One of our central purposes as a membership association is to provide opportunities for members to come together for mutual support, to learn from each other and from guest speakers and, most importantly, to pray and worship together. See below for details of the key events that we organise.
Annual Family Weekend
Every year since 1968 a weekend conference has been held for members, currently at the Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire. Alongside the main programme we run a parallel programme for children and our Young Adults Group also have their own separate activities.
The conference programme always has a specific theme with invited speakers from Catholic, Anglican and Free Church backgrounds, time for discussion on the theme and for fellowship. Services of worship are held in all three traditions over the weekend.
The speakers at recent conferences indicate a good example of the quality of input to our conferences:
- Archbishop Bernard Longley
- Bishop Tim Thornton, Bishop at Lambeth
- Rev. Dr Hugh Osgood, Free Churches Moderator
- Bishop Peter Doyle, Chair of Roman Catholic Bishops Committee for Marriage and Family Life
- Dom Henry Wansbrough, a leading Catholic theologian and Benedictine academic
- Revd Stephen Keyworth, Faith and Society Team Leader for the Baptist Union,
- Fr Dominic Robinson SJ from Heythrop College, London,
- Revd Bill Snelson, Development Officer at the Anglican Centre in Rome and one-time General Secretary of Churches Together in England
- Dr Elizabeth Davies Catholic Bishops Committee for Marriage and Family Life
- Rachel Collins, Student Christian Movement
- Prof. Adrian Thatcher, Exeter University
Previous conference themes have included:
- Christian Marriage in the 21st Century
- Interchurch Families – Making a difference in the World
- Seeking God together – Interchurch Family spirituality
- Christian Unity – How can Interchurch Families Contribute to the Process
- Faith in the Future – How Faith is Handed on to Future Generations.
Click here for more information about our next conference and a downloadable booking form.
Annual London Meeting
Every spring we meet in London to hear from a national speaker on some aspect of significance to interchurch families. Recent speakers have included:
- Bishop Tim Thornton
- Rev. Dr Hugh Osgood
- Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director for Unity Faith and Order for The Anglican Communion
- Bishop Paul Hendricks (Ecumenical representative of the Catholic Bishops Conference;
- and, bringing an international perspective, Professor Antoine Arjakovski from Ukraine who is an Eastern Orthodox in an interchurch marriage with a French Catholic.
A day-long meeting, this offers another chance to catch up with friends, offer support and share news about the Association. It is also an important opportunity for people who are unable to attend a full weekend conference – or who want to find out about the Association. As at the conference, a service of joint worship is a central part of the day’s programme.
John Coventry Memorial Lecture
Every 3-4 years a public lecture is held in memory of Fr John Coventry, a Jesuit priest who was one of the co-founders of the Association. The lecture theme is selected to be of clear significance to interchurch families and is normally scheduled on the same day as the London Meeting.
Previous speakers have included:
- Archbishop Rowan Williams – Former Archbishop of Canterbury
- Rev David Coffey – Moderator of the Free Churches and later president of the World Baptist Union
- Dame Mary Tanner OBE – Anglican theologian and later a President of the World Council of Churches
- Rev Crispian Hollis – Roman Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth
- Monsignor Mark Langham – formerly a member of Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity
- Prof. Thomas Knieps Port Le Roi – Chair of the International Academy for Marriage and Spirituality, Leuven Belgium