CMN Conferences

Twice a year, delegates from CMN Member Churches and organisations gather together to share the latest news and information as well as explore important issues and themes in ministry amongst children as we continually seek ways to support each other in this vital area of work.

During these conferences, CMN Business Meetings give room for more formal discussions and decisions about ways forward. Members of the CMN Executive, elected by the CMN Business Meeting, also meet to discuss matters of strategy and logistics.

Upcoming Conferences

November 2023

Corrymeela, 14-16th Nov 2023.

Peter will be leading us in thinking about children’s ministry in Ireland.  Alongside this, we will have opportunity to share what is going on in our denominations/organisations, have our members meeting and as always there will be plenty of opportunity for food, refreshments and fun, oh and don’t forget a wee trip to the Giants Causeway!

ECCE 2023

Lake Balaton, Hungary, 8-12th May 2023. A chance to get together with people from all over Europe. ECCE is held every three years so not to be missed!

Reflections from previous conferences

Wrestling the big world questions with children

This was my very first 24 hour time away with Children’s Ministry Network and whilst I knew one or two people who were going, I didn’t know many. However, they seemed to know me and we had fun working out how and when we’d met – this included in my changing the gender of Mel…

Keep reading

A time for everything

There’s a time for everything, and this was the time for members of CMN from all four corners of the UK to gather at Shallowford House in Stone for our 48 hour conference and retreat day. There were a few newcomers and a few ‘old hands’ (a politer description than the one actually used!), together…

Keep reading

Together again!

It was such a delight to gather in person at Shallowford House 20 months after having to cancel our previous conference on the day due to Covid.  We welcomed a number of new members. We spent time reflecting on the challenging times we have been through and their impact on churches ministry among children.  Some themes emerged:…

Keep reading

What’s going on?

It felt a bit like coming home, arriving at Wallis House for another 24 hour conference with CMN. Familiar faces and newcomers assembled in the lounge area, sharing a hot cuppa on a cold day and waiting for the call to lunch and the announcement that bedrooms were finally ready for us. Seventeen denominations and…

Keep reading

A Gendered Practice

How can CMN conference January 2019 be summed up?  It was a relatively small number of us that gathered for the 24 hour conference at Selly Oak, coming from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Island and representing a range of churches and other organisations; some new faces, some more familiar and some (like me) in…

Keep reading

It’s Out There… What’s new and happening in Scotland?

Day 1 Glorious spring sunshine welcomed us as we arrived at St Mary’s Monastery and Retreat Centre on Kinnoull Hill on the outskirts of Perth for our 48 hour conference. We began with a two-course lunch and received a warm welcome from the Redemptorists Community who live and worship on the site. To find out…

Keep reading

Who do we think we are?

Exploring the influence of culture and context on our ministry among children There are many good things about travelling to visit new places. It gives us an opportunity to step outside our normal working environment to see our ministry with new eyes. There is also the challenge and the blessing of meeting difference, always a…

Keep reading

Ask and you will receive… research and you will find!

A record number of us gathered at the International Mission Centre in Birmingham this November for our first conference with a new logo and a new website! Our focus was on current research into children’s ministry training and the ongoing conversations around the family ministry research which our network co-sponsored last year. We were very…

Keep reading

A time for listening and a time for speaking

When you bring together a group of professionals working with children and families, their shared passion and experience far outweigh any differences there may be among them. This has always been true for the Consultative Group for Ministry among Children, where those representing a diverse range of national organisations and denominations have an opportunity to…

Keep reading

On Pilgrimage

The journey itself has always been as important to pilgrims as its destination. Conversations along the way, stories shared over meals, tales told by those joining the travellers, and moments of silence and song in each other’s company, all make a pilgrimage memorable and possibly life-changing. This year’s CGMC Spring conference contained all of these elements for…

Keep reading

Working with children in a digital age

There was no doubting Dr. Bex Lewis’s enthusiasm for all things digital.  She is not only an expert on the web and social media, she is a dedicated user! The CGMC Spring Conference this year had chosen to focus on how technology is impacting our ministry with children and families and, to borrow the subtitle from…

Keep reading

Family Matters!

In recent years the word ‘family’ has hit our UK headlines for good and for bad. We hear from those who lament the loss of ‘traditional family values’ and complain of ‘family breakdown’. We are all too familiar with terms such as ‘fatherless families’, ‘one-parent families’ and ‘blended families’. And to this we could add many more, such as ‘displaced families’, ‘dispersed families’, ‘abusive families’ and ‘networked families’;…

Keep reading

A telling question!?

In the lifetimes of most of us in CGMC, understandings of how and when children begin their own journey of faith have changed; and of course, not surprisingly, this is reflected in how the church as a whole has wrestled with what it means ‘to be converted’ and consequently how it also understands mission and outreach. Is…

Keep reading

The Hidden Congregation

This was something new for CGMC, and indeed, as far as we know, no one else has tried to do something like this before! For a number of years now the idea had been brewing; over the past 18 months it took shape; and in November 2012 it came to fruition: namely, a day conference for…

Keep reading

A place for everyone

Welcomes are important and welcoming everybody should surely be a hallmark of the Christian community whenever and wherever it gathers. This call to inclusivity was the theme of this year’s CGMC Spring conference in Scotland. Whether this is about welcoming the differently-able or those whose lives had been affected by deep trauma; whether it is about welcoming…

Keep reading

Something old… Something new… Something borrowed…

I wonder what comes to your mind when you hear the term ‘fresh expression of church’. What does it look like…. and what do you feel about it? And what do you imagine when the talk is of ‘fresh expressions of children’s ministry? ‘There’s nothing new under the sun’ claims the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. Is he ….or she…right? Whatever…

Keep reading

A Persistent Fragrance

‘What do you think of when you are asked to imagine a rural setting?’ That was the question put to us as CGMC members as we began our 48 hour conference in Scarborough in the east riding of Yorkshire. ‘And what is it about ministry among children in rural settings that is different – if anything?’ It didn’t take much to…

Keep reading

Peace by Piece

It has been 12 years since the Good Friday Agreement and just over 40 years since ‘the Troubles’ began in Northern Ireland, so how are things now and in particular, what is life like for its children and young people, who are the inheritors of the on-going ‘peace process’ as well as of the legacy of sectarianism…

Keep reading

Leave them wanting More!

In September 2010 CGMC ran its 4th national conference for church children’s workers, this time at Chester University. Following on from the success of previous conferences an ecumenical invitation went out to all those who work with children through the churches to set aside the first weekend at the beginning of a new school year. It…

Keep reading