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Norwich conference was a positive event

ChurchUnity2006: Feedback from the Transforming Norwich conference called Reflection, Repentance and Renewal on June 17 in Norwich, was very positive and showed a broad range of church and Christian organisations attended.
From a summary of evaluation sheets filled out by delegates, the overall impression of the 3Rs Day assessed out of ten, gave a very satisfying average score of 7.9. This was the same as the high level achieved in the previous year. ‘So pleased I came’ was one written comment which expressed the feeling of all participants.
The highest score was for organisation of the day, an amazing 8.7, particularly due to the remarkable hospitality of our hosts, the Salvation Army Citadel and a tribute to the preparatory work of our chairman and the presider, Bishop Malcolm Menin.
Quality of Discussions obtained 7.6 and Value of Summaries 7.1 This was the lowest score of the five but still relatively high and an indicator of the inherent difficulty of transferring bold ideas expressed in small groups into the mainstream of the conference. We will try to improve on this next time.
Probably the most satisfying response was that to the issue of Intensity of Challenge, obtaining a very high 8.2 response. Clearly, participants were very moved by the discussion, presentation, encouragement and ethos of the conference and we can expect some real transformations in individuals, churches and organisations to be happening.
The theme of personal and corporate challenge was taken up in the next questions which asked for priorities for TN, for my church and for myself. Two features which emerged from the variety of responses were firstly that nearly all the answers given referred to spiritual transactions; hardly anyone mentioned organisational or logistical issues.
The great hunger was to grow deeper into God at all these levels. The second general feature was that without any prompting, over half the participants used the word ‘unity’. It was a clear demonstration that ordinary Christians spontaneously just long to be united in the Spirit. We want to live out the heart and prayer of Jesus that ‘they may all be one’.
The totally open ‘any other comment’, can only be quoted, not summarised and here are some examples: ‘Reach out more in social action’, ‘need brainstorming session for new ideas’, ‘tremendous hospitality’, ‘powerful, significant day’, ‘maybe too evangelical for Anglicans and Catholics’, ‘true repentance expressed but not enough emphasis on sin’, ‘thought provoking, challenging and encouraging’.
It was valuable also to note the attendance. The locations of those attending could be summarised as: Anglican/Catholic Churches 19, Other Denominations 12, New Churches 27, Christian Organisations 27.
The figures, based on lists at the door, are fairly accurate and supply an almost equal attendance from the three categories of: Traditional Churches/ New Churches/ Organisations.
This distribution is accurately reflected in the locations of those in the new Executive. The policy of encouraging the Organisations looks to be justified and suggests that there is much to be gained from greater collaboration and integration between the churches and the organisations, many of which have specialised gifts to offer the whole body.
By John Dubbey

To download a copy of the Transforming Norwich 2006 Annual Report click here
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