Study Day: Rediscovering Advent & Christmas

The Chapel of Our Lady at Wateringbury, home of our daughter parish the Maidstone Ordinariate Group, are holding a special ecumenical study day on Friday 30th November from 10am to 5pm. Billed as an opportunity to explore the real Christmas story before the frenzy begins it promises to be informative and worthwhile.

The day, organised by Revd. Alastair Ferguson, will be led by acclaimed biblical scholar, Dr. Margaret Barker. After reading theology at the University of Cambridge, Margaret pursue her research independently. In 1998 she was elected President of the Society for Old Testament Study. From 1997 she has been part of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s Symposium of Religion, Science and the Environment. In 2008 Margaret was awarded a Doctor of Divinity by the Archbishop of Canterbury, ‘in recognition of her work on the Jerusalem Temple and the origins of Christian Liturgy, which has made a significantly new contribution to our understanding of the New Testament and opened up important fields for research.’

In 2007 Margaret co-founded Temple Studies Group, with the late Bishop Geoffrey Rowell (Anglican), Professor Laurence Hemming (Roman Catholic) and others, to promote and enable study of the Jerusalem Temple.  In August 2018 she gave the Walsingham Assumptiontide Lecture, ‘The Titles of Mary: Evidence from the Jordanian Lead Books’.

Margaret is a mother and grandmother, a Methodist Preacher, and was involved for over 30 years with the work of a Women’s Refuge. She continues to spend a considerable part of the time on her research, as well as giving lectures and presentations across Britain, Europe and North America.

To book your place on this day telephone Denise Ferguson on 01892 838230

The programme for the day is as follows:

9.30 am Arrive
10.00 am Introduction: Our need to discover the real Advent and Christmas
10.45 am Isaiah and the Ancient Worldview
11.30 am Break
11.45 am The Christmas Story – 1
12.45 pm Lunch
2.00 pm The Christmas Story ‒ 2
3.00 pm Break
3.15 pm Looking afresh at some Advent and Christmas Carols
4.30 pm Advent Vespers of Our Lady
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