I am attending the Anglican Catholic Mission Conference in London, co-organised by Anglican Catholic Future and Forward in Faith. The theme is God’s Church in the World: The Gift of Catholic Mission.
Anglican Catholic Future includes a number of members of the Society of Catholic Priests, including me.
We began yesterday at St Dunstan’s-in-the-West in Fleet Street and our speaker was Bishop Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking on prayer and catholic mission.
Today we are the guests of the current Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace.
Archbishop Justin Welby welcomed us and this initiative amongst these two catholic integrities within the Church of England to come together to consider God’s Mission.
Our keynote speaker was Alison Milbank, Anglican priest and British literary scholar specialising in religion and culture. She is Canon Theologian at Southwell Minster and associate professor at the University of Nottingham in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.
She was a passionate and impressive speaker on the role of the Holy Trinity in catholic mission.
We filled the chapel at Lambeth for Mass, led by Bishop Jonathan Baker.
I liked the centre panel of the stained glass window behind the altar – Jesus on the cross.
However in the far right-hand panel, the Jesus being taken down from the cross has had a dye job and a Frankenstein haircut. Not sure what to make of that dissonance.
I wasn’t particularly fond of the ceiling artwork either
but the icon of Mary and the infant Jesus was more tasteful. Not sure if it was placed there for our benefit or whether that is its permanent home.
After a refreshing lunch we broke up into seminar groups on the following topics:
Mary and Mission, led by Bishop Philip North and Sister Gemma Simmonds;
Vocation, led by Anna Matthews and Robin Ward;
The Sacraments as Converting Ordinances, led by Damien Feeney and Andrew Davidson.
Social Justice and Growth in Catholic Parishes, led by Simon Morris and Bishop Ric Thorpe.
I chose the last two and they were excellent discussions.