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to Bishop David's blog. Here you can find news, information, articles and pictures about the Church of England Diocese in Europe. We have over 300 congregations or worship centres serving Anglican and (mostly) English-speaking people in Europe, Morocco, Turkey, Russia and some central Asian countries.


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Friday, 9 June 2017

Lay Ministers in Europe commit to move to the frontier as part of Jesus's plan

The conference theme was taken from closing words in the Eucharist
On the frontier of Church and world. This sums up the ministry of our Licensed Lay Ministers (a.k.a Readers).

From 19 to 22 May in Cologne, Readers and those in training for this ministry from across the diocese gathered for a conference to consider the challenge of frontier ministry. Licensed Lay Ministers are in the position of having a listening ear in two camps: the Church and the world that the Church is called to serve. "Double listening" is how this was summed this up in one of our sessions. Listening to the Word and listening to the world: this is the ministry of the Reader and it is a key role in our diocese.


The conference was bracketed by two liturgical moments: We began as scattered individuals around the edges of St Edith Stein chapel at Kardinal Schulte House, symbolising our dispersal across the islands and continent we serve. We came together to form community around the Word and Sacrament. At the conclusion of the event we carried lit candles and scattered out to the edges of the chapel again, to mark our journey as disciples back to the world where we live and serve.



The Conference Design Team
During the meeting we sat at the feet of 4 resource persons who formed us into a learning and listening community.

Fr Nicholas King SJ
Fr Nicholas King SJ, led bible studies on Church and Politics in the Old Testament and New Testament. Fr Nicholas currently teaches at Heythrop College in the University of London, and has recently completed his own translation of the Greek Scriptures, Septuagint and New Testament.

Dr Kathy Galloway (l) is introduced by Victoria Wadsworth-Hansen
The Revd Kathy Galloway, a former Leader of the Iona Community and was until recently the Head of Christian Aid Scotland reflected with us on the demands of life in a community which serves those at the margins and those excluded.

Prof. David Wilkinson
The Revd Professor Dr David Wilkinson is the Principal of St John's College Durham. He holds PhDs in both theoretical astrophysics and systematic theology. He inspired the participants with his insights into the beauty and vastness of creation and helped us consider how we can let this awe and wonder point us and those with whom we engage, to the excessive, generous creative love of God.



Stefan McNally
Stefan McNally is responsible for growing the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity's work with churches across the UK, helping them to link the Christian faith to contemporary culture. He addressed the issue of whole-life discipleship and encouraged the participants to identify their "front-lines" for ministry.

The 4 resource persons for the conference
As is normal at such conferences, there were moments for fun together, building networks and new friendships. The enthusiasm of the participants was palpable. Together they affirmed that their vocation is to make sure that the Church is not to be like Lot's wife, looking back, frozen, but looking forward in hope, with a prophetic vision, an Easter people, led into the world by our Risen Lord.








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