Integration and immigration focus of Hard Gospel Conference

Wednesday December 19th 2007

The Archbishop of Armagh, Most Revd Alan Harper and the Archbishop of Dublin, Most Revd Dr John Neill, will be keynote speakers at the Hard Gospel Conference on Immigration, entitled ‘A Pilgrim People’.

This takes place on January 18 and 19 in the Emmaus Retreat Centre, Swords, Co Dublin. Other speakers include the Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Integration, Mr Conor Lenihan TD, as well as a number of non-EU clergy serving in the Church of Ireland.

The conference will include a trip for delegates to experience first hand a local migrant ministry project. There will also be a number of parish materials launched at the event, such as the Church in Society’s Embracing Diversity booklet, multi-lingual ‘welcome’ posters and Select Vestry questionnaires on integration guidelines for parishes.

The conference will also feature the world premiere of the winning composition of Hard Gospel hymn-writing competition, performed by the Discovery Gospel Choir.

‘A Pilgrim People’ is the culmination of a number of Diocesan consultations on immigration, which took place all over the island. In response to the key concerns raised at these consultations, there will be workshops on the following themes: ‘Guidelines for Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Events and Dialogue’, ‘Responding To the Needs of Migrants’, ‘Ten Key Integration Guidelines for Parishes’ and ‘Positive Approaches to Integration in Schools.’

The conference costs £10/€15 for day visitors and £20/€30 for an overnight residential. Application forms have been sent to every parish in the Church of Ireland, but are also available from the Hard Gospel website or from Mr Philip McKinley, Hard Gospel Project, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6.

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