Spirituality is ….. important to talk about

I’m really glad that I invested a couple of days in going to the Spirituality Is conference in Salisbury. Having said that however I am unable yet to crystalise a definitive list of things that I gained. I absorbed the research, encountered some methodology, recognised an ethos BUT if these were the metaphoric jelly, blancmange and cream … they have not settled, in my mind, into a recognisable Trifle yet!
The conference billed itself as,
“Young people’s spirituality in the UK: Conference on the findings of the Spirituality of Young People research project at Sarum College”
buried spirituality.jpg It also saw the launch of these findings as a book, Buried Spirituality. It was fantastic to hear the result of Phil Rankin’s research and just how willing young people were to talk about spirituality when given the opportunity. His research, findings and proposals were worth every penny to hear.
Where it got complicated was that the majority of the conference was, ‘over to you’ and collective looks at where next. For some reason the discussion really touched some frustrations in youth workers and much pain-from &criticism-of the church emerged. Kind of messy and I wish I could claim to be an objective observer rather than a contributor to this, sadly I can’t.
The conference was also partly delivered by four 18-24 year olds from the four segments of the UK. It was great to have their input. They added a great dynamic to the conference but all was not straight forward given all that was being discussed and opened up.
For me the conference caught me by surprise I think. I was just expecting to absorb the research and to hear Phil Rankin speak more fully on his research. Instead an excitement about what Phil was saying that we were trying to earth into a Church we care passionately about but in which we see huge hurdles to moving forward, created a messy and slightly bewlidering mix. None of which detracts from the opportunity the learning from this report affords us. I guess we just ran out of time!
I am so glad I went though. I have learnt an enormous amount and encountered an opportunity that could benefit young people significantly. Spending time with Phil Rankin was a real privilege, as was spending time with the other delegates.
Active Phil has written more coherently on this than I

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