Good News For Bad Times

  • Kristina Cooper

A Southwark parish has secured services of world renowned scripture scholar for autumn webinars.

A parish in the Southwark diocese, has turned a planned formation day for their parishioners this autumn, with renowned Scripture scholar, Nicholas King SJ, and threatened with cancellation because of the COVID 19 restrictions, into an online event available nationally! The evening webinars by Fr King will look at Evangelisation (7th October), Discipleship (14th October) and Fellowship (21st October) in the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts and will be live streamed from 7.45 pm to 9.15 pm on three consecutive Wednesdays.

Parish priest of Holy Innocents', Orpington, Fr Victor Vella, whose idea it was to open the webinars commented, "To have secured the services of such a first class New Testament scholar as Nicholas King, it would have been criminal to have kept the event just for ourselves, particularly in this Year of the Word."

The Orpington parish has something a track record for organising national events, showing what is possible when committed laity and parish priest use their gifts to work together to serve the wider Church. In 2012 the parish ran a 3day National Evangelisation seminar with leading lay evangelist, Michelle Moran and Fr Pat Collins CM attended by over 200 people and then in 2016 a team from the parish organised a residential Pentecost Life in the Spirit Retreat for 100 priests led by papal preacher, Fr Raniero Cantalamessa OFM Cap.

As well as the lectures themselves, there will be an opportunity afterwards for those attending to ask the speaker questions. Nicholas King, who is a Fellow of Campion Hall, Oxford, has translated the entire Bible from the original Greek into English and is a well-known and respected scholar. Among his many books, he recently completed a book called "Luke - A very Jewish Gospel" He is currently writing a work of popular spirituality called "Get a Life". A noted international speaker with a dry turn of phrase and humour, Fr King is known for his teaching gifts and ability to communicate to both academics and popular audiences in bringing the scripture text alive and making it relevant to contemporary audiences.

The event is being supported by the new Agency for Evangelisation and Catechesis which succeeds the Centre for Catholic Formation at Tooting Bec. Mark Nash the director of the new agency comments, "We are in the process of changing the way we do things in the diocese. In the future our work is going to be less on drawing people to a central location for training and talks and hospitality, and more about supporting and building on the great work that is being initiated by parishes and apostolates in the diocese. And this event very much fits within this remit." The plan will be to record the talks and put them on the new agency's You Tube channel.

Those interested in attending the webinars should email [email protected] for details or to register.

Tags: Nicholas King, Good News For Bad Times, Southwark, Holy Innocents, Orpington, Fr Victor Vella

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