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Last updated 31st January 2018

Diocesan Conference 2018

Blackburn Diocesan Conference 2018 - The Mystery of Faith - Believing it, Living it, Sharing it



January 2018 update - All clergy should have recieved a mailing (email or post) with a letter from Bishop Julian and a booking form. If you haven't received one, please email 

The October 2017 update is available here with the original information below.

Bishop Julian writes:

26-29 November 2018 (Monday – Thursday)

The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire DE55 1AU

In recent years many of you have requested a residential Diocesan Conference in order to provide an opportunity for us to reflect corporately on our Christian calling, worship together and enjoy each other’s company. This letter is by way of notification that such a conference will be held from Monday November 26th to Thursday 29th 2018.

Vision 2026 calls us to be confident witnesses, but as we know, witnessing to a revealed faith in a fast changing culture can be complex. Therefore the theme of this conference will be ‘The Mystery of Faith.’ Under that title we will examine some of the key doctrines of the Christian faith (the Incarnation, the Atonement and Future Hope) and as we do so we will both recall ourselves to the heart of the Gospel and reflect on how these central truths can speak to a highly challenging contemporary culture. The conference will therefore aim to refresh us in our own Christian faith and equip us to communicate that faith more effectively to the people whom Christ has called us to serve.

The conference will run from lunchtime on Monday until lunchtime on Thursday and will be broken down into three 24 hour slots, exploring the above doctrines in various different ways. Within each 24 hour period there will be a Bible study, a keynote address, a range of workshops and plenty of time to relax, eat and chat.

This will be Diocesan Conference and so there will be participation both from clergy and from laypeople. It is important that all licensed clergy attend. In addition we would like each incumbent status priest to come with one layperson from their Parish or Benefice. This person (who would not normally be a clergy spouse!) should be someone who exercises significant lay leadership in the Parish or Benefice or who has the potential to do so. If for local reasons you find it impossible to narrow the choice down to one person, please get in touch with Canon Sue Penfold.

Much of the cost of the conference will be from money that has been set aside for such a purpose over the years. However in order to widen participation we will also be asking each PCC to make a modest financial contribution. Given the importance of this conference we hope that PCCs will agree that this contribution will represent good value for money. (Some of the parishes that serve our most deprived communities will not need to make this contribution and will be notified separately about this).

We are already delighted by some of the people who have agreed to speak at the conference and there will be updates over the months ahead as the full programme falls into place. This conference will be a wonderful opportunity for us to express our mutual belonging as those called to leadership within our Diocese, to support one another in prayer and worship and to learn and reflect together.

Full details of how to book will come in due course. In the meantime please put the dates in your diary and start thinking about which layperson should accompany you.

This comes as always with our thanks and prayers for your ministry in Christ’s service.

Yours sincerely,

Bishop Julian (7th June 2017)