Past conferences and study tours
'My Heart Strangely Warmed' - (20 May 2017)
As part of the on-going series of events to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, a conference was held at the Fulneck Morvaian Church and School in May to consider the place of hymnody in the life of the Church. It was arranged by the Council of Lutheran Churches, the Moravian Church, and the Methodist Church, and attended by just over 100 peple from those and other traditions.
The opending session consisted of three presentations; Christian Devantier, the organist at the Danish Church in London spoke on 'Congregational singing in the Lutheran tradition'; Lorraine Parsons and Roberta Hoey, the Provincial Archivist of the Moravian Church and a member of the Provincial Board respectively, gave an illustrated talk on 'Hymology in the early and renewed Moravian Church'; and Martin Clarke, a lecturer in music at the Open University specialising in the intersections between music and religion, spoke about 'Moravian Influences on Methodist Hymology'.
Workshops followed - two led by choirs - on a wide range of subjects: hymology and christian war resistance, the hymn-writer John Newton, the hymn-translator Catherine Winkworth, musical settings for Charles Wesley's 'And can it be?', honesty with God inour relationship (especially in our hymns and songs), the impetus given by the Reformation to, among other things, hymology and music, weather imagery in contemporary songwriting, and the future of singing in worship.
A plenary session gave an opportunity to draw together some of the key strands of the day; the importance of singing in many Christian traditions was underlined by the many contributors and, in a closing act of workship, expressed in finechoral and congregational singing. The service was conducted by The Revd Michael Newman (Moravian) and the Rt Revd Walter Jagucki (Lutheran); the organist was Dr Simon Lindley. The Revd Dr Roger Walton (The President of the Methodist Conference) preached on 'words are not enough', illustrated that truth with some very telling and moving stories, noted that words continue to be vital, and concluded by encouraging the singing of hymns whose words open our hearts and those of others to the glorious, generous, and gracious God who has made himself known in Christ.
Further events to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation are available at: http://www.reformation500.uk/anniversary.htm
Rural Ministry: An Effective Christian Presence Conference - (20-21 July 2016)
This Conference, held at Cliff College, was attended by over 30 delegates from both the Methodist Church and URC. Delegates heard presentations from a number of contributors on topics such as Rural Mission and Ecumenism; Children's Spirituality through Messy Church; Mission and Ministry with older people in the countryside; Rural Chaplaincy and Agricultural Chaplaincy.
1st Methodist Research Conference (27 April 2016):
On Tuesday 26 April 2016 a Methodist Research Conference was held considering the research findings from the growing methodism in the North East Research project led by Dr Andrew Orton, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference shared in this event.
The next day the inagural annual Methodist Research Conference took place at St John's College Durham with 22 papers presented. Speakers included, Professor Tom Greggs, from the University of Aberdeen & Professor Mike Higton, from Durham University. This was shared with the Methodist Studies Seminar.
Both events had about 70 delegates attending.
Feedback on the event was excellent with one Tweet reading 'It's been a great day! Reinvigorating, inspiring and fun. Many thanks for organising' and another delegate saying that they thought 'the event went very well and there was a very positive atmosphere.
2nd Annual Research Conference (25 April 2017):
The annual research conference has already settled into a good pattern whereby those Methodists who are engaged in academeic research, professional researchers and academics who are researching aspects of the Methodist tradition, and other interested individuals gather for a day to share papers and conversations.
Last year we were in St John's College, Durham and April 2017 brought us to the about to be reopened Wesley House, Cambridge. It was great to be able to use these refurbished premises and while the 60 attending were likely the maximum the facilities work for, Wesley House is an excellent venue for a conference.
Keynotes from Gareth Powell, David Hart and Gareth Lloyd set up up very well for 20 short papers across 4 streams and helped us to recognise the wide range of theological areas in which Methodists are currently researching.
Next year's conference will be at the John Rylands LIbrary, University of Manchester http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/rylands/ on Thursday 19 April 2018, and we look forward to a day of shared papers and further strenghening of the Methodist research community. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register interest in attending.
Peace and Reconciliation Study Tour - Northern Ireland - (28 November - 3 December 2016)
A small group, lay and ordained, have joined in a Cliff College Certificate Module on Peace and Reconciliation. The purpose is to undertake and explore a deeper understanding of reconciliation and its relationship to peace making. The group visited Northern Ireland in late 2016.
See HERE for an article about their visit.
Peace and Reconciliation Study Tour - Croatia -(5-9 June 2017)
Twelve participants joined a Cliff College/Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network pilgimage to Croatia for a deeper understanding of reconciliation. This visit followed on from the visit to Northern Ireland In December 2016, and was led by Inderjit Bhogal and Clive Fowle.
See HERE for an article about their visit.
Photography & Spirituality Study Tour in Rome - (15-20 June 2017)
This study tour explored how photography and spirituality can inspire each other. The six-day study tour was led by Methodist Presbyter and author of Spirituality in Photography (Darton Longman & Todd, 2017), Philip Richter. See HERE for further details and photographs.
Photographs can be seen at our Flickr account in the albums section.