Rt Rev’d John Davies, Bishop of Swansea and Brecon gave the keynote address and brought our attention to the challenge of Archbishop William temple.
Going back to William Temple in Christianity and Social Order his objectives were
- To vindicate the Church’s right to engage with social issues in the light of challenges from politicians especially Baldwin
- To affirm our competence to be part of the debate
He was concerned that we too often compromise and are complicit by keeping quiet but the prophetic voice should not be silenced. In contemporary media if we say nothing we are too self-absorbed, but if we do speak out we don’t know what we are talking about.
Bishop John has three key passages
- Isa 61: the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor
- John 10: I came that they might have life in all its fullness
- James: faith without works is dead
We have a legitimate concern to proclaim good news and to speak out on behalf of those who are poor and excluded. Don’t be reticent or apologise and remember, Jesus said “What you do for the least of these … You do for me”.
Listen to Bishop John’s Address:
Questions, comments and answers
The parable of the complacent rich many who built barns to store his wealth but died that night could be applied to a church obsessed with its own growth at the expense of ‘serving our neighbour’.
Young people have a keen sense of right and wrong but they are notably missing from our congregations.
Henry Ford said something like, ‘if you do what you have always done you will get what you always got’: the church is full of old people what want something to do on a Sunday afternoon to the accompaniment of organ music.
Engage with people; make disciples and don’t worry about institutions.
Why don’t people see much of their individual social action as an outworking of their faith? We should be careful about claiming credit for the number of volunteers who are people of faith; it might be that faith is the outworking of their volunteering spirit rather that volunteering being the outworking of their faith.
Listen to the question and answer session