The second annual Mission Conference took place in Beaconsfield on Saturday 12th November. The conference led by Mission Northampton was called ‘Inspire: Making Missionary Disciples’.

Mission Northampton, led by the director, Dr Maria Heath, have just completed a two week mission in Houghton Regis where they gave out breakfast to commuters, went door to door on new estates and invited people into church for healing services. The mission was supported by the Sion Community.

Maria said

“When Bishop David was appointed to Northampton by the Papal Nuncio, he was challenged to reach out to those living on new estates, because our diocese has the fastest house building programme in the country. This two week mission was a direct response to that”.

Joining Mission Northampton at the conference were Fr Simon Penhalagan, the Episcopal Vicar for Mission and Bishop David Oakley. Bishop David gave a key note talk and took the opportunity to reinforce his specific vision of mission in the diocese of Northampton:

“We are in a new stage of evangelisation. We have to do something different, something new.We have to reach out to others and let our communities know that we’re here. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the evangelising church. We need teams of disciples who have been evangelised themselves to lead Alpha, Life in the Spirit Seminars, and things like them. It may not be right to invite people to Sunday Mass to begin with, but to some kind of event that makes them comfortable and at introduces the Gospel message to them. We need to build communities of missionary disciples around the diocese, where faith is nourished and can grow. I am hoping that there is regular praise and worship around the diocese, and a growth in Adoration, enabling prayer for the diocese to become more missionary in outlook”