For the last few years we have been treated to some excellent Diocesan Conferences. Sometimes they are held on one day, sometimes two. The speakers have been of a high calibre and it is always good to meet up with folk from the diocese. I didn’t go to last year’s conference because it was on the King James Bible and I’m not really into that. Give me a modern version any day. (And yes, I love the poetry of it but frankly I don’t understand most of it.) This year’s conference is on David Hume, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of the philosopher. I’m giving it a miss too. Philosophy is not my thing either and I’m more focussed on the future these days, not the past. Then I heard that next year’s conference is going to be on the Scottish Prayer Book of 1929. Jings. I see a pattern emerging.
Now I’m not casting aspersions on those who come up with the topics and indeed I know not who they are. But I did email one of the organisers this week to say that perhaps they were all a bit… dare I say it… backward looking? Couldn’t we have something that caused us to look forward in an exciting way? The answer was that next year’s will look at liturgy today as well, but I bet it is not billed as that. And it is the billing which draws us in. Judging by the age range of the participants over the past few years I’d say that the over 60s were terribly well represented. Nuff said?
So I’ve been asked to come up for suggestions for 2013. Of course I’ve no idea what will be relevant and topical in two years time and I understand that forward planning means that you can’t keep completely up to date. But having said that, there must be something that needs to be explored as a diocese that doesn’t involve going back 300 years.
I’m thinking Richard Giles and moving furniture in church. I’m thinking Fr Simon and Blessèd and experimental catholic liturgy for young people. I’m thinking Anne Lamott and living out your faith in the real world. I’m thinking Mary Portas and making our ‘shop fronts’ more inviting.
What are you thinking?