The Conversation continues in 2018
7/8 December 2018 // St. Paul’s Church Canterbury

The Conversation: re-imagining ministry with children and young people through encounter, rhythm and story.

Early bird BOOKINGS are open until Easter Sunday

The Conversation is returning- a gathering that will continue to curate space for cutting-edge, innovative, even risky conversations about children, young people and the church. We are still asking the question: How can we change the dominant church culture from ‘conquering and keeping’ to ‘nurturing and releasing’ the children and young people in our communities?

The Conversation will bring together people who are open to change; to reimagine God’s good news for this generation and all generations together, who want children and young people to come into a life-enhancing, transforming and life-long encounter with Christ. We are so excited about our second event that will enable us to dig deeper into our underlying themes of encounter and rhythm as we explore how faith is formed, how we tell stories and how what it means to be an intergenerational community of faith.

The Conversation won’t provide answers or ‘the next new thing to do’ – together our conversation will take us deeper that we might be:

  • More inclusive
  • More reliant on God’s grace
  • More able to hear
  • More like the body of Christ (without any missing limbs)
  • More open

The Conversation: re-imagining ministry with children and young people through encounter, rhythm and faith


Early bird bookings open until Easter Sunday: click here to book your place


hosted bycropped-header-logo-clcl


Panel 1



  • 10 good ideas
  • Answers
  • To just sit passively
  • To have your preconceptions confirmed
  • To have everyone agreeing with you
  • To get a programme or resource to solve all your problems
  • To be challenged
  • To get fresh perspectives
  • To be surprised
  • To join in
  • To disagree well
  • To talk about being the kind of church where children and young people are seen as fellow pilgrims 
  • To hear the unexpected


Mary Hawes –

Penny Fuller –

Yvonne Morris –

Simon Rudiger –

Murray Wilkinson –


hosted by diocant

Panel 2

the BLOG

the BLOG is a collection of articles that share some of the thinking and background to The Conversation. We hope to have reflections from contributors and articles about some of the themes and issues we are hoping to include in our time together.

Please do join the conversation in response to these posts and if you would like to share some thinking or ideas then please get in touch with one of the team.

Panel 3


*A look back at the programme from 2017 – you can expect a similar format with just as much opportunity for conversation, challenge and coffee! More details of content and themes as we begin to confirm contributors…

FRIDAY – Conversations around ENCOUNTER
A full day with worship throughout curated by Stewart Cutler.
   Registration from 09.30am
   Close at 5pm

Three sessions with two speakers sharing on the same topic and space for discussion, questions and reflection:

1. Experiencing God…
Dave Csinos and Bex Lewis on the opportunities our children and young people currently have to experience something of God in their lives.
2. Encounter through creativity
Beth Barnett and Regan O’Callaghan asking if we might all meet God through a rediscovered innate creativity? Could younger generations help us to experience God?
3. Encounter through difference
Henry Zonio and Murray Wilkinson ask how we might help our children and young people to embrace difference as not only God-given but also a guide for us to experience God?

A fourth session titled Conversation Space where all are invited to share insights, ideas and questions

A chance to eat and relax together
Arrive from 6.45pm for 7pm start

more details to follow soon

SATURDAY – Conversations around RHYTHM
Another full and varied day with worship curated by Stewart Cutler throughout. In the morning two more sessions with speakers, questions and reflection.
   Registration from 09.30am
   Close at 5pm

1. The rhythm of life
Tim Scarborough will lead a session on encountering God through the rhythm of life.
2. Life giving rhythms
Beth Barnett and Dave Csinos will help us explore the life-giving rhythms that bring us into an encounter with God.

Then the afternoon will consist of a number of short presentations in the style of Pecha Kucha, each of which will have a subsequent breakout to explore the ideas in more depth.
Short presentation titles:

  • Rhythm through the years;
  • Rhythm of family;
  • Rhythm through ‘ministry of presence’;
  • Rhythm ‘on the edge’;
  • Rhythm of laughter;
  • Rhythm of hospitality;
  • Rhythm through community
Panel 4


*A nostalgic look back to our wonderful contributors from the first edition of The Conversation in Canterbury 24/25 February 2017… information about 2018 contributors to follow soon!

Including: Beth Barnett, Dave Csinos, Stewart Cutler, Henry Zonio, Tim Scarborough, Regan O’Callaghan, Bex Lewis, Murray Wilkinson, Ali Campbell, Ruth Harley, Karen Campbell, Mike Harrowing and Ian MacDonald.

bethBeth Barnett is a post-colonial, post-Christendom, post-modern Australian practitioner, teacher, artist and resource writer. Thinking about, theologising, facilitating and advocating for children and families, as both vulnerable and vibrant participators in the community of the cosmos, of which Jesus is the resurrected and revealed Lord, has been at the heart of Beth’s service in pastoral, local mission and denominational consulting roles. She is currently completing a doctorate in New Testament studies, reconsidering the hermeneutical marginalization of ‘images of the child’ in Pauline literature, and discourses of maturity, development and power.

Beth blogs at multivocality: “some people know me as a musician, some as a teacher, some as an advocate and resourcer in Children and Families ministry and mission. Some people know me as a prophet, some a theologian, some a writer. The people I care most about in the world know me as a mum, a wife, a sister, a friend. I guess it depends where we met on the journey…I hope to you, whoever you are, I am a fellow traveller, who walks the path of peace and an agent of grace.”

DAVE CSINOSDave Csinos is assistant professor at Atlantic School of Theology, where he teaches in the areas of practical theology and ministry studies. He also serves as founder and president of Faith Forward, an ecumenical organization for innovation in ministry with children and youth. Dave writes widely about faith formation, children’s ministry, youth ministry, and culture, and his books include Children’s Ministry that Fits, Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus (with Ivy Beckwith), Faith Forward (with Melvin Bray) and Faith Forward, Volume 2 (with Melvin Bray). A PhD candidate at the Toronto School of Theology and an inaugural Teaching for Ministry Fellow at Emmanuel College, Dave holds a BA from Wilfrid Laurier University, an MTS from McMaster University (Divinity College), and a ThM from Union Presbyterian Seminary. Dave make his home in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dave is a regular speaker on topics such as children and youth, faith formation, intercultural ministry, social justice, and ministry innovation. He has spoken at churches, conferences, camps, and universities throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia.

has a background as a cultural communications historian and digital practitioner, with a PhD in Second World War posters, in which she wrote the history of Keep Calm and Carry On (before it was famous). Though Sussex born, she is a ‘digital resident’, geographically based at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing, with a particular focus upon the third sector. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University. As the Director of Digital Fingerprint she is a speaker, writer and facilitator, including the workshop ‘Social Media for the Scared’, and is author of the popular Raising Children in a Digital Age (2014), which has been translated into Chinese and Italian. She is working her way towards being Professor of Communications and Digital Culture.

Church is not a building, it’s the people and the personal relationship with Jesus Christ: what does it mean to become more like Jesus? How do we authentically influence the culture that we live within by the way that we live? I have a very ecumenical background: I grew up in an Open Brethren church, went to a Baptist Church at University/with Oak Hall, an Anglican church throughout my PhD and Winchester working life, and in Durham mix College (Anglican/Methodist) services with a Methodist housegroup.

henryHenry Zonio is on the Social Science and History Faculty of Asbury University, Lexington, Kentucky. AS a sociologist, he is fascinated by how difference and diversity impacts on faith – and particularly on the faith of children and young people.

He co-edited What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry and has written about the effects of racial discrimination on children.

stewartStewart Cutler is a husband, dad, stepdad, son, brother…

He is also a Youth and Children’s Work Trainer with over 20 years of experience working with volunteers, students and professionals in the Christian Church and in communities around Scotland. And happens to be an ordinand (minister in training) with the United Reformed Church.

Stewart is joining The Conversation to curate our worship together across the two days.

reganRegan O’Callaghan is an artist/priest who lives in London, England.   In 2001  Regan was ordained into the Church of England.  He combines his religious ministry with art leading many art projects and workshops as well as painting a number of important commissions including an icon for Saint Paul’s Cathedral London.  He believes in a ministry of encouragement where art is the facilitator.

ianmobsbyIan Mobsby is a writer, speaker, missioner, CofE Priest and enthusiast of new monasticism. He is currently the Woolwich Episcopal Area Mission Enabler in the Diocese of Southwark and Priest in Charge of St Luke Camberwell in Peckham that includes the ‘Love Peckham’ Community. He has past involvement in three fresh expressions/ emerging communities including being a founding member of Moot, a New Monastic community in Central London. He is an Associate Missioner of the Archbishop’s Fresh Expressions Team, an associate lecturer of the South East Institute for Theological Education, a national selector for pioneer ministry, and Mission Advisor to a number of Dioceses in the Anglican Communion.

tim-sTim Scarborough has been running workshops under the name Rhythmicity: leading performance teams and playing in bands for nearly 15 years. Using a friendly, professional approach he has built a strong reputation for delivering high quality, enjoyable workshops throughout the country.

Rhythmicity is defined as “the state of being rhythmic or responding rhythmically”, and that’s what they set out to achieve for every child in every workshop. They give the children opportunities to engage with rhythms, instruments and each other. Each child functions at their own level and moves forward at his/her own pace in a workshop guided by a skilled, experienced facilitator. We use drums and other percussion instruments to energise, educate, motivate, and promote successful teamwork.

erb_9219 Murray Wilkinson started out as a zoologist but left the wonderful world of bats and mole-rats to begin a career in youth ministry at a large suburban church in Cape Town, South Africa. He and his wife transplanted to the UK in 2005 to see the world and ended up at a small rural parish church in West Kent, where Murray’s long resistance to children’s ministry gave way and he became the chaplain for Brenchley & Matfield Church of England Primary School. Murray has been the Children and Young People’s Ministry Adviser for the Diocese of Canterbury for over six years. In that time, and in response to the challenge facing the church, he has developed the Whole Church concept – not an answer but an evolving idea; an ongoing conversation about how our churches might become intergenerational places that make space for individual transformation by focusing on faith formation rather than information.

He is the father of two young girls and claims to have no time to spend with his guitars but seems to be able to make it to the cinema more often than his diary suggests possible.