Monday, June 11, 2012
LMS Conference 2012: report
The best photographs were taken by others, since I was on the platform with the speakers, but this is a nice one on the conference-goers, laughing at one of Fr Zuhlsdorf's jokes.
Numbers were excellent, and the venue well-judged. We filled the hall, we brought in more seats for late-comers, in the end about a dozen were sitting in the gallery. The Salvation Army looked after us, though I was amused to hear that they never serve alcohol; we supplied that deficiency by going en-masse to a nearby pub afterwards, the Old Explorer.
The speakers were brilliant, our panel discussion at the end was fun, and I'll be posting up the MP3s of their talks individually as I edit them. The other fun feature of the conference was the stalls, we had stalls manned by the FSSP, the ICKSP, the Sons of the Holy Redeemer, the Good Counsel Network, a bookshop, and of course the Latin Mass Society. We had information about the Guild of St Clare, the St Catherine's Trust Summer School, the LMS Latin Course, and copies of the FIUV Position Papers.
Among those attending the conference we had two LMS Regional Chaplains, Fr Thomas Crean OP (the Midlands) and Mgr Gordon Read (the South East), and a host of bloggers - as well as the speakers, John Hunwicke, Fr Tim and Fr Z, the Senible Bond, Mulier Fortis and the Reluctant Sinner were there, and their blogs are worth checking for their reaction to the conference; so was LMS Arundel and Brighton, who clearly enjoyed herself!
The conference was by every measure a huge success. This was the first time we've done this, and certainly won't be our last. I don't think we should do it every year, but we should establish some level of frequency which makes sense for our supporters and the kind of speakers who are available, and who we want to hear from. I must say that organising a conference is far easier than organising a big liturgical occasion: with a fairly automated process for ticket sales, all there is to do is book the venue and the speakers, and just turn up. Compared to dealing with sacred ministers, servers, singers, schola practices and liturgical run-throughs, getting young servers and singers who don't have cars to a church and making sure there are the necessary vestments and liturgical items, conferences are very simple indeed.
The LMS' core business is a difficult and labour-intensive one. I'm delighted that this conference has contributed to public awareness and understanding of this work and its importance.