Our 2015 national conference was a great success

23-Nov-2015 In addition to our popular training days up and down the country, held throughout the year, from time to time The College of Preachers runs a major residential conference lasting several days. Such conferences typically comprise lectures by internationally-renowned speakers, a choice of smaller seminar sessions, and shared times of worship. Preachers of any tradition, female or male, new or experienced, lay or ordained, whether or not they are signed-up members of The College of Preachers (subscribers to The Preacher), are welcome to attend these conferences on a 'first come first served basis'. The maximum number of delegates that can be accommodated is usually around a hundred.

In recent years our preferred venue for these events has been The Hayes Conference Centre, at Swanwick, Derbyshire. The Hayes is central to the country - easily accessed from the M1 - and is well-appointed, with single en-suite bedrooms, a magnificent assembly hall and chapel, and a range of smaller rooms ideal for the seminars.

Well two months ago we held a conference titled Just Imagine! (subtitled 'Inspiration, Insight & Imagination Preaching the Bible anew for today'). For centuries the Bible has been at the heart of Western culture. In countless paintings, poems, stories, songs and writings it has been the very bedrock of human imagination. Now that power seems to be dissipating. Fewer and fewer people pick up the biblical references in famous artistic works, or even consider Bible perspectives worth examining. Just Imagine! looked at ways preachers can meet the challenge of this change.

And there were five key speakers as follows: Zoë Bennett, Director of Postgraduate Studies Pastoral Theology, Cambridge Theological Federation and Anglia Ruskin University; Kate Bruce, Deputy Warden and Tutor in Homiletics, Cranmer Hall, and Fellow in Preaching CODEC; Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, who has written extensively on evangelism, spirituality and discipleship and is the Chair of the College; Adrienne Dines, author (Toppling Miss April, Soft Voices Whispering and The Jigsaw Maker), passionate about the story - always the story; and John Lindley, widely published prize-winning freelance poet, former Cheshire Poet Laureat and Manchester Cathedral Poet of the Year.

The conference was a great success - but you don't have to take our word for it! We've now collated the feedback forms handed in at the end of the event. Delegates were given a choice of adjectives to apply to the event - some positive, some negative - but the two most popular by far were "stimulating" (18 persons) and "inspiring" (16). And the proportion of delegates scoring each session as "Excellent" or "Good" ranged from 85% to 100%! A number of specific comments can be found on the "Plaudits" page of this website.

Details of future events of this nature will be posted on this website in due course. So please bookmark our home page and keep coming back!
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