20th and 21st of November found Stephen Jarrold, Steve Wigby and Bernard Plume at the High Leigh conference centre in Hoddeson representing HC3 at the annual CIC conference. The Theme of the conference was “National Need, Local Impact”.
In case you don’t know it is a mandatory requirement that Stephen & Bernard attend however this was no task but sheer joy, the two days were packed full of excellent seminars and sessions that both inspired, informed and invigorated.
Each session saw great times of liberated and reverent worship, sensitively led by Noel Robinson https://noelrobinson.com/
Here is just a brief overview of some of what we participated in.
Paul Gutteridge spoke of his work with Media, the courts, Parliament and many other areas of public Life presenting the voice of the church in a credible and accessible way. One simple quote “If we have an answer for everything then God is as small as my brain”.
Alastair Beattie is a Military Chaplain serving with the Royal Dragoons an armoured Unit based in Catterick but deployed in crisis in the UK and also overseas. Alastair said he has “A passion to both serve and Pastor” the regiment and their families and told us some moving events he has been involved in along with a dose of Robust humour. All three UK Forces are currently in need of Chaplains, you must be 49 or under at point of entry and application and accreditation can be gained by applying through
Dr Hugh Osgood spoke on Psalm 46 and reminded of the National need of Refuge, Reassurance, Regeneration and Refreshment and how the Local Church can be” a stream to facilitate this” by having Local impact, there was a part for both the Mega and the smaller church to play in this “warring society God can bring peace”.
Discussion sessions followed as we sought to apply what we had listed to, Ministers and leaders opened up and declared their own vulnerability and desperate need for God as we listened to each other and to God in powerful prayer and proclamation.
Dr Will Adam, has the grand title of ecumenical advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, he took us behind the scenes of “Lambeth Palace” and gave us an insight into the work of the staff and the Archbishop and how every effort is made to engage with society in a relevant way. He both fielded and posed some challenging questions one quote” Prayer, Evangelism and Reconciliation, are behind everything we do”.
Prayer, Devotions and Communion led us into a vision setting session followed by the Annual Members meeting and voting in of officers.
It was a joy to learn that since 2017, 31 New Ministers had been accredited by CIC bringing the number to 217 we are part of a growing and thriving movement please view the main CIC web page https://www.cicinternational.org/
A hearty lunch got us ready for the journey home and we three journeyed home with Joy and excitement in our hearts that will last way beyond the initial buzz of the conference. God both spoke to us and through us, and watching Stephen trying to get the voice command of his mobile to do a simple call to “Emily” was a sight to behold as the auto assistant asked him did, he want to ring “Plough Rede”
Let’s close this report with three quotes/thoughts from the conference that we liked Stephen, Steve and myself.
“Modelling difference whilst respecting the difference”
“God is the river, the Church is a stream, and we are smaller streams”
“Faithfull, Faith Based and Faith Filled”.
Bernard, Associate Pastor