By Bishop Nicholas Hudson
Proclaim ’15 is set to move up at least two gears on Saturday 11th July when 800 delegates will gather in Birmingham, and, it is hoped, every parish in the land will come together in prayer.
Fifty members of our diocese will represent us: one chosen from every deanery, plus representatives of Youth Ministry, the Cathedral Chapter, the Council of Priests, the Council of Deans, the Seminary, the Agencies for Evangelisation, Marriage & Family Life, Caritas, schools, universities, catechetical coordinators, and several others. They will join delegates from every diocese in England and Wales, present with their bishops. It promises to be the most memorable evangelisation event of this generation!
Delegates will hear keynote addresses from Cardinal Vincent, Archbishop Bernard Longley, Nicky Gumbel, pioneer of the Alpha course and Michelle Moran, a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. There will be eleven workshops on topics as varied as how to create a vision and strategy for parish evangelisation; how to form a parish evangelisation team; how to evangelise the young people of your parish; how to reach out to those who have had no experience of Church; how to share your testimony in one-to-one evangelisation; how to reach out to non-churchgoing Catholics; and five others. These workshops will be led by skilled practitioners ranging from Br Loarne Ferguson and Fiona Mansford to Fr Gareth Leyshon and Anne-Marie Salgo.
The fruits of all this input and reflection will be gathered into a Proclaim ’15 legacy document, to be published on 20 September, Home Mission Sunday. This online resource will contain audio and video recordings of the keynote addresses, of the workshop inputs and of interviews with the workshop leaders. Each leader will give his or her three top tips for evangelisation; and the resource will gather from the workshop inputs six to ten key points for evangelisation. So the resource will offer some 60 to a hundred ideas for evangelisation. These you can begin to discuss straightaway in your parishes or wait for us to process them at our own Proclaim Westminster conference on Saturday 14 November this year.
Do make sure everyone in your parish has this date in their diary!