Following the success of last year’s Clergy Gathering at Bishop Grosseteste University, it was always planned to gather again for prayer, support, learning, reflection and fun.

The Covid-19 situation has meant that physical gathering has not been possible but an online version has been created for this which will take place on Thursday and Friday 18-19 June.

Hundreds of clergy have signed up to the menu of plenary and workshop activities and to corporate worship and reflection. The content of the two days has been adjusted to allow some serious thinking through the situation we find ourselves in and what we are learning. It is an opportunity not only for the bishops to thank and encourage the clergy for all the imaginative, hard work they are doing in unprecedented circumstances but also to think together as the body of clergy about what our mission and ministry might look like in the days and years to come.

On the advice of last year’s keynote speaker, Bishop Victoria Matthews, the theme is ‘Sing a New Song’. What is the song we want to sing as the Church in the unfamiliar and familiar new land we are at present travelling into? 

Here are details of the interesting and timely topics that those gathered will discuss:  

  • The Revd Richard Steel – It took a pandemic to encourage many beyond their ancient walls.  What can Mission look like now?
  • Diocesan Secretary, The Revd David Dadswell - How does the CV-19 pandemic shape our ecclesiology? What kind of Church do we need to be?
  • Bishop Nigel Peyton - Priesthood in a church in lockdown and beyond. What questions does the CV-19 pandemic raise in relation to our identity as priests?           
  • The Reverend David McCoulough - “He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.” Luke 1:52 NRSV).  In a time of unprecedented national appreciation for the nurses, care-workers, supermarket assistants, cleaners, and delivery drivers etc., how might a post-lockdown Church engage with issues of social justice to ensure we don’t lose the ground so heroically gained? 
  • The Revd Al Jenkins, Assistant Curate from St Botolph’s in Quarrington and the Revd Paul Dickinson who is Assistant Curate in Benefice of St Andew’s Kirton Lindsey with Manton, Grayingham, Waddingham, Snitterby, and Bishops Norton - ‘Acknowledging & responding to the trauma to self and community caused by CV-19’
  • Archdeacon Justine Allain-Chapman – ‘Resilience: St Peter: the resilient disciple’ and ‘A spirituality of resilience: building the house of your life’
  • The Revd Jackie Johnson - will lead an ‘open space’ conversation.

The gathering will close with a Q&A session tomorrow with Bishop David and Bishop Nicholas and Bishop David will give the final prayers.

This story was published on June 18th 2020.