Clergy Conference 18th-20th September 2018
What is Catholic mission and evangelism? What does it look like? How is it different from what people of other traditions are doing? Why is it so crucial to the life of the church and how can we do it better?
These are the kinds of questions that will be explored at an exciting new clergy conference on Catholic mission and evangelism which will take place from 18th-20th September 2018. The conference will be organised jointly by Forward in Faith and Anglican Catholic Future and will take place at St Andrew’s, Holborn, with a day at Lambeth Palace at the kind invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Why is this conference being organised?
The conference will be an important step forward in exemplifying the kind of mutual flourishing that the House of Bishops’ statement on the ministry of women speaks of. The executive committee of Anglican Catholic Future and the council of Forward in faith feel there is much that Anglican Catholics of all stripes share and can witness to together as we seek to re-evangelise the society in which we live. In addition, there is much the Church of England needs to hear from a united catholic voice about mission and evangelism. Above all, both Forward in Faith and Anglican Catholic Future hope this conference will show the importance that catholics place on making known the Good News, and incorporating into the sacramental life of the Church new disciples of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Tony Robinson, Chair of Forward in Faith, and Fr Alan Moses, Chair of the Executive of Anglican Catholic Future emphasised these points when they recently stated, ‘In working together we are demonstrating that mission and evangelism are priorities for the future growth and wellbeing of the Church. We see the Church primarily as a gift from God to the world in every possible area of life. As priests and pastors of God’s people, our duty and our joy is to demonstrate and prove our engagement to our communities. We believe that we have much to learn and share in our common approach to catholic mission in the Church of England and as such we are delighted to bring together a wide range of scholars, practitioners and thinkers to enable us to deepen and renew our part in the growth of God’s Church in this country.’
What will be on offer?
We hope the conference will offer a series of high quality opportunities for learning, reflection, and discussion, which will enable participants to engage in mission and evangelism with more confidence, skill, and imagination.
Each day there will be a key note speaker: Archbishop Rowan Williams will begin by speaking to us on our first day about the connections between prayer and mission; on day two the Revd Dr Alison Milbank will address the question of how our understanding of the Trinity undergirds the church’s action in the world; and on our final day the Ven Luke Miller, Archdeacon of London, will explore how our going out into the world is rooted in God’s own mission in the world he created.
There will also be the opportunity for discussion in the more intimate context of a series of four afternoon seminars, which participants will be able to choose from: The Revd Dr Canon Robin Ward and the Revd Anna Matthews will explore questions to do with vocation; the Revd Dr Angus Ritchie and the Revd Simon Morris will lead a discussion on catholic church growth and social justice; a further seminar will be led by the Rt Revd Philip North and the Revd Richard Peers on the role of Our Lady as exemplar of catholic mission; The Revd Damian Feeney and the Revd Jennifer Cooper will address the sacraments as opportunities for conversion and a deepening of discipleship. We hope that seminar discussion in smaller groups will enable people to tease out questions of particular interest to them, and to root our reflection in the practicalities of how we put theory into practice.
The whole conference will be undergirded by prayer and worship. Guest preachers each day will include Rt Revd Philip North, Revd Anna Matthews, and Revd Dr Andrew Davison. Worship will be organised in such a way as to be as inclusive as possible, and to enable people with the many different perspectives represented at the conference to worship together. The celebrant at all sacramental worship will be someone whose ministry can be received by the whole church, and none of the masses will be concelebrated. We hope that participants will enter into the liturgical life of the conference in a spirit of generosity and openness, so that God can speak to us through this time spent together in his presence.
How do I book my place?
The conference is intended for clergy, religious and ordinands. The conference website can be found at: www.catholicmission.co.uk and you can reserve your place here: www.catholicmission.eventbrite.co.uk The conference fee is £100, which covers all refreshments, lunch on the Wednesday and a reception on the Wednesday evening. Accommodation is not included. We hope that most participants will be able to claim most of the cost of the conference as CMD from their dioceses.