On 22 November, Bishop Trevor met with seventy recently confirmed people and their friends and family in the Chapter House at Canterbury Cathedral to explore what makes a conversation ‘more than just small talk’ and to launch the new Diocesan theme, ‘Conversations on the Journey’. On one of the tables, over a mug of hot chocolate, two young friends who had been confirmed together by Bishop Trevor just a few months ago, asked each other ‘How has your church supported you in your journey of faith since your confirmation?’. They chatted about their youth group and how they find their support through the fellowship there – the unique fellowship found in journeying alongside others on a mutual exploration of faith. They spoke about participating in the Easter Monday Youth Pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral and how having conversations with each other as they walked had really bonded them as a group and how this offered them a huge amount of support in their faith journey. We find the idea of journeying together to be at the heart of what we’re about as Christians and at the heart of the new Diocesan theme – the Conversations on the Journey motif of the two figures travelling side by side reminds us that as Christians we each journey through life accompanied both by God and also by the others who follow Jesus alongside us. As we look to the theme, which encourages us to have conversations that are more real, listening, trustful, and energising, we realise that it is exchanges like this one that become the vehicle for grace.
The conversations going on in the Chapter House last weekend were the kinds of conversations you might expect to have on a pilgrimage – deep, open conversations sharing stories of our own journeys. In sharing these stories, the seventy people who joined with the Bishop to launch the theme modelled for us the kinds of conversations we need to be brave enough to have. In having these risky conversations we can become a more daring and mission hearted people who are open both to God and to each other and we can pave the way for healing, renewal and refreshed courage to be the kinds of disciples Jesus knows we can be. We need to challenge each other and ourselves to speak about more than just small talk.
Read Bishop Trevor’s email, 6 October 2015.