Refresh: renewing our passion for godliness
Posted 5 Oct 2020
Bookings are now open for the 2021 Fellowship of Word and Spirit Conference.
Please note that due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounding Covid this year’s conference has been deferred from 1st-3rd February 2021 to 11th-13th October 2021, at the same venue. If you have a hard copy of the booking form please note the revised date or download the updated booking form here.
You don’t often hear it talked about these days, but godliness is not only an essential expression of biblical faithfulness, but also an urgent foundation to effective witness. The Christian life has always been a struggle against “the world, the flesh and the devil”, but the pressures of secularism in society, the absolutizing of self and the pseudo-spiritualities of Satan have never been greater.
This year’s Fellowship of Word and Spirit conference will explore that theme of godliness, reflecting on how it has been understood by Christians in the past, as well as specific areas of application for today. We will have plenty of time to consider the implications for our expression of faith in the church and how we should address issues arising in our community.
The distinctive of this conference, is that we actually “confer”! That is, we foster a forum for debate, sharing ideas and encouraging one another in ministry. Each session is rooted in good teaching, but has substantial time for interaction, application and deepening our appreciation of it. We are committed to reformed theology and its application to the whole of life, but are ready to encourage and help each other wrestle with its challenges. We are a genuine fellowship, with plenty of time given for spiritual encouragement and prayer, for cultivating friendships old and new, and for resting from the usual frantic pace of ministry. We hope it will be a time of genuine spiritual and physical refreshment for both clergy and lay people.
Revd Phlip Sowerbutts is vicar of Castle Church, Stafford and the archivist for the Keswick Convention. He has studied the history of the Keswick movement and interviewed many of those involved in its development during the 20th century. Philip will be speaking to us about the shifts in the theology of holiness in UK evangelicalism over the past 200 years, with lessons to learn for our own personal holiness and reflections on how the church needs to be teaching on this vital subject.
Revd Mark Lucas is vicar of St Botolph’s Church, Barton Seagrave. He will be giving the conference Bible readings from Ephesians.
Seminars will be led by Martin Davie, “Godliness in the body”, and Ros Clarke, “Godliness in the online world”. There will also be a panel discussion including Martin Davie and Andrew Atherstone on “Godliness in the Church of England”.
We are planning for this to be a residential conference as usual, this time at Kings Park Conference Centre in Northampton, from 11th-13th October. working very hard to ensure that they are Covid-secure and following all the appropriate guidance and regulations. We will also review the situation in January and make any necessary changes to ensure that we are running the conference in a way that is safe and legal.
We hope that many of you will be able to join us for this precious time of fellowship next year.
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