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The last Saturday in May saw a new event added to the calendar of churches in Oban and Lorn.
On Saturday (May 26), local people were joined by others from as far apart as Campbeltown and Helensburgh for a day conference entitled Confident Christianity.
For the last five years the Argyll Convention has been a three-day event held in early August. Designed to encourage faith tourism as well as help local people it has benefited from a variety of world-class speakers. This time the organisers decided to add a day conference earlier in the year.
They were helped by Andy Bannister, one of Britain’s leading Christian apologists and Islamic scholars. He is director of SOLAS Centre for Public Christianity, and their website offers gems of video clips about current issues. The purpose of the conference was to help our local churches understand and engage with people of other beliefs, both religious and secular.
Andy led it superbly. The first session was about conversation, how to listen, identify issues and bring clarity. The second looked at the frequently asked question, ‘Do all religions lead to God?’ His wide experience helped us see the diversity of beliefs – ‘Which “god” are you talking about?’ – and he identified perceptions of God that are unique to the Judaeo-Christian tradition.
Conference participants also benefited from an afternoon workshop where issues that Christians face were discussed together. It was an excellent and useful day.
The main Argyll Convention takes place in Oban’s Corran Halls from August 7-9 (information at www.argyllconvention.org). The subjects discussed will be different but with speakers of the same calibre. Another example of local church people working together to bring greater benefit.