International Ecumenical congress in Lancashire

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary are holding their seventeenth international congress   from 19-22 July at Garstang,  near Preston in Lancashire, on the theme of  'The Mission and Place of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus - Icon of the Church, sign of certain hope and comfort to the People of God.' 

The congress coincides with the centenary of the first ecumenical missionary conference on Edinburgh in 1910 and the 50th anniversary of the Pontifical council for Promoting Christan Unity and will explore how the Virgin Mary has been assimilated the conference  into different world cultures.

The conference opens next Monday afternoon with a lecture by Dr David Chapman,who represent Methodism nationally and internationally in ecumenical dialogue on the significance of the Edinburgh conference  Other  congress speakers include  Orthodox theologians  Dr Virginia Kimball from America and  Fr John Jillions from  Canada, Bishop Andrew Burnham, the Anglican Bishop of Ebbsfleet, and Irish Carmelite theologian Dr Christopher O'Donnell, O Carm.  Dr Jan Rhodes from Durham  will explore sixteenth century Marian devotion.

There will be Eucharistic celebrations at Lancaster and Blackburn Cathedral and  a visit to Our Lady's Well at Fernyhalgh and Stoneyhurst.

Places are still available for all or part of the congress. Contact Fr Bill McCloughlin OSB for more information, tel: 01225 832096,  email: or see:

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