Evenings of Faith in London
Hugh Mackenzie FAITH MAGAZINE September - October 2015
Fr Hugh Mackenzie reports on the popular Evenings of Faith, held at the Church of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick St, London WI, through this Spring and Summer. For details of this Autumn's series, see the FAITH Website at www.faith.org
Looking up at bodiless legs walking around a London square whilst discussing the vision of the FAITH movement, in the basement hall of Warwick Street Church, can be a surreal experience. If they knew what they were passing by, the owners of the legs might step gingerly down the metal stairway that leads to a glimpse of Future-Church.
Numbers at the Evenings of Faith have been steadily increasing over our two years: in this summer series several large pizzas and some bottles of wine were needed every time for the party that follows the discussion.
This series faced head-on, very satisfactorily, six “Tough Questions”, ending the series with a Holy Hour in the upstairs chapel of old Embassy fame. I can happily report that discussions have come back to the ontological centrality of Christ, the meaning of the sexes focused upon the Virgin birth, and the immediate relationship of mind and matter, enough times to make a Faith Summer Session discussion group leader glow. It all goes to prove that the Unity Law is a crowd puller (along with the Dominoes two-for-one Tuesday night delivery deal).
Of course another aspect of the crowd-pulling is the discussion-inspirer: our guest speakers. Faith Movement has a generous range of priests and lay people to call upon, well versed in our presentation of the Catholic Faith for the modern world. Twenty seven of our twenty nine speakers to date have come from this pool.
Fr Roger Nesbitt gave an inspired kick-off to this new venture in the packed parish room of the London Bridge Ordinariate Church in October 2013. We then moved on to the central London Ordinariate Church across the river at Piccadilly, with Dermott O’Gorman joining the team to pull together efficiently the six Winter 2015 talks on “Why the Church?”. Six priest speakers hailed from Scotland, and from the dioceses of Middlesbrough, Lancaster, Birmingham, and Westminster. Dr Greg Farrelly, back by popular demand after showing off his teaching skills at London Bridge, headed up our lay-led summer meditations on the nature of the human person, and our very inspiring six autumn talks on “Love”, led to the now famous (see Faith Magazine January 2015) post-Synodal tour de force by Jaqueline Stewart.
This year’s Winter series deftly attempted the delicate task of comparing and contrasting some key Catholic beliefs and practices with those of others – and included Anna-Marie Treloar’s clearly structured inspiration on “Are all religions the same?”.
We challenge you to venture downtown, and downstairs, for this unique experience, for the new series starting on September 29th, 7:30 pm, 24 Golden Square – nearest tube station, Piccadilly Circus. In a newly decorated hall engage with a new angle on the Catholic Faith that seems to work, a new angle on West End passers-by, a pizza and a prayer – and afterwards for the hearty or the hardened New Synthesisers, we gather in the Leicester Arms.