all sides of the debate about what the future will hold. There have been all manner of uncharitable statements made along with rather unwise and Erastian tendencies expressed by some who hope that Parliament may force the Church of England’s hand to consecrate women bishops. It perhaps ought to be borne in mind that the Anglo-Catholic Movement, of which we see ourselves a part, started as a direct result of Parliament’s interference in matters to do with Bishops. John Keble’s Assize Sermon on National Apostasy was a direct response to that interference and was the catalyst that changed the way the Church of England saw herself. Those who make appeals to Parliament are treading a dangerous path, for those who are tempted to stress that “the Church of England is by Law Established,” would do well to recall that in reality the Church was established by our Lord Jesus Christ, that it is His Church, and that it is not established to follow the dictates of man, but of God.


During this time there have also been tensions, accusations and threats that are unbecoming any Christian community. While we have from time to time lapsed from wise words and charitable thoughts and actions in the past, it is good that at all times we have sought to be engaged with the debate and of late have played a vital role in seeking to assist the Church of England in finding a solution that recognises and gives that permanent and honoured place we are due by virtue of our Baptism.


Perhaps, for us in the Ebbsfleet Area saying ‘goodbye’ to two bishops in such a relatively short space of time has given rise to parishes and individuals wondering whether there is a future for us. But, this is not a time for despondency – that is the work of the father of lies. Despondency and despair are not fruits of the Holy Spirit and we should resist them firm in the faith, for we have much to be about. There are people in our parishes and beyond that are yearning for meaning and hope and who need to hear the Gospel of Christ and receive the assurance of Sacramental and Pastoral Care from loving and faithful Priests and People.


Bishop John Richard’s used to urge us to make our parishes “centres of excellence” where believers would be taught and nurtured in the truths of the ‘faith once delivered to the saints’ and where new believers would be taught, baptised and nurtured. Our parishes are places where we are called to respond in love and service to the needs of others, and where we are prepared to challenge the sins of a nation and society where so many are condemned to suffer due to its own refusal to follow the law of Christ. Our parishes are places where we seek to transform the lives of those degraded by poverty, illness, wickedness and sin; where we seek to bring harmony, justice and peace by challenging violence. And our parishes are called to be places where life in all its fullness is cherished, sustained and nurtured and brought to renewal through Christ. In a time of such need and where the Good News of the Kingdom is crying to be heard amid the cacophony of disparate voices of doom and gloom, of false promise and even false teaching, this is not a time for despondency and despair……rather it is a time to awake, and for renewal in the Catholic Faith.


At such a time it is good to be able to tell you that the process of discernment for a new bishop is in place. ‘Patience is a virtue,’ we are often told – well, I was told that often as a child (and I probably need to be told it more now as an adult!!), and yes, we are going to have to be patient while we await a new bishop. But, waiting does not mean that we cease all activity in the Lord’s vineyard until one is chosen.


So as we wait a little while longer, let us commit ourselves to being faithful in being at the Eucharist every Sunday; to praying for, and working with, our parish priests in serving our parishes and people, for in so doing we are serving Christ and seeking to prepare for our new Bishop a fruitful land.


Every blessing,


Fr Ross Northing SSC

Vice-Chairman of the Ebbsfleet Council of Priests







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