Parish Development Working Group
A successful second Church21 Conference
The second Parish Development Conference has taken place in Dublin and was judged to be a great success by all who attended.
St Patrick’s College in Dublin was full as 112 delegates from the 25 participating parishes gathered plus a 38 strong team of contributors, facilitators, visitors, musicians and committee members, not to mention the audio/video man!
It was a packed programme with keynote speaker, Rev Ian Coffey, anchoring each session and others, such as Bishops Ken Clarke and Ken Good, contributing on the theme. There were exercises for the parish teams to complete and a little time to discuss what had been shared from the front. On Saturday afternoon delegates were offered a selection of practical workshops and had the chance to attend 2 each.
But it wasn’t all about learning. Worship was a key element in the Conference and we gathered in the College Chapel to express our worship in several different ways: Taize, Iona, Wordless Worship, vibrant praise with the Wicklow Gospel Choir on Saturday evening and a service of Holy Communion to finish on Sunday morning.
Nor did we miss out on the chance to ‘chill out’ as each evening ended with time to relax and chat in the student lounge over a glass of wine and a few nibbles.
Here’s what some of the participants said:
I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ for the weekend you put together. It was engaging, encouraging, envisioning and a lot more besides.
The whole atmosphere was wonderful, we were thoroughly spoilt, and it was very inspiring, We all went home full of enthusiasm and now we have to dissect and work out where we go from here.
It was a fantastic conference, superbly prepared and lovingly delivered. Thank you all very much indeed for giving so much.
And from a facilitator:
The parish that I am facilitating this time around went away talking about how they could bring home to the rest of the parish “ the buzz” they encountered at the weekend!
More information is available on the website www.church21.org