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Deo Gloria Trust
Promoting the Good News about Jesus Christ and encouraging Christians to share it with others

Conferences

  • Introduction
  • Greenbelt
  • Jerusalem
  • Freedoms We Treasure
  • Spirituality in Mission

Deo Gloria works to encourage Partner organisations to work together. One way of doing this is to hold occasional conferences. Delegates working in a variety of contexts are invited to come together for a day to explore a particular issue. Click on the tabs above for details of some of the past conferences. The details of our most recent conference are shown below.

Partner's Day Conference, 26th April 2013

Christian Outreach in Today's Society

Keynote address by Professor Alister McGrath. To download an MP3 version, right click here and select "save as" from the menu [54MB].


Professor Alister Mcgrath gave the keynote address in the morning. After lunch there were short presentations by Peter Graystone (Christian Enquiry Agency), Jean Kerr (Rochester Diocese), Craig Dyer (Christianity Explored) and Gavin Calver (Youth for Christ). This was followed by a time of discussion in which a number of other delegates contributed. There was a time of group prayer to close the afternoon.

The slideshow below shows some images from the Conference - note that there is no soundtrack.



Below is a selection from feedback received after the Conference

"Thank you for your kind invitation to the DGT Conference last Friday. I found it really helpful. It was good to hear some of the challenges facing the UK church, and encouraging to hear some of the stories, and to be able to pray together at the end."

"[We] both benefitted from the conference and appreciate the behind the scenes effort to put this event on."

What a fantastic day…..a real joy to be there and to benefit from the wisdom of so many. Alister’s contribution was hugely helpful for us all, and it’s a real challenge for an organization like [ours] to be continually seeking to help envision and equip individual Christians and churches with the tools and practical wisdom for today’s world which they aren’t getting seemingly from anywhere else! And we’re incredibly helpful for the sense of partnership with you and the Trustees of Deo Gloria as we seek to do that. It was lovely to meet your colleagues – Trustees, and staff alike. Thank you so much for all your hard work in organizing the occasion. I have already pointed a few people to Alister’s talk – he had, in fact, been here on Monday to launch the C S Lewis book!

Thanks you so much for arranging the above event and for sending the link to the keynote address. As CEO of a small organisation, often working within delicate boundaries in the Prison Service, it was such a refreshing and inspiring event, firstly through the excellent address and secondly through the opportunity to meet many people in ministries I had never before realised existed! I have been in post for just over one year and have given much thought to the mission of individual Christians and organisations very much in the front line of engagement with social need (in our case with serious offenders). The day was one of great personal encouragement as well as food for thought in guiding an organisation with a Christian identity but engaged in intensive social action as its primary purpose. Making contacts with other directly evangelistic ministries and identifying opportunities of referral and joint working combined with Alistair's provocative words enabled me to see the opportunities more clearly of being part of communicating the Gospel in partnership with others.

Greenbelt Campsite at Odell Estate 1977

The first Greenbelt music festival was held at Prospect Farm in Suffolk on August Bank holiday weekend (23rd-26th) 1974. Greenbelt was intended to be a celebration of the Christian faith and a teaching programme based upon the contemporary relevance of that faith in every area of life.

Kenneth Frampton with Camera Tours the Village

Deo Gloria was involved between 1974 and 1984 and during this period around 100,000 people attended the festival. Visitors were able to hear the music of artists like Larry Norman, Sir Cliff Richard, Ishmael, Garth Hewitt, Bryn Haworth, Sheila Walsh, Randy Stonehill and Adrian Snell (to name but a few). Besides the musicians there was also ministry at the evening meetings and daytime seminars from speakers such as Eric Delve, Patrick Sookhdeo, Roy Castle, David Watson, Roger Forster and Jim Wallis. The Greenbelt festival continues to this day in a different form - see greenbelt.org.uk for more details.

Main Stage at Greenbelt 1977

The photographs on this page were taken at the 1977 Greenbelt Festival on Odell Estate.

the BBC produced a documentary called "Greenbelt Live" at Odell in 1979, which can be viewed above. The Festival moved Knebworth Park in 1982 when in was also the subject of an undergraduate research project by Richard Wallis. THe resulting Honour's Thesis, which contains a wealth of background information on Greenbelt, can be read online here.

A DVD documentary was produced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Greenbelt. Follow this link for further details and to order a copy.

Jerusalem: Past and Present in the Purposes of God

Jerusalem Past and PresentIn April 1991 the Deo Gloria Trust hosted a conference on subject of the future of Jerusalem at All Nations Christian College. Theologians from around the world presented papers, some of which were subsequently published as a book as a supplement to the Tyndale Bulletin. Chapters of this book and are now available here by kind permission of their authors.





Freedoms We Treasure

A Day Conference Examining Religious Freedom in Contemporary British Society, 20th May 2003

There is ongoing concern among thinking Christians about the many ways in which our traditional and hard-won freedom to proclaim the Good News about Christ, and to run Christian work according scriptural principles are being threatened. So a meeting of our Advisory Panel in 2002 proposed that we should hold a day consultation - subsequently entitled "The Freedoms we Treasure" - at which we would seek to examine how real such threats are and what form they take. On May 20th 2003 some 70 people met at St Peter's Vere Street, the home of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC), to hear speakers from Care, Youth for Christ, LICC, Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship and the Evangelical Alliance, together with barrister Paul Diamond and Sir Brian Mawhinney MP, address this subject and help us understand the real issues at stake.

Sir Brian Mawhinney made an impassioned appeal for Christians to wake up to the threats to their cherished Christian freedoms. He appealed to those present to begin to defend the rights of Christians to worship and witness without restriction. He defended the historic rights of the Christian community to practice their religion and to proclaim it freely without fear or hindrance. He added:

We still live under this umbrella that this is a Christian country. We have got to stop assuming that everyone agrees with us and start realising that other people's freedom of speech is starting to unpick what we believe.

Feedback from focus groups all over the country revealed an increasing intolerance to Christianity as a religion and to different forms of Christian mission. Nick Spencer, from the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, informed the meeting that his research indicated an outright hostility to the Christian faith and practice in some contexts.

Legislation coming through Parliament could have a major effect on the ability of Christian organisations to employ only those of the same faith group. Martyn Eden, Political Researcher at the Evangelical Alliance, revealed a number of areas in which Christian freedom could be impaired.

In a masterly review of over 20 court proceedings from the European Court of Human Rights and from British Courts, Paul Diamond focussed on several areas of concern. He made the group aware that the greatest threat was not the shape of new legislation, but how existing legislation is sometimes being interpreted in a way damaging to Christian witness and mission. It was notable that while the very active homosexual lobby was well-funded, there was usually a shortage of resources to fight cases on behalf of Christians.

Case studies from Christian leaders involved in social work, university Christian unions and schools witness revealed matters of deep concern to those who would wish to further Christian evangelism and mission in contemporary society. Rev. Dr. Rob Frost, who chaired the day, said:

This conference highlights the fact that we are seeing an erosion of Christian freedom. I am really concerned that many Christians don't even seem aware that it's happening, or willing to begin to take a stand. These freedoms we treasure may not be here for ever... we are encouraging church leaders to monitor what's happening.

Feedback from participants indicated that they gained a considerable amount of knowledge and insight as a result of the day. Discussion is continuing on how to build on this beginning in the areas of information, prayer and action.

2009: Partnership and Spirituality in Mission
Day Conference, 3rd March 2009

In March 2009, the staff and Trustees of the Deo Gloria Trust met with over 50 of our partners for a Partner's Day conference in Oxfordshire. The theme for the day was 'Mission' and Revd. Martin Robinson, National Director of Together in Mission gave two key addresses: "The Biblical Foundation that Undergirds Us" and "The Ethos that Unites Us". It was wonderful to have many of our partners there - a great opportunity to meet up and get to know others working in the same or similar fields of Christian outreach.

We were really pleased to receive feedback and comments from those who attended. Two main suggestions emerged: for more emphasis to be placed on the vision, values and work of Deo Gloria Trust, and the provision of more opportunities for delegates to talk to each other.


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