Workshops took place on Tuesday afternoon, at 3.45 pm and at 5.00 pm and each Forum delegate chose two from the list below. Each workshop, unless indicated otherwise, invited participants to share personal thoughts.
The workshop allocation list is downloadable at the bottom of this page.
- The presence of Christ in the church
Following contributions from Catherine Martindale from the Catholic tradition, Stephen Platt from the Orthodox tradition and Susan Durbar from the Protestant tradition, the workshop enabled all participants to reflect on how they experience the presence of Christ in their Church. This workshop involved a short time for individual refection, small group and whole group discussion.
Facilitator: Doral Hayes is Executive Development Officer for the Association of Interchurch Families and Ecumenical Facilitator for Churches Together in Hertfordshire. Doral is also the Chair of Bodies in Association with CTE and CTBI.
- The presence of Christ in faith sharing
Faith-sharing means different things to different Christians so this workshop explored some of the differences – focused on the many different ways in which Jesus shared faith with those around him. The workshop was mostly input with discussion.
- The presence of Christ in music
The workshop was a practical, hands-on session, prayerful and reflective in places. It explored words and music describing the presence of Christ in music, songs and psalms. Music is a powerful gift that can unite people, so how can we use this? Through singing, improvisation and prayer, participants ‘sang a new song to the Lord!’ Participants were invited to work in small groups.
Workshop leader: Teresa Brown is a professional violinist and former County Ecumenical Officer for Northamptonshire and Peterborough. She is our Forum Musician in Residence. John Bowman accompanied the workshop on the piano.
- The presence of Christ in the movement of peoples
This workshop reflected on the movement of peoples in the Bible and Jesus’ flight into Egypt when a baby. The focus then turned to the movement of migrants and refugees in
today’s world and what it means to see Christ in the stranger’s guise. The workshop was mostly input with some discussion and participants were invited to work in small groups.
Workshop leader: Shari Brown is Project Coordinator of Restore, a Birmingham Churches Together project supporting refugees and asylum seekers. She will be moving to
Brussels in October to take up a post with the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe.
- The presence of Christ in science
Workshop leader: Kathryn Pritchard is the Research Fellow and Project Manager for ‘Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science’ and based with the Church of England’s Ministry and Public Affairs Division at the Archbishops’ Council in Westminster where she helps inform Church of England science-related public engagement. Her particular focus, this year, is on the social implications of developments in Artificial Intelligence.
Kathryn presented for the majority of the workshop but there was opportunities for discussion and some discussion at the end in small groups. Participants were invited to speak to the whole group. The workshop focused on approaches to practising the presence of Christ in science and included stories, lessons and examples of transformative practices from the Durham University, and York University-based Templeton-funded ‘Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science’ project. ECLAS is an ecumenical initiative informed by a vision for encouraging and resourcing confident engagement with science by senior leaders, trainee ministers, and at local church level. http://community.dur.ac.uk/christianleadership.science/”
The workshop covered the following questions and areas, with room for wider discussion:
- Why practising the presence of Christ in science matters for the whole church and contributes to ‘conditions of belief’ in contemporary culture.
- What does practising the presence of Christ look like?
- The presence of Christ in conflict
The Gospels are full of conflict, with Jesus in the middle of it all. Conflict is part of our life: inter-personal, inter-Church, international. Engaging with it can be creative, or destructive, scary or uplifting. What does it mean to say Christ is present in conflict? Should the aim be to ‘resolve’ conflict? Does seeking or finding Christ change how we see the conflict?This workshop should not be about answers, but sharing experiences and insights into something we just can’t avoid. But perhaps you disagree…? The workshop was a debate, with some input but mostly discussion, some in small groups.
This workshop did not deliberately venture into territory that may be uncomfortable for participants, but any reflection on conflicts one has experienced in the past has the potential to
open old wounds. Participants were expected to act with sensitivity towards each other. The importance of acting with sensitivity was part of the subject-matter of the workshop.
Workshop leader: Clive Barrett is passionate about reconciliation and relationships in the Church and the World. He the chair of the Peace Museum in Bradford, former chair of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship and former County Ecumenical Officer in West Yorkshire. He is the author of ‘Subversive Peacemakers: War Resistance 1914–1918: an Anglican perspective’ and editor of ‘Unity in Process’.
- The presence of Christ in politics
It’s said that religion and politics don’t mix, especially at dinner parties. But we live in a world facing polarized communities, discrimination, widening gaps between rich and poor, and endless conflicts. The world is crying out for a politics which works for the good of all. What does the presence of Christ mean for us and our world? This participative workshop drew upon the experiences of the leaders in doing politics with and for the Churches, and will encourage participants to explore what this means for them.
Workshop leaders: Rachel Lampard and David Muir. Rachel is Team Leader of the Joint Public Issues Team and has worked for the Methodist Church as Secretary for Parliamentary and Political Affairs since 2000 with responsibility for the Church’s engagement with political issues in a range of areas. She was a Commissioner with the Gambling Commission, responsible for regulating the gambling industry in the public interest, for nine years, and is now a member of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board. She was the Vice-President of the Methodist Conference 2016/17. David (that link takes you to a fairly old page) was the former executive director of Public Theology and Public Policy at the Evangelical Alliance. He has taught theology and history in a number of UK universities and higher education institutions, including Goldsmiths College, London Metropolitan University, Christ Church Canterbury University and the Centre for Black and White Christian Partnership. He has a PhD from King’s College London in Black/Political Theology and Pentecostalism and currently lectures in Ministerial Theology at Roehampton University.
- The presence of Christ in the economy
The UK economy is a shifting territory. We are all pilgrims in it, whether we are in paid employment or not: God is there too. Churches sometimes struggle to connect with the lived experience in the workplace, or with work transitions and managing money. In this workshop we will look at how Christians can help people know that Christ is with them on their economic journey. We will use an activity to look at our ideas of what economic values are important and will share resources that help us to join in with God’s redemption of the economic landscape. The workshop will be a debate, with some input but mostly discussion. Participants will work in small groups and will be invited to speak to the whole group.
Workshop leader: Peter Sellick is the Chair of Workplace Chaplaincy Mission UK and Director of CIGB Workplace Chaplaincy in Birmingham. He is an Anglican parish priest who has worked on urban estates in Yorkshire and West Midlands for twenty years, and has had a long-standing interest in economic affairs.
- The presence of Christ in human diversity
As Christians, we all believe that each human being is made in the image of God and that the imago dei transcends race, gender, age and physical ability. But how do we go from theological knowledge of this truth to the practical outworking of diversity within our congregations? How do we break down walls that exist between people groups? This workshop shared insights about what it is to be a minority within the UK Church and explore ways in which we might be truly unified – while recognising our diversity. This was an interactive workshop, mostly input, but with room for discussion including in small groups and sharing of personal experiences as well as practical tips for overcoming barriers. Participants were invited to speak to the whole group.
Workshop leader: Chine McDonald is head of Media and PR at Christian Aid. Prior to that she was head of Christian influence and engagement at World Vision and before that spent seven years at the Evangelical Alliance UK where she was Director of Communications and Membership. She studied theology at Cambridge University before becoming a journalist. She is a regular broadcaster on issues of faith and culture, including regularly presenting BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day and Daily Service. She is a trustee of Greenbelt, Church & Media Network, Christians Against Poverty and Sophia Network, which equips women in leadership. Chine is the author of Am I Beautiful? – a book exploring body image among women of faith.
- The presence of Christ in prayer
This workshop was quiet, contemplative and prayerful. It explored four types of prayer – contemplative, lectio divina, charismatic-evangelical and the use of the Daily Office. Contemplative (a quiet, prayerful workshop) Participants were invited to speak to the whole group.
Workshop leader: Paul Goodliff is the General Secretary of Churches Together in England, and has been instrumental in founding the Order for Baptist Ministry, a dispersed religious Order for Baptist ministers, emphasising a more contemplative spirituality. He co-teaches Christian Spirituality to Masters students at Spurgeon’s College, with responsibility for the more ‘Catholic’ aspects of that course, while understanding something of the evangelical and charismatic spiritualities from his early Christian experience, and Pentecostal spirituality through eighteen years of participation in the World Council of Churches Joint Consultative Group with world Pentecostals on the WCC team.