Christ our Future at the London Arena
The Eve of Pentecost in the year of Our Lord 2000 will witness the largest yet gathering of our integrity, as we meet to commit ourselves to His Gospel as we enter upon the third millennium of Christianity. Regular readers of New Directions will already know that, on Saturday, 10th June, 2000, the Archbishop of York will be presiding at a great Solemn Eucharist at 12.00 noon in the London Arena, in the heart of London's Docklands (and just across the river from the Millennium Dome). Forward in Faith is extremely grateful to the Council of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, which has kindly agreed to provide substantial financial support for this event.
Every priest member of Forward in Faith should have received with this issue of New Directions a booking form for concelebrants. Next month, every member - ordained or lay - should receive with their copy of New Directions a booking form for lay people (and priests who do not wish to concelebrate). The two forms - on the face of it - look quite similar, which is the main reason we are delaying the "lay form" until March. It is vitally important that the correct form is used to secure seats. All priests wishing to concelebrate will have to book their places through Faith House. The rest of the congregation will be booking their seats through the London Arena Box Office. Thus, a parish priest intending to bring from his parish, say, a forty-seat coach will need to contact the Arena Box Office to order thirty-nine seats for his people, and Faith House to book a seat for himself. Priests who mistakenly book their place through the Box Office and who then turn up on 10th June 2000 clutching their alb and stole will almost certainly not be able to concelebrate! You have, as they say, been warned!
Seats will be £10, or £5 for senior citizens or children under the age of 16 on the day of the event. Although we are asking all those wishing to come to pay for their seats when they book them, tickets will not be sent out until the Spring of 2000. In the meantime, all those who book seats will in due course receive an acknowledgement only.
Our detractors would love to point to any empty seats in the Arena and use such spaces as evidence that our constituency is dying off - together, we must ensure that they have no such opportunity! After all, there are only 10,000 seats available, which represents just one 40 seat coach from each Forward in Faith Parish! We are confident that it really will be a case of "first come, first served"!
Singing at the London Arena
Are you a singer? If so, read on! But even if you're not, read on and then show this item to those in your Church who do sing! For if there are members of your congregation, choir or music group who would like to sing on 10th June, 2000 in the Forward in Faith Millennial Choir, then we need to hear about them now. We ask only three things of potential singers: first, a reasonable competence in sight-reading, along with real enthusiasm for what we are planning; second, a willingness to attend one of a number of regional rehearsals which Ronald Corp, our Director of Music for Christ our Future, will be organising at various locations during the early months of 2000; and, lastly, the ability to arrive at the London Arena on the day itself by 9.00 am for the final rehearsal. The mass will involve a wide selection of music, both traditional and modern, and will present an enormous but rewarding challenge to all who take part. All those who volunteer to join the choir will be asked, on the day they attend their regional rehearsal, to pay the sum of £15 (or £10 for those under 16 on 10th June, 2000) to cover the cost of their entrance ticket to the Arena and to help to defray the costs of providing the printed music they will need for the mass. If you know of numbers of people who would like to sing on 10th June, 2000, please ask one of them (your Organist, perhaps) to act as the point of contact on their behalf and write to us at Faith House now, giving numbers involved for each "line" - SATB. Likewise, individuals who would like to sing should let us have a note of their name and address and their voice. Once we have an idea of where in the country our singers are coming from, we will arrange the rehearsals as conveniently as we are able.
Christ our Future at the University of York
Enclosed with this mailing priest members of Forward in Faith should have received details of the second of our annual Conferences in preparation for our Millennial Celebration. Many of those who attended last year's conference did so at little personal expense, as they were able to obtain funding from their dioceses or their parishes. All of those who were with us last year - along with the very many who have since purchased the Conference Report - will testify that it was a first rate event. This year's looks set to equal it, and we hope that many more of you will make the effort to obtain the necessary funding and join us at the University of York on 7th, 8th and 9th July. Although primarily aimed at the clergy, the conference is open to lay people who have some degree of theological expertise: leaflets are available from Martin Clitheroe at Faith House.
Christ our Future in the Diocese of London . . . and Elsewhere?
Many New Directions readers will already have seen the marvellous book Christ our Future which came out of last year's York Conference. As well as all the papers delivered at the conference, it contains a six week course on Christology for lay people and a shorter course on the same subject for children and young people. We hear of numbers of parishes planning to use it during Lent and from the Diocese of London, we hear that the adult course is being run at 6.00 pm on the third Sunday of each month until June at S.Pancras Church Hall (off Eversholt Street opposite exit from Euston Station). Details are available from the Regional Dean for London, Fr Malcolm Gray (0181 360 2947). If your parish, diocese or region isn't planning to use it, why not speak to your Parish Priest, or Diocesan Chairman, or Regional Dean and find out why not! Individual copies are available from Faith House at £3.50 each and bulk orders attract generous discounts.
We do want to underline that the Christ our Future Conferences
and Books - which offer "a programme of study and prayer to build up the
Body, to deepen faith and prepare for God's future" - are seen by the Council
of Forward in Faith as an integral part of what is going to happen at the
London Arena on 10th June, 2000. The Council very much hopes that all members
of Forward in Faith will do what they can to take advantage of what is
being offered - preferably by joining a suitable study group, but if necessary
by buying a copy of the course and using it at home, either alone or with
family, friends or neighbours.
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