A Conference Organised By The Diocese Of Rochester

2015_04_16_AConference Brief

Christians are already in relationship with the poor because they are in relationship with Jesus Christ who identifies himself with the poor.Through a variety of workshops, this conference will hear the devastating effects of poverty on human beings, and their flourishing and living. Poverty is viewed from the perspective of overseas and Britain.  Frequently poverty is imposed and sometimes it is chosen. [Challenging Poverty]

It will also hear and celebrate the ways in which parishes relate to the poor through partnership links, foodbanks, credit unions, etc, and reflect on the blessings and joy brought to parishes through these relationships. [Celebrating Humanity]

It will then ask how these partnerships with the poor can lead to change for all parties involved. [Partnership for Change]

The conference will conclude with worship, and we hope that people will leave the conference empowered, equipped, challenged and inspired to continue challenging poverty.

There is parking available at the school.

The venue is on Bus Route 99 from Erith Station

To book a place, please contact :

Gill Miller, Rochester Diocesan Office, St Nicholas Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, ME1 1SL (gill.miller@rochester.anglican.org) with your name, contact details and choice of 4 workshops.

challenging poverty flyer


The following Workshops will be available, participants will be able to attend two, and you are asked to indicate your preferences, listing four: we will do our best to accommodate your choices but the number available will depend upon the number of participants at the conference. Please return as soon as possible but no later than Tuesday  28 April.

1 Questioning the Archbishop

An opportunity to explore further with the Archbishop of Tanzania, the Most Revd Dr Jacob Chimeledya, what he has outlined in his keynote Address to the Conference, and to question him and discuss with him the issues which confront his diocese, his country, and the wider world.

2 Celebrating with Music

It has been said that drumming is a language, and we will be exploring the different kinds of drumming voices we can create using the drums and percussion in our workshop, and working on an interpretive drumming piece based on Isaiah 6:1-8. We hope to have the opportunity to present that piece as part of the afternoon’s worship.

3 Poverty and Hope

The Workshop will be suitable for all, whether you have never heard of the Poverty and Hope Appeal or you are a long-time supporter. We will look at causes of poverty globally and what the Poverty and Hope Appeal does to try to tackle the issues. We will discuss how we choose projects and the criteria we consider, look at some of the projects being supported in 2015 and show photos of projects, past and present.

4 Conversing with Susan Durber

This workshop, only available in the afternoon, is an opportunity to engage with one of our keynote Speakers on what it means to have a partnership with poverty, and how it affects our approach to spirituality, to politics, and the way we order our lives.

5 Poverty and Spirituality

In ‘celebrating humanity’, Sister Mary John of the Benedictine Community at West Malling Abbey will consider how we can become fully human as Jesus was, will explore the meaning of kenosis (self-emptying (Phil.2.7) for each of us and as a church, giving opportunity to discuss how a simpler lifestyle might affect our relationship with God.

2015_04_16_C6 Food Banks

This workshop will consider the needs of those below the poverty line in the UK who rely on food banks, the reasons why increasing numbers are being referred for emergency food, what is happening in our own diocese to support those experiencing crisis, the part which the Trussell Trust plays both locally and nationwide, and the ways in which individuals, churches and communities can partner them.

7 Challenging Debt

This seminar will focus on the challenges of personal debt in the UK, and how churches and local communities can reach out to individuals struggling with debt. The session will examine the different reasons why people get into debt and discuss the impact it has on people’s lives and the lives of those around them. Drawing on the experience of supporting those in debt at Living Well – a community and foodbank project based at Holy Trinity Church Beckenham as well as the work of Christians against Poverty – the seminar will identify ways to encourage openness about debt as well as practical and spiritual ways to support people to become debt free.

Workshop organisers: Claire Forbes and Rev Dr Nick Read, Directors of Living Well Bromley.

2015_04_16_D8 Partnership Links

The Workshop will be suitable for all who are interested in exploring a new link as well as those already enjoying a link. Whether it be with a school, church or community in one of our four partner dioceses, our friends in Estonia, Harare (Zimbabwe), and Kondoa and Mpwapwa (Tanzania) would love to get to know you and share with you something of their lives. The Workshop will reflect the joy of these partnerships and the support which the diocese here can offer to all those involved.

9 What our School is doing

Students from schools within the Diocese which have established links with Tanzania will present to other young people news about the ways in which they think their links with schools and projects in Tanzania are challenging poverty in new, varied and exciting ways – but older folk will also be welcomed as youngsters share their experiences and their excitement at what is happening.

10 Poverty and Young People

This workshop led by Christian Aid will explore the issue of poverty and the influence and impact young people can have. Through the resource Eat, Act, Pray, young people and their leaders will gain a deeper understanding of how being engaged in social action projects not only gain an understanding of poverty but bring discipleship and spiritual growth individually and as a group.

11 Poverty and Politics

Following the publication of a number of reports, the question of poverty has been high on the political agenda. With the help of politicians,this workshop will explore the role of politics and politicians in facing up to the challenges of poverty.

12 Climate Change

The Red Cross predict that 58% of refugees are refugees because of climate change. People are forced to move from their homes because of floods, drought and lack of work and it is the poor who are most vulnerable and least able to have influence to mitigate the causes of climate change – they also tend to have the smallest carbon footprint. This workshop will explore issues around poverty and climate change.

13. Challenging Homelessness

This workshop will look at an example of a voluntary sector response to homelessness, followed by ideas of how local churches can respond on a variety of levels, and an explanation of the legal requirements upon local authorities. We will conclude with questions to the speakers.