The Faith in Conflict conference, which brought together representatives from across the country last week, is a 'marker for the future of the church', participants in the event have said.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, spoke at the final plenary session of the ecumenical gathering which explored how conflict is handled across the churches.
Over 200 delegates from Christian churches all over England and beyond gathered at Coventry Cathedral from 26 - 28 February 2013.
The conference sessions over the three days worked towards understanding the challenges that face the Christian church, gaining a renewed vision in viewing conflict differently and exploring options for intervention.
Speaking about Faith in Conflict, the Archbishop, who is enthroned later this month, said: “This conference [has been] some years in the making. I have always been hopeful that it would mark a step for the Church of England’s capacity when dealing with conflict. In fact, it is proving to be much more significant than that, setting a clear and radical path for our opportunity to be peacemakers and confidence builders in our society.”
Panel discussions took place between the workshops and plenary sessions, including one led by Canon Director David Porter on his experiences in working towards peaceful resolutions in Northern Ireland.
Mr Porter, who is an Anabaptist from a Prebyterian background, and now serves as Canon for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral, as well as the recently appointed Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation, commented: “We are overwhelmed by the depth of stories and experiences that are being shared here and enthusiasm that exists amongst the delegates to take the skills and experience gleaned at the conference and begin to tackle conflict and work towards building a lasting peace in their churches and communities.”
* An MP3 sound file of Archbishop Welby's address can be downloaded here: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/data/files/resources/5023/130228-A...