Christian Heritage Conference & Religious Tolerance Forum

Coming up in March 2019:

CHRISTIAN HERITAGE CONFERENCE – Retford, Friday 8th March 2019

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE FORUM – Retford, Saturday 9th March 2019

Following the success of previous events attended by those involved in Christian heritage from across the UK, we are holding our fourth free conference on 8th March 2019 in Retford at The Well. This year we plan to have a mixed programme covering themes and issues from our work, and we hope to have some overseas guests as well. A detailed programme will follow.

Call for topics and presentations:

It would be great if you could let us know if you can speak on a specific topic or development that would be of interest to other group members, for example holding public lectures, events for children/families, marketing, lottery and grant applications etc. Please also let me know if you know of others who might be interested in attending.

Please also feel free to suggest topics for wider discussion or that you would like help with.

Religious Tolerance Forum

On the following morning, a Saturday, we will hold the fourth event marking the contribution of Christians to the development of religious tolerance worldwide. Speakers already booked include Prof Larry Kreitzer talking about the early Baptists and their contribution to religious freedom and Masoud Abadi, an Iranian refugee and campaigner. We are also in discussion with the US Embassy about a speaker from Washington which would be very exciting.

As before, there is NO CHARGE for either of these events but you are asked to pay for lunch on the Friday. Retford has good rail and road links, and we are also arranging low price B & B at Mattersey Bible College.

For further information or to book please contact:

adriangray@pilgrimsandprophets.co.uk

If you want to stay at Mattersey, please let us know soon as space is limited. Please advise on what accommodation you would like and for which nights. Please also indicate if you will be using your own transport or not.

Costs to stay at Mattersey are approximately:

  • Cooked Breakfast £3.00
  • Bed & Breakfast single room £20.00 per night
  • Bed & Breakfast double en-suite room £40.00 for 2 people. £30.00 for 1 person (only 3 rooms available)
  • Bed & Breakfast twin en-suite room £40.00 for 2 people. £30.00 for 1 person (only 1 room available)

“Tell the stories to help people to care”

2nd Annual Christian Heritage Conference

This was the overall message at the second annual Christian Heritage Conference organised by Bassetlaw Christian Heritage (BCH) which took place at The Well Conference Centre in Retford on Friday 10th March 2017. A common theme amongst delegates was the need to construct meaningful stories about their areas of interest, which people could relate to, and care about.

Local author and historian, Adrian Gray welcomed 30 delegates representing 27 different organisations from around England engaging in discussions about ‘working with your local council’, ‘does Christian Heritage matter’, ‘using publicity, marketing and social media’, ‘modern pilgrimage’, ‘engaging with local churches’, ‘raising money’, ‘engaging with religious education’, and ‘news from London’.

Delegates provided fascinating and informative accounts, including Dr John Clements about the local Separatist John Robinson’s time in Norwich and Norwich Old Congregational Chapel which is advancing Puritanism today.

George Burrows from the Birmingham Christian Heritage Centre showed that people voluntarily give them historical items, including a Bible signed and owned by Thomas Babbington MP (a member of the anti-slavery movement with William Wilberforce).

Geoffrey Marshall, from the Churches Visitor and Tourism Association gave an exhilarating romp through his innovative and successful activities including post office promotional franking, services in the open on top of a tower, and a dinner dance in a cathedral.

Sandra Withington from Bassetlaw District Council, Paul Howitt-Cowan from West Lindsey Churches Festival, and Anna Scott, Heritage Consultant, said that working with councils and local churches was most effective when aligning with their objectives, priorities and aspirations, and being aware of their limited budgets. There was then a more reflective session from author, Diana Chapman, who gave a moving statement on her belief that Christian Heritage really does matter.

Sarah Crosland, of the National Churches Trust, explained that visits to Christian places of worship were increasing and that 4 out of 5 Britons think that churches are an important part of our history. Websites, mobile technology, and the importance of video images were the norm now and vital in interesting people in heritage sites.

Robert Mountford, Ecumenical Mission Officer (Churches Linked Across Staffordshire and the Potteries) described how ‘Pilgrimage walks’ were increasing in popularity in Staffordshire, and some churches were even offering overnight accommodation.

Hilary Wheat explained how the Hidden Treasures project in Bilborough, as well as successfully renovating a neglected and vandalised church building, was able to provide youth training opportunities to local people.

Mike Arnold from Nottinghamshire SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education) emphasised the importance of working with the education system in contributing local topics and resources for schools. The day was completed by Ben Virgo from Christian Heritage London, who showed the impact of short videos made using mobile phones.

Next year’s event is already planned for Friday March 9th 2018, and if any organisation involved in Heritage Tourism would like to attend or take part they should contact Adrian Gray at adriangray@pilgrimsandprophets.co.uk.