From the Bishop and the Ebbsfleet Lay Council
On 5 March we have a wonderful opportunity to come together in Coventry Cathedral to think and pray together during Lent. It’s a key event for all our churchwardens and PCC members, and all active lay people — young and old and the clergy are very welcome too!
The most pressing challenge for Church of England parishes – our parishes included – is growth, healthy growth as spiritual communities. In an age where many people are searching for faith, the Church needs to learn not only how to flourish in its own faith, but crucially also how to hand it on to others, to evangelize and to serve others. This is no less true for parishes of the Ebbsfleet family than it is for any other parish.
Therefore, the Lay Council has asked Bp Rowan Williams to speak to the 2016 Lay Congress about How Anglican Catholic Christians grow: ‘Growing the Catholic Community’ And because we also need to learn from Evangelical experience of church growth, Archdeacon Morris Rodham (the archdeacon missioner in Coventry diocese) will be in conversation with Bishop Rowan on the theme of 'Healthy Growing Churches’.
Coventry Cathedral is on major transport routes, and is large and accessible enough for a day’s worth of activity. Registration will open at 10.00, and the day will begin at 11.00. There’ll be presentations and discussion, and Bishop Jonathan will celebrate a Mass for the Year of Mercy. Picnic lunches can be eaten in the cathedral.
The day is free, though you will have travel costs. But it will help our preparations enormously if each parish registers as a group those who are intending to come. Please organise your parish group soon, and let Catherine Williamson in the Bishop’s Office know – firstname.lastname@example.org, 0118 948 1038 – by 15 February how many will be coming in your parish group. We will then circulate more information about the day.
We look forward to seeing you on 5 March.