Boars Hill ‘Quiet’ Conference
After Easter, members of both SCALA and TISCA met for a ‘Quiet Conference’ at the Boars Hill Carmelite Retreat House, just outside Oxford. The principal speakers were Anthony Buckley (who is both a Trustee of SCALA and of TISCA) and Alison Adams, the Sub-Dean of Leicester Cathedral, who is a former Director of SCALA’s predecessor organisation, the Bloxham Project and who has also been a prison chaplain. Anthony led participants in a most insightful study of themes from the Bible – taken from the Books of Ruth, Jonah and sections of Exodus -that are not possibly as well-known as others. Anthony’s capacity to relate the content and context of his chosen texts to contemporary issues and situations was remarkable and all those who heard him benefited from the profundity, insight and humility of his quietly spoken words.
Alison Adams spoke about identity from her wide experience of chaplaincy, both in schools and in a prison, together with how identity connects with our own capacity to relate to each other and to God. Her final talk focused on Leicester’s preparations for the re-interment of the remains of King Richard III in the Cathedral. Alison’s gift to the Conference was one of personal insight, enormous understanding of the role of chaplain and wider issues of vocation, purpose, meaning and destiny encountered daily within the ministry of chaplaincy and placed centre-stage by the events that followed from the discovery of the remains of Richard III. Despite the difficulties of the conference venue (a section of which was being re-built after a serious and corrosive oil leak), those who attended did feel calmed, refreshed and re-energised for the term ahead. It was good to meet old friends there and to make new ones.