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franciscan - January 2001

© The Society of Saint Francis, 2000

Millennium Conference 2000

The Millennium Conference of Anglican Religious was held at Swanwick in Derbyshire in early September 2000. Two hundred Anglican monks, nuns, friars, brothers and sisters came together in one place to celebrate 2000 years of faith in Jesus Christ.

The Archbishop of Canterbury presided and preached at the opening Eucharist. Mother Rosemary SLG spoke about the ‘gaps’ in our culture: between words and their meaning, ideals and experience, rich and poor, secular society and the Church. Religious are called to these gaps, there to promote reconciliation, healing, and true forgiveness. Archbishop Rowan Williams spoke of modern society’s ‘territoriality’, the quest for success, leading to the creation of boundaries and conflict. Religious Communities, by their vows, renounced territories, and reminded the Church of the need for places of ‘joy’, open for God to possess.
There were workshops: science & religion, storytelling, clowning, music and history.
All was enfolded in the Daily Office and Eucharist, with a day of Benedictine praise and another of Franciscan.

To challenge those who are gloomy about the future of Religious Life, this conference provided evidence of renewed energy, a gathering of strength. It was heartening, not just for Religious themselves, but for the Church as a whole.


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