Over 150 people from across England gathered in London on Saturday 30 September for the annual ACF Festival. Under the banner of ‘Catholic Evangelism’, the delegates heard a challenging and uplifting keynote speech from the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North. During his keynote, Bishop Philip highlighted four distinctive features which define Catholic Evangelism: it is incarnational, sacramental, communal and lifelong. Bishop Philip encouraged everyone to do evangelism, rather than think or talk about it. The full text of Bishop Philip North’s keynote address can be downloaded here.
During the Festival Mass at which the children’s choir of St John the Divine Kennington sang, the preacher was Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ, of Heythrop College. The full text of her sermon can be downloaded here.
After lunch, there was a choice of seminar workshops, focussing on a range of topics including Evangelism with children and young people, Evangelism in Suburban and Inner City churches and in Rural Communities.
The day concluded with Pontifical Evensong and Benediction, at which the Parish Choir of St John the Divine Kennington sang.
Comments from delegates following the day included ‘I had a glorious day’, ‘very uplifting’, ‘energising and challenging’, and ‘lots to think about and do!’
Next September, there will be a three-day conference on Catholic Mission jointly sponsored by ACF and Forward in Faith. Bookings are now open here: www.catholicmission.co.uk