The Year of the God who Speaks will be formally opened by Bishop Alan Williams sm on 12 October, at the first of a series of study days at Gidea Park. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales ( has designated 2020 as ‘The God Who Speaks’: A Year of the Word to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini – Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’, and the 1600th anniversary of death of St Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin. The Year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Biblical Federation, the worldwide organisation set up after Vatican II to promote understanding and love of the Bible ( ).

Fr Adrian Graffy, a Scripture scholar and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, is organising a range of events in our diocese for the special year. He says: “Everyone is welcome to come and learn more about the Bible and listen to our distinguished speakers, who include: Fr Nicholas King SJ (Campion Hall, Oxford), Prof Nuria Calduch Benages (Pontifical Biblical Institute, Pontifical Biblical Commission) and Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP (Blackfriars, Oxford). In the first study day – ‘Beginning with Genesis’ – I will be taking a fresh look at the stories of Adam and Eve, and the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.”

The day will also see the relaunch of the ‘whatgoodnews’, evangelisation website. Says Fr Adrian: “The website has been simplified and improved and will focus on weekly gospel reflections alongside a large archive of study days given at Brentwood and Gidea Park in the past. While all the talks in the Year of the God who Speaks will be added to the website at a later date, I think those who can attend in person will find the sessions very enjoyable.”


10 a.m. Reception and Coffee (Hall)
10.30 a.m. Opening of the Year of God Who Speaks: Bishop Alan Williams
10.45 a.m. Launch of the evangelisation website: Mr Jon Harris
11 a.m. ‘Beginning with Genesis’: Fr Adrian Graffy
12.30 a.m. Lunch hour
1.30 p.m. ‘Beginning with Genesis’ continued
3 p.m. Conclusion

Saturday 12 October 2019
10.30 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.
Christ the Eternal High Priest Church
410 Brentwood Road Gidea Park RM2 6DH

Admission free and all welcome.

Please book by email to [email protected] or by phone to 01708 449914. Light refreshments provided. Please bring your own lunch on study days. Local eateries available.

Easy access by road from the M25 and Gallows Corner. Ample free parking at the church. Three minutes’ walk from Gidea Park station. Easy connections by TfL to Stratford, Liverpool Street, Brentwood and Shenfield. Check Greater Anglia website for service alterations.

Download a programme of all events here: Year programme