Thursday 18 October, 11am-3pm: The UK’s leading Christian weekly, Church Times, goes ‘live’ for the first time in its 155-year history at CRE 2018. Be part of a day when the paper lifts the lid on editorial judgements and opens up discussion on three key areas – the environment, worship and young people.
While there are huge changes in journalism at the moment, one of the good things is the developing relationship between writers and readers.
So says Paul Handley, editor of Church Times, which goes ‘live’ at CRE 2018 (Thursday 18 October only), for the first time in its 155-year history.
‘Thanks to social media, news is now questioned and interrogated more than ever before,’ said Paul. ‘New technology brings new problems – all those uninformed, unguarded comments. So how do we bring journalism and contemporary comment into the open in an intelligent way? Our answer is Church Times Live – a day when we lift the lid on editorial judgements and open up discussion behind three hot topics.
‘Just two per cent of people in a typical diocese regard climate change as their priority issue. More than one in four churches in the same diocese now have no live music to accompany singing at services. Almost two in every three churches have no children who regularly attend services. How come?
‘Church Times Live is a chance to debate these important issues with some of our expert contributors.’
Environment, the church and society
Session 1: 11-11.45am
A panel discussion with Richard Black, former BBC environment correspondent, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.
The Church Times has actively covered the topic of climate change for more than two decades. In 1997, Sir John Houghton wrote: ‘What is now required is real commitment to action by governments, by industry, and by individuals.’ More than 20 years on, the same sentence could be repeated, though with much more urgency.
On 12 October, the Church Times plans to produce an environment issue to coincide with the publication of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (pick up your free copy in the entrance foyer at CRE 2018 or on stand S137). The panel aims to take stock of current scientific thinking, reflect on this theologically, and point towards practical action. Come, listen, participate and discuss:
• The most effecting means to combat global warming
• What it will be like to live in a zero-emissions world
• The Church as a key player in protecting the environment
Inspiring music in worship with The Royal School of Church Music
Session 2: 12.30-1.15pm
A panel discussion with the new director of The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Hugh Morris; the Revd Canon Helen Bent, head of ministerial training, RSCM; Alan Mitchell HonRSCM, St Augustine, Bromley and Revd Colin Randall, rector of the Coln River Group, Gloucestershire.
With a foreword by the Archbishop of York, Inspiring Music in Worship pioneers a new approach for the church and something very different for the RSCM working in partnership with Praxis. It encourages churches to make the best use of music to enhance worship – even when there are very few resources available.
Revd Canon Helen Bent explains: ‘I have visited many areas across England and beyond. I have spent time carefully listening to those offering training – to church leaders, parish musicians and worshippers and those outside the church. The same issues and questions have come up time and time again. This short course is a direct response to those questions and requests.’
Alan Mitchell and Colin Randall were both instrumental in getting Inspiring Music in Worship off the ground. Together with Helen, Alan and Colin both ran trial parish groups testing out the materials as they were written. All trial groups gave feedback which informed the final revision and editing process.
Grounded in real-life case studies and matching music to mission, five guided conversations enable worship leaders, musicians and congregations to talk to one another and reflect on worship together. This session will explain how Inspiring Music in Worship helps to:
• Build mutual respect and trust between worship leaders, musicians and congregations
• Directly address the frequent tension between traditional and contemporary forms of worship
• Affirm what is good and expand knowledge
• Allay fears & gently challenge misunderstandings and prejudice
• Develop shared language and encourage good collaboration
Where are all the young people?
Session 3: 2.15-3pm
A panel discussion with youth workers, chaired by Madeleine Davies, features editor at Church Times.
The demographic statistics in the Church of England are stark. In London, a city with more than 300,000 11-18s, just 2000 are in C of E churches. Across the country, the average C of E church has just three children attending, and the smallest 25 per cent have none at all. There is talk of a Church in crisis.
Church Times began 2018 with a month-long series exploring the trends under-pinning these numbers, getting youth workers, researchers and teenagers themselves to share their views. We want to take this debate wider.
In this session, we’ll explore:
• How we got here – what clues can we find in history, sociology and other fields to explain current trends?
• What we should do about it – youth workers share their insights into how the Church can reach an increasingly unchurched population
• Why we can be hopeful – why panic isn’t the right response
We’ll also open up the debate to the floor, to give you an opportunity to share your stories and ask our expert panel for advice.