Diocesan press releases

Church congregations encouraged to look in fresh directions

The Bishop of St Asaph will tell more than 300 representatives from churches across north east and mid Wales that to be a Christian is to turn to face God.  In today’s context that means being ready to turn in new directions.

The Rt Revd Gregory Cameron will address the Diocese of St Asaph’s Annual Conference on Saturday (13 October) in Wrexham, encouraging people to seek out positive ways forward for the church.

His presidential address will be followed by a keynote speech by a former theatre director, blogger and author, Elli Johnson, 38, (left) who will recount her own experience of living life as a Christian in today’s world.  Ms Johnson from Liverpool who has three children, writes a regular blog on depression and anxiety and has reconstructed her faith in line with her own mental health.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Bishop Gregory said: “We’re already seeing churches across the diocese turning in new directions and serving the needs of their local community.  As Christians, we follow Jesus and I believe that Jesus is leading us all in fresh expressions of faith.

“In the words of the well-known fairytale, Dick Whittington, I’ll be telling congregations to ‘turn again’ and seek out the fresh directions that Jesus is leading us.”

The conference will include around 20 under 25-year-old representatives, the first time the diocese has created a category for young people.  It will also see the launch of a new children and young peoples’ strategy, entitled Life in its Fullness.

Among the 300 attendees will be a visiting delegation from the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Helsinki in Finland.  Seven church members are visiting north Wales to discuss setting up a partnership offering Confirmation camps for young people.

The diocesan under 25s officer, Tim Feak, who will welcome the delegation said: “I’m really looking forward to the arrival of our Finnish visitors.  A small team from St Asaph visited Finland in the summer to see how the Church in Finland excites the imagination of 80% of young people in the country who come for Confirmation. We’re looking forward to developing new plans to make Confirmation a powerful and exciting rite of passage again here.”

As well as hearing from the speakers, the conference acts as the AGM of the diocese offering finance and budget reports, details of the diocesan offering and updates on property.  25 stalls will be set up in the conference marketplace selling Traidcraft goods, books and fudge and offering information on the LGBTQIA+ chaplaincy, Eco-church, Dementia Support and Christian Aid, among much more.

The 2018 conference for the Diocese of St Asaph takes place on Saturday 13 October from 10.30am at St Joseph’s Anglican and Catholic School in Wrexham. Further information is available on the conference pages.