The annual Cork, Cloyne and Ross Clergy Conference at Ballylickey, near Bantry, County Cork took place from Monday, 10th to Wednesday 12th October. The guest speaker was Canon Mark Oakley, Canon Chancellor of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London.
Canon Oakley’s most recent book The Splash of Words (published by Canterbury Press) argues that poetry is vital for understanding that God is in the world as poetry is in a poem. The theme of his lectures was: ALL PASSION SPENT? Reclaiming faith, poetry and preaching.
Together with worship, relaxation, walks and exploring the local area (golf for some), some light entertainment from the well-known singer and storyteller Seán Ó Sé, and time spent at mealtime, the core of the two-and-a-half day programme was four lectures by Canon Oakley. These were entitled: ‘A beach-combing faith’; ‘Now you see me, now you don’t: a human priesthood’; ‘The metaphorical God’; and, ‘Stopping the geese from waddling: a language for our preaching.’ The Conference concluded with a celebration of the Eucharist in the local Parish Church of Saint Brendan the Navigator, Bantry.