Posted by esbvm on February 28th, 2007
In mid-February, the Society jointly sponsored a marian evening with two Churches Together groups in central Berkshire. Rev. Norman Wallwork gave a two-part talk. The first part reviewed Mary in the Lutheran, Reformed and Methodist traditions while, in the second, Norman provided a commentary on major aspects of the ARCIC agreed statement Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ.
The modest attendance was made up for by extent and quality of the discussion after the presentation. Norman’s talk stimulated a number of those present to reflect on the position of Mary in the Christian faith, something to which many of them had given little previous consideration. There was some interest at the extent of marian references in the writings of the leading Reformers. The event helped to correct preconceived notions of the place of Mary in Christian teaching and practice by non-Roman Catholic and non-Orthodox Christians.
However, the modest attendance was indicative of a barrier that the subject of Mary still presents for many Christians. It might be an area where the Society could articulate more clearly exactly how Mary can be a uniting and faith strengthening influence.