Friday, 10 July 2009

Society of Catholic Priests National Conference

The Durham & Newcastle Chapter of SCP hosted the Society's National Conference from Tuesday to Thursday of this week. It was one of those occasions where you can find yourself profoundly grateful for other people. Everything came together so well from venue, through speakers and worship, to the atmosphere in the bar and - most especially - the good humour of all. Even the organisers enjoyed it - and we're grateful for all the positive feedback. Thanks to everyone who made it so successful.

I hope it has a beneficial effect in the parishes and other places where members serve. The Conference theme has been "Sacred Places - Sacred People." It's not coincidental that the North-East of England's Tourist Board advertises with the slogan "Passionate Places - Passionate People." Actually how can a place be "passionate"? Much better to seek the sacred in the place - and be formed as a sacred people.

We hope that at least some texts from the speakers will soon be available. Fr. Andrew Nunn, Rector-General, has promised that his homily will soon be up on the SCP Website - in fact I've just looked and it is! We think that the opening address by Jan Sutch Pickard of the Iona Community might also become available. And it's my hope that the address by Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham, will get published - possibly as part of his next book(?), if not / as well as online.

My humble offering to the Conference of a homily for a Eucharist of the Northern Saints in Bede's home church of St. Paul, Jarrow is also online. The picture below is of St. Cuthbert's Sunday School at work on the project which inspired my opening words - or at least some tidying -up after most of the children had gone. If you want to know how that relates to religious devotion at St. James's Park and the online presence of Our Lady, click here.

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