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Faith and the Future of the Countryside Conference with Bishop Alan Smith
Mon 23 September, 9.00 am - Fri 27 September, 5.00 pm
This conference will explore the rapidly changing face of the countryside in England and the role that the Church can play in shaping it. Drawing on the experience and insights of the delegates, it will provide an opportunity to think together about a wide range of rural subjects, including the environment, agriculture and leisure. In addition, there will be input designed to offer spiritual refreshment for the participants
Bishop Alan Biog:
Alan Smith is the Bishop of St Albans. After ordination he served his curacy in Pudsey, West Yorkshire. In 1984 he took up the post as Chaplain of the Lee Abbey Community, Lynton, North Devon. In 1989 he was appointed as the Diocesan Missioner and Vicar in the Walsall Team Ministry in the Diocese of Lichfield. In 1997 he became the Archdeacon of Stoke-upon-Trent and five years later was consecrated Bishop of Shrewsbury. He was chair of the Shropshire Strategic Partnership from 2006-2009 and was a member of the Rural Bishops’ Panel from 2006-2009. He was translated to the See of St Albans in April 2009 and has recently become the Episcopal Visitor of the Lee Abbey Movement. In 2013 he entered the House of Lords. As a member of the Bench of Bishops he speaks on a wide range of subjects including rural affairs, housing, welfare and the economy. He is President of the Rural Coalition, a grouping of twelve rural organizations all of which are committed to a living and working countryside. He is a vice president of the Local Government Association. He has written Growing up in Multi-faith Britain: Explorations in Youth, Ethnicity and Religion (2007) and God-Shaped Mission: A Perspective from the Rural Church (2008), and co-authored The Reflective Leader (2011). He was joint editor of Faith and the Future of the Countryside (2012). From 2009 to 2011 he was joint chairman of the Anglican Methodist Working Party on the Ecclesiology of the Emerging Expression of Church which produced the report Fresh Expressions in the Mission of the Church (2012). In 2013 he wrote Saints & Pilgrims in the Diocese of St Albans. Among his hobbies are theatre, gardening, walking and skiing.