Added on 17/04/2013
Clergy from across Connor Diocese attended a Training Day on April 11 with guest speaker the Rt Rev Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield.
The day of talks, workshops and small group discussions drew some 80 participants. Organised by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, Parish Development Officer Trevor Douglas and members of the Connor Vision Strategy Group, the day focused on engaging culture, one of the strands of the strategy.
Over two sessions, Bishop Croft spoke about listening to context and leadership in a changing context. Other guests who contributed to the day were the Rev Dorothy McVeigh, rector of Annaghmore, Diocese of Armagh, who spoke about mission and ministry in rural communities, and Dennis Johnston and Nicola Brown of CREED who led a seminar on ‘Pro–Vision.
In a seminar entitled Take Back the City, Bishop Croft drew upon his insights from both research and practice into how the church can engage in increasingly diverse, multi–cultural and ever changing urban towns and cities.
Bishop Croft sits on the Church of England Archbishops’ Council and is Chair of the Ministry Council. Formerly warden in St John’s College in Durham, as well as Missioner and Leader of the Church of England Fresh Expressions team, he is a gifted author, thinker and communicator.
He spoke about listening to context in his first talk, and following a coffee break, delegates separated for the three seminars, each lasting around an hour.
After lunch in the Cathedral hall, the Rev Barry Forde, chair of the Vision Strategy team, spoke about the vision, outlining its background, goals and processes.
Bishop Croft described the Vision Strategy was an ‘interesting and creative process.’ “I look forward to following its progress as you go forward,” he said.
The Bishop delivered a second session looking at Leadership in a changing context, encouraging delegates to break into small groups to debate the issue further.
Questions were posed and tributes were paid to Bishop Croft during the final question and answer session before Bishop Alan closed the Training Day with prayer.
At the Connor Training Day in Lisburn Cathedral are, from left: The Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, Bishop of Connor; Trevor Douglas, Connor Parish Development Officer; the Rev Dorothy McVeigh; the Rt Rev Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield (keynote speaker); the Rev Barry Forde, chair of Connor Vision Strategy group and Nicola Brown, CREED Pro–vision.
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Connor Diocesan Communications Officer