Saturday, September 27, 2008

Diocesan Conference

Up and out early this morning, to drive up to the Diocesan Conference at St John's School in Aberdare. An early start this year meant that the conference only ran up until lunchtime, instead of into the afternoon. Less to organise, and more chance that everyone would stay the course. The weather was good and I enjoyed the scenic drive up the Taff and Cynon valleys. It reminded me of just how much I dislike living in a place which is flat. Cardiff without surrounding mountains is way short of perfection in my mind.

Archbishop Barry spoke about the Lambeth Conference. I was particularly taken by his desire that post Lambeth, all the Bishops should refrain from action, and simply spend time reflecting upon all they had learned about each other and from each other, before considering whatever needs to be considered next in order to breathe new life and unity into the Anglican Communion.

We had a lively and entertaining presentation from Edwin Counsell about Church schooling in the diocese and a process of consultation being launched with the aim of improving and developing the Church's commitment in this realm. Given the ideological hostility towards faith based education among a certain section of the political and media classes in Britain today, it is very important not to be defensive by to prosecute the cause of faith schools more confidently. More people want faith based education than there are places available, and this is a reflection of the quality of care and ethos, as much as it is about high standards of learning. If only we could convert that kind of trust and good-will in to committed church membership!

It was good to be home early afternoon because, after all, it was Clare's birthday, and the family all arrived to go out for an early evening meal together. I was glad not to have any conflict of interests.

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