Breaking News and a funny notice

It could be some people's worst nightmare to spend 48 hours in residence with about 100 preachers. That's what my other half and I returned from in time to vote yesterday evening. It wasn't a nightmare and strangely enough only 2 sermons were preached within the 14 conference sessions.

The event was the national conference of the College of Preachers and the subject was 'Breaking News'. There was an impressive line up of speakers including the Head of Newsgathering at the BBC (the day before the UK election!) All were worth listening to, but there was too much input in too short a time with not enough time to digest anything. The worship sessions were led by a group of shiny new Salvation Army captains without bugles or tambourines but with drums, guitar etc. and some visuals and well planned intercessions using prayer stations that involved all 5 senses. I liked eating the chocolate after tasting the bitter herbs best!

As delegates we were mostly anglican or methodist, with a few from the Roman Catholic, United Reformed and other churches. The aim was to consider 'how in preaching do we connect the news of the day with the Good News?' I don't think I got an answer to that question, but came away with a lot to think about. The worrying thing I noticed was the age profile which was definitely (including me) on the mature side of 40 plus. That doesn't seem good news. Some older preachers were freaked out by the confession of the Director of The Church and Media Network that he uses 6 Avatars in his online second life and 2 of them are cats!

The accommodation and conference facilities at The Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire are good. The place has been transformed since I first stayed there as a student when it hadn't changed much from its WW2 prisoner of war camp legacy. I met some interesting and delightful people, including a clergywoman from the Episcopal church in Scotland whose blog RevRuth's Rantings I have regularly read for the last few months.

What brought me to me knees (literally) on the 1st day at The Hayes was this notice which appealed to my warped sense of humour. I knelt before it (to photograph it) to the bemusement of passing preachers who from behind me did not see my camera, but only my shaking shoulders as I pondered the ambiguities of this text.

What does this say to you?


  1. Hi Nancy, nice to have found your blog.
    I think some of them were freaked out by the thought of blogging never mind 6 avatars in second life!

  2. Nice to meet you too, Nancy.

    I think we should have done some Tai Chi on the lawn to relax in between all those sessions.

    Short message because I have been denied three times as a Wordpress address so just going simple this time to see if it works!

  3. Thanks Kirstin and Ruth for your comments. Perhaps delegates' avatars could have played silent virtual games, hovering a few inches above the grass so as not to damage it, while simultaneously engaging theologically with the news of the day, arcing the spark with the Good News, catching up with Twitter, Facebook and maybe sneaking in some sleep.


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