News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool
By Veronica Murphy
The second Northern Scripture Festival on the theme ‘Joy – the Surprise of the Gospel’ took place at Salford Cathedral and Cathedral Centre on Saturday 6 October.
The two keynote speakers were:
Father Kieran O’Mahony OSA, co-ordinator of Biblical Studies for the Archdiocese of Dublin. He spoke on ‘Joy in Believing’, looking at the many expressions of joy and happiness in the New Testament and particularly in St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. The text of his talk and the slides that accompanied it can be viewed and downloaded on the festival website www.scripturefestival.org
Dr Dominika Kurek-Chomycz is Senior Lecturer is New Testament Studies at Liverpool Hope University. Her talk centred on the role of women and couples in the New Testament, particularly in the Acts of the Apostles.
The keynote talks were interspersed with workshop periods on a wide range of topics connected with Scripture. Participants could choose three workshops over the course of the day. The workshops were led by Bishop John Arnold, Steve Atherton, Christine Dodd, David Ford, Timothy Swinglehurst, Chris Thomas and Michael Winstanley.
Twenty prayer stations on biblical themes were set up in the Cathedral and were available for quiet time for participants and for other users of the Cathedral.
The day concluded with a closing liturgy in the cathedral led by Bishop John. It included a song and refrain specially composed for the day and the reading of the winning entry in a poetry competition on the festival theme, ‘Joy – the Surprise of the Gospel.’
The Scripture Festival was much appreciated by those who took part. People said that they enjoyed the day and learned a lot. Many asked when and where it would happen again.
The venue worked very well. The Cathedral Centre, with its varied facilities, provided rooms for talks to larger groups and for smaller workshop sessions. The foyer and café areas were good public spaces for chatting and meeting. There were several displays and resources available in the foyer and the Cathedral Bookshop was open throughout the day. Being able to move to the Cathedral for the closing liturgy made the ending both celebratory and special.