A Lay Conference Story

On June 9th 2018, lay people from across the Anglican Diocese of Leeds gathered together in Harrogate for the 'Together in Faith' conference.

This is an account of the day from three of those people: Janet, Clare and Sue.

The 9th June saw three intrepid members from the congregation of St Edward the Confessor, Brotherton, head to Harrogate to attend the Diocese of Leeds lay conference. In total 1600 people attended representing 656 churches and the 45,000 regular churchgoers in our Diocese.

We heard about the diocesan vision to:

  • LOVE – God, the world and each other.
  • LIVE – in the world as it is, but drawn by a vision of something better, we want to help individuals and communities flourish.
  • LEARN – when we get things wrong, by listening and growing together.

 

Loving Living Learning

Although we were initially unsure what to expect, this turned out to be an amazing, thought-provoking and joyous day.

The Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, opened the event, followed by a keynote speech from Mark Russell, CEO of the Church Army. Mark was truly inspirational. He told us of the work the church army does with homeless women and the success rate of 100% in supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society into homes of their own and helping to fulfil their hopes of a better future.

Jo Bailey-Wells, the Bishop of Dorking, talked on the topic of the ‘Old Testament and Me’. We were reminded that Abraham was 75 when God called him to lead his people – a bit of a wake up call for one of us who thought she was sliding gracefully into retirement! Neither Jo nor her brother grew up in a particularly religious family but Jo was called to the ministry and her brother Cal is CEO of a successful company and gives talks on Christianity in business – reflecting the reality of most of our working lives.

Although we were initially unsure what to expect, this turned out to be an amazing, thought-provoking and joyous day.

We are so glad to have had the opportunity to attend what was an extraordinary day. On our return home we have reflected on how lucky we are to live within a community where so much happens to support each other and where we have a church at our heart that has stood for over 1,000 years.

 

We now have to decide how to take the message forward.

Janet, Clare and Sue
Edward the Confessor Church, Brotherton