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01 January 2010

Press release

Question Time at Evangelical Alliance Wales

Question Time at Evangelical Alliance Wales

The new, all-Wales initiative will enable Welsh Christians to engage with greater confidence in a whole range of issues such as politics, science, the arts and work. It will launch in March 2010 with a series of events around Wales, including one based on the BBC TV's 'Question Time'.

The institute aims to equip Christians to effectively grapple with the issues of faith in the 21st century. Through a programme of seminars, delivered by leading Christian thinkers in Wales and across the UK, CICC will provide the best teaching and insights to help God's people biblically respond to the issues making the news.

"The call on God's people to understand the culture in which we live, and engage biblically with contemporary issues and people has never been greater," said Rev Elfed Godding, Director of Evangelical Alliance Wales. "Our ability to competently and confidently share the gospel, relating it to our modern day world, has a major bearing on the spiritual health of our nation."

Both the current and former heads of the UK Evangelical Alliance, Steve Clifford and Joel Edwards, will take part in the planned launch events.

Steve Clifford, current General Director of the UK Evangelical Alliance, said of the planned launch: "I am delighted that CICC is being launched to serve God's people across the nation. It will provide an opportunity for Christians from all walks of life to acquire greater skills in understanding the bible and applying it to contemporary issues will prove invaluable. I can't think of a better way to celebrate our twentieth anniversary in Wales!"

The events begin in Swansea with an address by Rev Joel Edwards on "Engaging Culture" and are then followed by two "Question Time" based events in Cardiff and Colwyn   Bay, chaired by BBC Radio Wales, Rev Roy Jenkins.

The programme for the "Question Time" events will be set by the audience who are encouraged to send in their questions for the panel ahead of the evening. The special guest panels will help those who attend respond to what they read and hear, instead of just being influenced by it.

Rev Dave Cave, minister and theologian from North Wales, said:"Christians in the twenty first century face the very real challenge of being relevant in a rapidly changing world. Communicating good news to the poor, demonstrating love inaction and at the same time guarding the essential truths of Jesus are all part of that challenge."

The new look CICC is modelled on its predecessor, the Cardiff Institute for Contemporary Christianity. However, now as a Wales-wide initiative, CICC will have a wider scope and seek to serve Christians throughout the nation.

Delegates who attended previous CICC events illustrate the need for God's people to have a greater understanding of the issues shaping our world:

"The seminar with Alister McGrath helped me understand the scientific arguments presented by critics like Richard Dawkins - but also helped me develop my own Christian response. Before attending the event I didn't know how to respond to colleagues who used Dawkins' arguments to challenge my faith."

"The call to see cinema as missionary training for sharing my faith with my own friends has changed how I watch the movies. It also challenged me on how I need to critically assess the worldviews being expressed in today's films, instead of just accept them."

"Engaging Work gave me a new vision of the work I do every day and helped me overcome the myth of the sacred/secular divide. I was empowered to live out my faith at work and believe that I can make a difference in the mission field God has set before me: my workplace."

Through a range of events, resources, downloads and forums, CICC will help Welsh Christians to:

  • Grapple with the issues that shape contemporary culture;
  • Affirm the relevance of their faith in today's world;
  • See the difference their faith can make beyond the Church.

Rev Peter Orphan of Pantygwydr Baptist Church, Swansea is convinced CICC will be able to achieve its aims. He said:  "We live in an age of increasing pressure on Christians to 'privatise' their faith. More than ever we need those in the workplace and community to know what they believe, and why they believe it! This will enable them to express their faith with relevance and compassion."

CICC is being launched at three special events taking place in March 2010:

Swansea: Wednesday 10 March: Engaging Culture with Rev Joel Edwards

Cardiff: Thursday 11 March: Question Time, chaired by BBC Radio Wales' Rev Roy Jenkins and a panel including: Rev Joel Edwards, Elaine Storkey, Rev Michael Green, Dan Boucher and David Williamson.

ColwynBay: Friday 12 March: Question Time, chaired by BBC Radio Wales' Rev Roy Jenkins and a panel including: Rev Steve Clifford, Elaine Storkey and Bishop Andy John.

All events start at 7.30pm and further details are available online at www.cicconline.org

For further details, please email Andrew Cooper at ajcooper@ukonline.co.uk or call (07545) 835450.

Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: d.webster@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

Evangelical Alliance Wales was started in 1990 and is a part of the UK Evangelical Alliance and the World Evangelical Alliance, both established in 1846 – the latter of which today has a global membership of 380 million. Evangelical Alliance Wales represents Christians and churches from within over 20 denominations in Wales to the government and media. The Evangelical Alliance Wales has a Media Voice Team that can be contacted via wales@eauk.org

The Evangelical Alliance, formed in 1846, is the largest body serving evangelical Christians in the UK, and has a membership including denominations, churches, organisations and individuals. The mission of the Evangelical Alliance is to unite evangelicals to present Christ credibly as good news for spiritual and social transformation. According to a Tearfund survey (Churchgoing in the UK, 2007), there are approximately 2 million evangelical Christians in the UK. For more information please visit www.eauk.org

The Cymru Institute for Contemporary Christianity (CICC) and its Cardiff predecessor were inspired by the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) which was established by the Rev Dr John Stott. The Cardiff Institute for Contemporary Christianity ran for five years between 2001 and 2006. During this time over 5,000 people attended its seminars, with an average attendance of 160 people at each event.