Conference of Ongoing Formation Directors for Clergy 2021

The Conference of Ongoing Formation Directors for Clergy will meet at the Doubletree by Hilton on Nuthall Road, Nottingham from 12-13 October.

Doubletree by Hilton, Nuthall Road, Nottingham, NG8 6AZ

The Conference of Ongoing Formation Directors for Clergy will meet from 12-13 October 2021 in Nottingham to re-connect as we emerge into the so-called ‘new normal’ from the restrictions of Covid.

The two-day event will enable attendees to meet with Archbishop John Wilson, Chair of the newly-formed Commission for Clergy at the Bishops’ Conference as well as Canon Christopher Thomas, General Secretary; Sr Elaine Penrice, Director of the National Office for Vocation; and Gerald O’Connor from the St John Vianney Institute, Philadelphia.

The last gathering of Ongoing Formation Directors for Clergy was in March 2020 at Hothorpe Hall in Northamptonshire.

Karen Foong, Chair of the Executive Committee for the Ongoing Formation of Clergy:

“During our time apart and the unpredictability of the last eighteen months, many have flourished in finding new and creative ways of tending to the faithful people of God, while some, sadly, have struggled with many concerns including well-being and mental health.

“Supportive conversation will be the primary focus of our event, but also prayer, since all graces spring from this. It is our hope that as we emerge from all that has prevented us from doing our work during the pandemic, that this conference allows us to rediscover our collective vision and pursuits through table fellowship as well as social time, and be renewed in solidarity of friendship.”



Date: 12-13 October 2021
Venue: Doubletree by Hilton, Nuthall Road, Nottingham, NG8 6AZ
Attire: Casual or clerical (priests concelebrating at Mass – please bring alb and stole)
Cost: £195 per person
Open to: Ongoing Formation Directors for Clergy


Joining us at the conference as guest speaker is Sr Bernadette Reis FSP from Vatican Media, Rome. Sr Bernadette is the English voice during Papal events and simultaneously translates Pope Francis’ scripted and non-scripted talks. Her work as an excellent journalist, speaker and proponent of ongoing formation, gives her a unique insight on the challenges and opportunities facing the Catholic Church today.

Joan Henshaw, a conference guest some years ago who led a workshop on preaching skills, will join the forthcoming conference, bringing her expertise as an experienced facilitator and management consultant who has worked with many groups in the UK to help them successfully navigate organisational change.

Conference Timeline

Day 1: Tuesday 12 October

Introductions and Opening Address
Karen Foong, Chair
3pmOutline and StructureJoan Henshaw, Facilitator
3:10pmSession 1
Conference Keynote
Sr Bernadette Reis FSP
4pmAfternoon tea/coffee break
4:30pmSession 2
Reflecting on Sr Bernadette’s Keynote
Impact of the Covid Crisis
What do you see as the key challenges facing the priests of your diocese?
5:30pmEvening Prayer
6pmSession 3
The light that is being shed on identified challenges?

Day 2: Wednesday 13 October

From 7:30amBreakfast (buffet)
9amSession 4Archbishop John Wilson
9:45amSession 5
As OFG Directors, which of the challenges identified can you enable and support your priests in addressing?
Which of these do you see as priorities?
What are some good examples on the ground that we can put into practice?
What current practices should we let go of?
11amMorning tea/coffee break
11:30amSession 6
What are some potential next steps?
What can be implemented now?
What needs further consideration / support from Bishops, Curia, etc.
12pm MiddayPlenary
2:15pmBusiness Meeting of OGF Directors
Reports from dioceses
Spring 2022 Residential In-service, Rome
Dates and venues of future meetings
Archbishop John Wilson

Canon Christopher Thomas
4pmAfternoon tea/coffee followed by departures