The National Conference of Priests of England and Wales (NCPEW) is to undergo a major review, it was announced at its annual meeting at Leeds Trinity and All Saints College. NCPEW chairman Fr Tom Jordan said that the organisation needs to look at how it is serving the needs of priests. Fr Jordan explained: "A review is long overdue. We will be asking priests in each diocese what they think our role should be and how we can be more effective. "There have been many developments in the Church since the conference was set up 37 years ago. Since then, however, only our constitution has been changed. But the Church has changed and we need to as well." Established in 1970, the NCPEW is an elected body representing the priests of England and Wales and a consultative body of the Catholic Bishops' Conference. Delegates in Leeds heard from Fr Richard Vega about the role of the National Federation of Priests' Councils in the USA, of which he is president. The title of this year's meeting was Earthen Vessels Summoned to Holiness at Home. Speakers included Bishop John Hine, Elizabeth Davies, of the Bishops' Conference department for marriage and family life, David Wells, co-ordinator of parish services in the diocese of Plymouth and author Fr Donal O'Leary. For the second year running, priests had a special debate about child protection issues. The conference celebrated the Cumberlege Commission Report's accept of the NCPEW position. Some clarification was still demanded, but there was unanimous endorsement for the NCPEW leadership to continue work with the bishops to implement the Cumberlege report's recommendations. Amongst those present at the meeting were Archbishop Patrick Kelly, Bishop Kieran Conry, Bishop John Rawsthorne, Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop Mark Jabale and representatives from the National Conference of Priests of Ireland and the National Conference of Priests and Permanent Deacons of Scotland.
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