Over 170 persons gathered in Liverpool from Friday 6 to Sunday 10 of September for an event called "Together for the Common Good". It was a conference for Christians and people of other faiths to explore how we can work together for social justice. It was moving to be part of an event with so many committed activists and workers for justice, all stemming from their firm foundation of faith.
The inspiration behind the conference was the work of (Roman Catholic) Archbishop Derek Worlock and (Anglican) Bishop David Sheppard of Liverpool who, together with their Free Church colleagues, spearheaded grassroots social action for justice in the city from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s. Through addressing social issues together, these Church leaders built a relevant and visible role for the Church in wider society. In a city known for sectarian strife they remained faithful to their distinctive beliefs, but in working side by side demonstrated that there was more to unite Christians than to divide them. The venue for the conference itself was significant - Liverpool Hope University - the only Anglican-Roman Catholic joint university in Europe.
|Bishop David Sheppard and Archbishop Derek Worlock|
Some of the themes and questions explored during the weekend were:
- identifying the differences and similarities between the current Church and the Church as it was in the context of the Sheppard and Worlock collaboration
- recognising the role of the Church as an advocate for the most vulnerable people, asking how we can look outwards and focus on community action, moving beyond denominational differences to focus on being a servant Church
- key elements that help to build effective working relationships of trust between people of different faiths
|RC Archbishop Bernard Longley and Anglican Archbishop David Moxon give a joint blessing|
Further information on the event can be found here.