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Responding to the Reformation 

Luther logo flipped and croppeThis major conference is open to all those with experience of ecumenical working at county (eg diocesan, district, synodical etc) and national levels. It is one of the conferences organised roughly every three years by the National Ecumenical Officers for all Ecumenical Officers. This year we are opening it up more widely.

Responding to the Reformation takes place from lunchtime on Monday 16 to lunchtime on Wednesday 18 October 2017  at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire. Book for the conference now! (Delay and it becomes more expensive.)

The programme

The conference is structured around the Presidents' Five 'R's:

  • Remembering: living with the legacy of the Reformations – Mark Chapman, Professor of the History of Modern Theology, Oxford University; Canon Theologian of Truro (more information here and here).

    This lecture begins in the mid-nineteenth century by discussing the ways in which the Reformation was remembered particularly in the Church of England, and how it is intimately linked with the contested identities of both the Church of England and other churches. Revival and remembering are intimately related. It moves on to reflect on the nature of historical remembering and how the interpretation of the Reformation has been at the centre of much theological conflict. On a topical note, it concludes with a brief discussion of the complex relationship between Henry VIII and Martin Luther, which illustrates the problem particularly clearly.

  • Repenting: fragmentation and mission – Nicholas King sj, became a Fellow at Campion Hall, University of Oxford, after a good many years teaching New Testament in South Africa and other places. Nicholas is also the translator of a new version of the Greek Bible and author of several books including The Scandal Of Christian Disunion (Kevin Mayhew, January 2017).

    This lecture will look at the question of division in the Acts of the Apostles, to see how the early church coped with disunion. There will also be time for discussion in table groups.

  • Reforming: a theological idea in a secular age? – Jeremy Worthen, Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Theology of the Church of England's Council for Christian Unity.

    What does it mean to seek the reform of the church in a social context where the word ‘reform’ is constantly used in a way that is apparently devoid of theological meaning? The understanding of reform has in fact gone through a number of different phases in Western Christian history, and while none of them provides a simple answer to this question, there is wisdom on which we can draw in facing the challenges of church reform today, particularly in resisting the separation of ‘institutional’ reform from the call to human beings to be reformed by the grace of God.

  • Reconciling: the ministry of Christ – this will be a panel discussion with Helen and Richard Connell from the Association of Interchurch Families, Jenny Sinclair, founder and director of Together for the Common Good, and Felicity Hadley and Sebastian Ostrynski, members of Chemin Neuf. Felicity and her husband, an Anglican priest, were responsible for setting up Chemin Neuf in England when it first started here. Sebastian is a Polish Roman Catholic priest in the Chemin Neuf community who has been the priest in charge of Christ the King Catholic parish in Cockfosters for the last three years. He has just taken on the responsibility of leader of the Chemin Neuf community in the UK.

  • Rejoicing in the patience of God: the joy of the GospelJan McFarlane, Bishop of Repton in the Diocese of Derby.

    Jan McFarlane was one of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood in the Church of England in 1994 and in 2006 she was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury as the ninth female bishop in the history of the Church of England. She served as a Director of Communications for many years and is passionate about how the church communicates its Gospel message. She broadcasts regularly on local radio and writes for Church House Publishing.

    In this session, Bishop Jan will consider how the Church is seen from the outside, through the lens of the media, and will explore how together we can better communicate the good news we share in a largely post-Christian society.

(The five 'R's are not linear but are in a dynamic relationship to each other. We have changed the Presidents' order to suit the process of the conference.)

In addition to the five 'R's, there will be a session Reflecting on the Reformation with Andrew Louth FBA, Archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Sourozh (Moscow Patriarchate), serving the parish in Durham; Professor Emeritus of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, Durham University; and Honorary Fellow, Faculty of Theology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. The session will consist of an hour's lecture followed by time in table groups and questions to the speaker.

More information

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