The Bristol and Bath Women's Conferences 2022 took place on the Saturdays of 5th and 19th March respectively. As usual the two conferences shared a theme and speaker; Charlotte Cornes gave two talks on the book of Esther under the title "For Such a Time as This." What follows is a report from one of the delegates at the Bath conference.
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning as we headed down to Widcombe Church for the Women’s Conference. The church was buzzing with ladies in bright pink shirts, musicians rehearsing and joyful reunions with friends. The smell of coffee filled the air, like at any good conference. There was an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation, as we gathered in person after two years of being online. And how wonderful it was to see one another!
The words ‘for such a time as this’ echoed throughout the conference, as Charlotte Cornes encouraged us from the book of Esther. She challenged us to take heart from the example of the courageous queen and recognise the opportunities which God has given us to testify about Him and stand for Him; ‘You have been placed where you are by the loving hand of your Father!’ God is faithful; He will save His people, and we have been placed in our neighbourhoods, homes, churches, workplaces to take part in accomplishing God’s purposes. Personally, I was reminded of my need to speak boldly to my neighbours about Jesus and pray to my Father to help me take these opportunities, despite how timid I may be.
Another real highlight of going to the Women’s Conference was the opportunity to attend different seminars. There were many choices, but I found myself in a seminar on trauma awareness, led by Catherine Haddow, in the first session. It was weighty subject matter and, once all the bustling of finding seats and closing temporary walls was done, we settled into a conversation about how the church engages with the subject of trauma that kept my mind whirring for days to come. It was a really special opportunity to chat with a group of women about how we can better support those for whom church can be a really difficult place.
Lunchtime brought with it conversation about the seminars I wasn’t able to attend; we spoke about prayer, evangelism, how to support those who have gone through the pain of baby loss and much more. In the afternoon I went to a seminar on pop culture, discussing how we currently engage with it and how we can engage better in the future. I came away evaluating the television I watch and wanting to more actively think about its impact on me. We talked about the way the media reflects culture, how it can point to God’s goodness as well as how it communicates a different story for human flourishing to what we know to be true from the bible.
With so much food for thought, the chance to pick up these conversations throughout the day was really helpful for grounding the many applications of the teaching we received and seeing sisters in Christ from Bath and beyond brought not only meaty conversation but great joy. The day finished with over 200 women joining in praise to the Lord: ‘Hallelujah! All I have is Christ Hallelujah! Jesus is my life’.'
The talks from the Bath Conference are available via our Youtube channel, and below. Keep an eye on our website for details of the 2023 Conferences coming later this year!