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Reform is delighted that their Chairman, Rev'd Preb Rod Thomas, has been appointed to the revived See of Maidstone. Rod has served as a senior officer of Reform for nearly two decades. In that time he has been unswerving in his commitment to the principles set out in the Reform Covenant. But for Rod's passionate advocacy of conservative evangelical Anglicanism the Church of England would have been much impoverished.

Rod's predecessor as Chairman of Reform, Rev'd Canon David Banting, said, "Rod's presence in the College of Bishops will strengthen and enrich the priority of the mission of the gospel to the nation and the centrality of biblical witness in the Church."

Rev'd Angus Macleay, the Chairman of Trustees of Reform, said, "I am delighted that, through this appointment, Rod will have the opportunity to provide a distinctive and gracious voice for conservative evangelicals within the College of Bishops, whilst also providing effective pastoral support and encouragement in the gospel to many churches up and down the country."

Mrs Mary Durlacher, a member of General Synod, was very pleased to hear the longawaited news, "Today's announcement of the appointment of a conservative evangelical as Bishop of Maidstone marks a milestone in Church relations as the commitment to mutual flourishing declared by the Bishops begins to turn from words to action."

Director of Reform, Susie Leafe said, "The members of Reform are all too aware that this is an immense undertaking and we will be in prayer for Rod as he seeks to establish the necessary working arrangements to allow conservative evangelicals to flourish throughout the country."

Reform members wish to record publicly their gratitude to Rod for all that he has given as Chairman of Reform and resolve to pray for Rod, his wife Lesley and the church family at St Matthew's, Elburton, as they look to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for their future.

Note to editors:

Reform is a network of individuals and churches promoting the gospel of Jesus Christ by reforming the Church of England – we are committed to growing a nation of healthy, local, Anglican churches and the principles embodied in the Reform Covenant. Churches in the Reform network are 30% larger than average in the Church of England and a third have planted new congregations or churches in the past ten years. Reform has consistently opposed the legislation introduced to introduce women bishops as being divisive, alienating the very churches that represent the future of the Church of England. This not withstanding, and in the spirit of generosity to which all Christians are called, Reform is willing to explore whatever opportunities exist for Conservative Evangelicals to flourish within the existing structures of the Church of England.

www.reform.org.uk

For further information please contact Susie Leafe, Director of Reform Email: director@reform.org.uk Phone: 07753 690120

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