Carmelites coordinate Scripture Festival

Friday, 18 May 2018

On 12th May 2018 the first Northern Scripture Festival took place at All Saints School in York. The Festival was an opportunity to celebrate the gift of God's Word in Scripture through a variety of talks and workshops on the Bible.

The keynote speaker was Fr. Eamonn Mulcahy, a Spiritan missionary from Manchester, who addressed the topic of the Festival, "Joy: The Surprise of the Gospel" (to hear an audio recording of his talks click here).

The event was organised by the Northern Catholic Dioceses of England, in collaboration with the Scripture Working Group of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, the British Province of Carmelites, and other religious orders and Church charities. Local coordination was done by the Communications & Outreach Office of the British Province of Carmelites.

The Scripture Festival will be repeated on 6th October 2018 at Salford Cathedral.

Below is a photo report of the event.


The Carmelite exhibition stall promoted the important place that Scripture plays in the Order's spirituality.


Carmelite selfie board!


Some 125 participants were welcomed on behalf of the organising committee by Johan Bergstrom-Allen, Carmelite Communications & Outreach Manager. 


Bishop Terry Drainey welcomed participants on behalf of the host Diocese of Middlesbrough.


Bishop Terry spoke of the centrality of the Bible for Christian life.


Keynote speaker Fr. Eamonn Mulcahy.


Fr. Eamonn said that joy ought to be the hallmark of a Christian.


Fr. Eamonn challenged listeners to take up their Bible's with new vigour.


Fr. Eamonn spoke with scholarship and humour.


Fr. Timothy Swinglehurst of Leeds Diocese spoke on "The Prophet Isaiah and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit".


Local Carmelites offered a workshop experience of Lectio Divina.


Dr. Chris Maunder of York St John University spoke on "Mary in the Gospels".


Greg Ryan, Adult Formation Advisor and CCRS Coordinator for Hallam Diocese, led a workshop on the Bible and Song.


Frances Mary Callan Simpson's one-woman show "Blazing Grannies" showed how Scripture can be performed in drama.


Caroline Dollard, Marriage and Family Life Adviser at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, led a workshop based on Counting Our Blessings, a Scripture-based resource to support parish and school communities in accompanying families, part of an ongoing invitation from the Church to talk about our life experiences, and through gentle engagement with Scripture grow in awareness of God's presence in our lives.


Christine Dodd, former Director of Adult Education for Hallam Diocese, led a workshop entitled "Colours of God" which used art and colour to explore some Scriptural images of God and what they mean for us.


The school gym was transformed into a meditative space where participants could walk in a prayer labyrinth and look at artistic depictions of Scriptural events.


There are many ways to engage with Scripture: in one room participants could listen to an audio recording of the Gospels.


Fleur Dorrell (Bible Society and Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales) shared the news that the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have agreed to designate 2020 as a Year of celebration of the Bible entitled "The God who Speaks".


The day closed with a time of worship.


Deacon Vincent Purcell preparing to proclaim the Gospel at the end of the festival.


Photography © Johan Bergström-Allen / Lars Karlsson /