Project Activities

Forthcoming Activities

Until March 2016 we are running a joint project called In Wi The Mix with two other faith-based organisations, Faith in Community Scotland and A Place for Hope. For more information on this project please contact John Ithell who co-ordinates the project on behalf of all three organisations.

Weaving The Threads

weavng the threads poster
Above, some of the cartoon images capturing people’s thoughts and ideas; below, a video from the night.

Question Time

On 21st January Conforti Institute held a Question Time format event inviting questions from the local community on the topic of sectarianism.  Panel members included Geraldine Hill, Michael Rosie, Kevin McKenna, Ruth Harvey and Des Dillion.

Family Ceilidh @ Conforti

On the 15th November we held a family ceilidh at Conforti to celebrate the joint work of Motherwell Diocese and Hamilton Presbytery in our anti-sectarian project. 

Listening Exercises

The listening phase of our project is now completed. We held 55 listening exercises covering 58 parishes, 10 groups and 3 prisons with a total of 581 people taking part. These were held in all of Scotland’s 8 Catholic diocese: St. Andrews and Edinburgh; Glasgow; Dunkeld; Galloway; Paisley; Motherwell; Aberdeen and Argyll and the Isles. The findings of our listening exercises are captured here Conforti Anti-Sectarian Project Report April 2014

National Reflection Day

On Saturday the 5th April 2014 we held a national discussion day to reflect on the findings of our anti-sectarian project and report to date. Summary of the day’s discussion can be found here.

Ecumenical Prayer Events

As a result of participating in the listening exercises on sectarianism a small group of parishioners from Motherwell Diocese met to look at ways the wider community can come together to challenge sectarian attitudes and behaviours.   In an attempt to start the ball rolling, the group reached out to other churches in the local area in the hope that they would be willing to work alongside us to develop an evening of prayer and celebration.  As a result of that the Motherwell diocesan group came together with the Presbytery of Hamilton to host two successful evenings of prayer and celebration. The first took place on Thursday 3rd April 2014 with the theme of planting seeds and new beginnings; the second on Thursday 5th Feb 2015 with the theme of food and nourishment. At the February event participants brought along contributions which made a big difference to the Coatbridge food bank and a time when it was low on food.

Residential Course

From the 17-19th January 2014 Conforti hosted a highly successful weekend on Daring to Dialogue Responding to Sectarianism and Difference in Scotland through Catholic Social Teaching.

“The course was all useful and interrelated. There was a continuity which worked well. The early sessions were very good in opening up participation and it just got better from there.”

“There is potential for transformation with the Catholic social Teaching materials. This is the sort of session we very much need in parishes. We need to work hard to achieve an informed laity”

” The conflict resolution materials would be very relevant to any setting”

“All the sessions were helpful and interesting”

” I found the individual exercises difficult but useful”

“Excellent facilitation” “Sharing in groups was encouraging”

“Sectarianism and secularism are a major threat to people of all faiths”

” I found it interesting to listen to the ‘other’ person’s opinion and why he/she feels the way they do – and to enter into really constructive dialogue”

Information on course content and further materials.

Other Activities

Work in Prisons

In the course of carrying out our listening exercises in parishes, a number of priests suggested that it could be useful for us to hear what prisoner’s have to say about sectarianism.  We  held listening exercises in Low Moss, Shotts and Kilmarnock prisons.

Partnership Working

We are collaborating with A Place for Hope and Faith in Community Scotland in our anti-sectarian work. We co-facilitated a number of intra-Christian community dialogues in Motherwell, Wishaw and Armadale; took part in joint trips to Northern Ireland; hosted and facilitated two events for faith leaders, and held a celebratory evening on the Ferry to capture stories from people taking part in all of our projects.

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