Fourth Festival of Theology Tuesday 9th June 2020

As part of building a community of reflection related to the blog, I have previously hosted three one-day Festivals of Theology during 2018 and 2019. On each occasion we had a great time of listening, learning, reflection and discussion, with around 100 people attending on each occasion. As a result I am planning a fourth Festival on Tuesday 9th June again here in Nottingham at Christchurch, Chilwell.

As before, the plan will be to listen to 15- to 20-minutes presentations on a range of subjects, with time for response, interaction and discussion. The day will start with coffee at 10.00 am, with the welcome and first presentation at 10.30. With an hour’s break for lunch, we will plan to finish at 3.30 pm, which will allow for seven presentations.

The presentations will match the areas that the blog explores—the way the Bible is read and understood within the church, aspects of ministry including preaching, questions of contemporary ethics, and mission strategy and effectiveness.

If you would like to offer a presentation, please email me on [email protected] with the subject line Festival of Theology or use the contact form, explaining the area you would like to offer a presentation and what you would be wanting to say.

To see the range of things we covered previously, do look through the programme for the first, the second and third festivals. I am sure that presentations will be stimulating and provocative as they have been before—so do feel free to offer something that you think I will disagree with! If there are topics you would like to see covered, please suggest them by commenting below.

There will also be time over coffee and lunch and at the end of the day to meet one another, and I hope it will be a highlight to actually meet in person people that we have been interacting with online. And be assured: we will, once more, have the ceremonial blowing of a shofar and the traditional orange balloons!

So put the date in your diary; share with your friends; and think about either offering a presentation yourself or encouraging others to do so!

I look forward to seeing you there!

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7 thoughts on “Fourth Festival of Theology Tuesday 9th June 2020”

  1. Festival of Theology
    In the last 10 years, church attendance has fallen by 10%. At the same time attendance at Choral Evensong has gone up by 35%. Where does fine music fit in with our worship ? Is it just different, or is it better ? Are those leading it in touch with God, or just worship the art. Does band led music in our modern church set a ceiling for what we can do ? What is it about those 4 choral parts (SATB) that underpin our musical tradition. Why is there such a divide between classic and contemporary, and why has it gone on for so long? How can we draw together musical gifts fully to use to worship the Giver ? Nigel Orchard has spent 40 years leading worship, 50% in each tradition. He was a choir boy, Oxbridge organ scholar, worship leader at St Simons Shepherds Bush, organist at St Michael’s Chester Square and Director of Music at Zelotes in Chelsea. He is passionate about drawing out the best from people in singing at worship.

    • This topic does interest me. I would absolutely love to think this trend is a recapturing of a sense of awe, though I suspect it is more a case of withdrawal from direct inner involvement to more distant spectating. The lack of struggle or tension or battle within much worship music 2000-20 is symptomatic of the culture; also, there is too much cliche; too little really authentically understood theology; too little lyrical gifting among trained musicians; far too many falsely-American accents.

      What is clear is that the Anglican choral tradition is an undiscovered jewel. When will Classic FM cotton onto the great anthems of Naylor, Bairstow or Bainton? Wesley’s hymns were squarely adopted by Anglicans from whom they have progressed to the Catholics.

      But those who sing them in religious voices (which they assume to be the thing) as yet understand the inner reality too little. (Worst of all was -is?- the Radio 4 Daily Service.) It is very good that there are people like you who know and appreciate fine music but can also sing and perform its words as internalised realities.

  2. Hello There,
    I could offer insights from my MPhil on evangelism within a postmodern framework: 7 shifts from a traditional evangelical to a postmodern approach. Would that be something you might be interested in?
    All the best,


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