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Tony and Katherine Wadley reflect on the forthcoming Celebrate Bristol family conference and what’s on offer for those who attend.

Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the annual Celebrate Bristol Catholic family conference. Organised by a team of volunteers spread throughout the diocese, the conference has helped to bring our Diocesan Family together with the result that individuals and parishes can build links and share resources.  Just recently St Patrick’s Corsham, and St Anthony’s Melksham, went on a joint pilgrimage to Lourdes as a result of conversations at a previous Celebrate Bristol weekend!

Celebrate is a two day non-residential conference held at St Bede’s College, Bristol (just off J18 on the M5) every year over the first weekend of October half term. It is a gathering of Catholics and other Christians from within our Diocese and beyond for the celebration of Holy Mass, hearing from three keynote speakers, and participating in workshops ranging from ‘Marriage and Family Life, ‘Dealing with grief’ to ‘Gifts of the Holy Spirit‘. This year we are delighted to welcome David Wells and Michelle Moran who both have an international reputation as Catholic speakers. David has also spoken at the Flame conference for young people. There are designated streams for children and young people as well as a crèche so that the whole family is covered. Single people are also very welcome as well as are priests and religious.

As a Diocese, we are scattered over a wide geographical area and Celebrate helps remind us that we are all part of the world wide Church. The weekend serves to strengthen us in our identity as Children of God and how we are called to be in community with one other. If you enjoyed the Diocesan family day, you will enjoy Celebrate!

We are delighted that RISE theatre group will be performing this weekend, fresh from their performances at the World Gathering of Families in Dublin. There will also be Adoration, Reconciliation, the Chapel will be available for silent prayer, and individual Prayer Ministry.

There is a charge for the weekend to cover costs. Celebrate does not receive Diocesan or other funding from the Church.  A limited number of bursaries are available. For more information about Celebrate see https://www.celebrateconference.org/bristol/, email bristol@celebrateconference.org or call Katherine on 01452 547754.