National Cathedrals Conference
Welcome to the National Cathedrals Conference ‘Different Country: Different Church’. This is a four day event held from May 16 to May 19 where key players from our Church of England cathedrals and ecumenical partners will gather at Newcastle Cathedral to “draw breath” after recent difficult times, and exchange wisdom on the challenges and opportunities for the future direction of the Church and society.
We have taken inspiration from that great mission agent, Pope Francis, who with our own Archbishops, reminds us never to give up on the world, but calls us to serve those on the world’s margins and, in so doing, renew the church.
We will hear from leaders in their field on the issues of social, racial and climate injustice and be able to collaboratively and cooperatively shape our vision in the face of these three big challenges that beset our communities, our country, our nation, and our world.
We want to draw on the wisdom of people in public life and senior Church leadership, and those bringing ecumenical and theological expertise, and to ground all this with practical ideas and resources that can support our work and mission.
We will ask: how do we serve a world that in Europe and North America has become increasingly alienated from religion, but at the same time how can we plant seeds in fields where our mission might lie?
We will have a safe space to meet each other, opportunities to learn together, to network, to discuss common problems, and there will be surgeries available from staff at the National Churches institution and more.
All this will be held in a framework of prayer, worship, welcome and conviviality.
What’s on offer:
- We will stay in comfortable hotels close to Newcastle Cathedral.
- There will be a regular pattern of worship facilitated by our hosts with input from the Conference Chaplain, Yejide Peters who will be available for individuals and groups throughout the conference.
- A prayer space will be available for the duration of the conference.
- We will enjoy a good level of hospitality. There will be a Gala Dinner on Wednesday 18. (Please note: dress code is smart but this is not a black-tie occasion)
- The sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday will end with panel discussions between the speakers that will lead to action planning discussions. Cathedral delegations will have the chance to think “how do we take this learning home?”. If there are small delegations, we ask you to “buddy up” with another cathedral in order to stimulate conversation and share ideas and plans
- Workshops – Wednesday afternoon is devoted to workshops and our workshop leaders are here to offer you strategies, ways you can push the boundaries of your ministry, plus ideas and resources for ways forward. Topics range from: financial resourcing, trauma and recovery, the Church’s healing ministry, how does racial justice look in my context, and exploring choral diversity.
- We will also provide some “Open Space” for delegates to offer expertise, share good practice, or start conversations on issues about which they are concerned.
- Surgeries/helpdesks are offered by staff from the National Church Institutions – including those who will be offering advice and information and making an important presentation on the Cathedrals Measure on Thursday morning May 19.
- CCLA and EIG will also run helpdesks to help with concerns and forward planning. CCLA is particularly keen to show how their investment and financial leverage can help us see what can be achieved by ethical policies and action and EIG has lots of suggestions for our insurance needs.
- Marketplace – you will find a well-stocked marketplace with retail and information from some of our resourcing organisations spanning our Christian responsibilities, insurance, investment, the environment and cathedral buildings
- Newcastle – one of the most distinctive cities in the UK and we look forward to enjoying what the city has to offer.
We hope you will come away deeply refreshed by the stimulus of the programme and the experience of being able to come together physically after two years of living a pandemic life.