Spiritual reflection at clergy conference

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undefinedSome 300 priests enjoyed spiritual refreshment and fellowship at the 2013 Diocesan Clergy Conference held at Swanwick in Derbyshire. The four-day event � themed on worship � included workshops, daily worship and bible study, expert talks and a prayer labyrinth.

The speakers included Prof Walter Moberly, a renowned bible scholar from the University of Durham, and the Revd Professor Jeremy Begbie, a theologian and concert pianist. As part of his talk on lament and praise in worship, Professor Begbie played the piano and was very well received by the delegates. George Guiver – Superior of the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield – also gave two talks.

Author and evangelist Adrian Plass provided great entertainment of an anecdotal and poetic nature. 

The conference is organised every three years on behalf the Bishop of Chester. Bishop Peter attended, as did the two Suffragan bishops, Robert and Keith, the two Archdeacons and the Dean. Janice Mason (Diocesan Director of Social Responsibility) and the Revd Canon Dr Christopher Burkett (Director of Ministry) attended.

Archdeacon Mike led a bible study on the theme of ‘Worship in the Book of Revelation’ while Archdeacon Ian led a very well-attended and popular pub quiz in the bar area at the Hayes Conference Centre at Swanwick. The winning team was that of Cheadle Deanery.

The conference also featured a marketplace where organised and campaigning charities showcased their services. There were also a few private companies of ecclesiastical specialisms taking part.

Bishop Peter said: “It is always a privilege and great pleasure to hold a residential conference for the clergy of the diocese. I am deeply grateful to everyone who helped to make the event such a success.”

A committee organised the conference. The Revd Canon Ian Davenport chaired it. Peter Hall was the secretary.

Canon Davenport said: "It was both a humbling experience and a great pleasure for all of us on the planning group to be able to organise and be part of this conference."

Peter Hall said: “There was a good feeling of being together in unity throughout the conference – that came through loud and clear in the feedback. Also, the weather was glorious.”

Pictured above - a break in the sunshine at the clergy conference

Below - Bishop Peter preaches, delegates have fun, and George Colville unwinds by playing the blues guitar