From BIAPT Chair, The Revd Owen Griffiths

Welcome to the BIAPT website. If you are already a member of BIAPT, you don’t need me to tell you about the benefits of belonging to our vibrant, growing, international community of practitioners, scholars and students. If you are not, please do consider joining us.

There are multiple benefits to joining BIAPT. These include 6 issues of Practical Theology at a significant discount, membership of a dynamic and growing community of practitioners, scholars and students, access to local and special interest groups with a variety of events, discount at the annual conference, and many other resources and links on the website.

Conversations of Hope and Challenge

The BIAPT online conference, Practical Theology as Ecotheology, ended with a call from the new chair for BIAPT to focus on reaching out to new conversational partners and to listen to their stories through acts of hospitality and service.

The online conference crossed dates and timelines and welcomed 207 delegates which included students from the professional doctorate community. The final plenary session considered how the conference highlighted the tension between stories of hope but also of the damage done to creation. There was an acknowledged need to recognise the trauma caused and to reweave and repair to live in harmony with creation. The final plenary session highlighted words, thoughts and actions being taken away from the conference by participants using an interactive word cloud.

The new chair of BIAPT, the Revd Owen Griffiths, described the conference as a place of conversations that could transform the lives of participants and communities. Owen paid tribute to the work of his predecessor, Professor Nicola Slee, and the committee. He encouraged BIAPT members to consider potential conversation partners through which practical theology could bring transformation to communities that the participants belonged to. An important next step for BIAPT is to welcome new partners through hospitality. Owen stressed the need to welcome a diversity of voices to BIAPT saying true hospitality was not just about creating a safe space but also to honour the other and to sit at the feet of those who come to us and listen to their stories.

The WHOVA conference platform enables delegates to continue to view sessions and explore the conference themes for the following three months using their conference log on details. Discussions are continuing with Glasgow Caledonian University to host next year’s conference entitled Flesh and Blood: Embodiment and Practical Theology. Options are also being considered for the possibility of a hybrid event with some conference content being online. The conference dates are July 12th-14th 2022.