People from all over Wales will gather for a landmark conference this week to share ideas on the future of the Church in Wales.
Delegates from the six dioceses of the Church will meet for a two-day event to explore how major change is happening across the country as part of the Church’s strategy for growth.
Called 2020 Vision, the strategy follows a wide-scale review of the Church in Wales which was commissioned to see how the Church could best serve Wales by the time it celebrates its centenary in 2020. At its core are the creation of “Ministry Areas” led by teams of clergy and lay people, replacing the traditional pattern of smaller parishes led by one cleric.
About 200 people will attend the conference, entitled The Time Is Now, at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, on 21-22 November. They include 30 representatives from each diocese and the Church’s seven bishops.
Each diocese will participate in a series of discussion and presentations on themes linked to the change agenda. The themes will include team building, reaching younger people, creating ministry areas and recruiting lay leaders.
The conference theologian, who will reflect on discussions, will be the internationally acclaimed theologian, Dr Christina Baxter CBE, former Chair of the Church of England’s General Synod’s House of Laity, former Principal of St John’s Theological College, Nottingham, and a lay canon of Southwell.
The conference facilitator will be Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas AM.
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said, “This conference is about winning people’s hearts and minds in order to continue a cultural change that has already begun in the way people think about church.
“We want to do ‘church’ differently so that the great resources we have can be used much more effectively than at present. Hopefully, this conference will be a chance for people from all over the Province to share what they are doing, learn from one other, be enthused and inspired and take away a clear vision for the future of the Church in Wales.”
Delegates have been thinking outside the box and telling their stories of faith on You Cube.
About 1,000 large cubes have been sent to congregations and church schools across Wales and people are being asked to use them to tell their stories of faith by decorating each side with words, pictures, photographs or collages.
Once they are completed about 30 from each of the Church’s six dioceses, will be taken to Llandudno where they will be used to build an altar as part of a worship session during The Time is Now conference.