1st International Conference on Children's Spirituality

University College Chichester, West Sussex, UK, 9th -12th July 2000

Conference report

1. Overview of conference structure. Sunday July 9 - Wednesday July 12 including:

  • Sherry reception and conference dinner on Sunday evening.
  • Jazz band and barbeque on Tuesday evening.
  • 4 international keynote speakers.
  • 38 collegiate papers.
  • 9 workshops.
  • 8 round table discussions exhibition hall for displays, resources and publishers.
  • Helpdesk staffed by college students throughout duration of conference.

2. Pre-conference planning and publicity:

Aims:

  • To encourage international discussion in the arena of children's spirituality.
  • To bring together professionals from different backgrounds and interests to debate the issues in this area.
  • To provide an opportunity for delegates to experience a range of presentations, styles and formats across a variety of specific topics.

Planning:

  • Regular meetings for planning and arrangements for the conference took place over a period of 18 months.

Website:

  • The development of a website proved an invaluable tool for promoting the conference as well as providing easy access for information, booking places, submitting general inquiries.
  • The site was regularly updated with information as arrangements were confirmed, e.g. collegiate papers, timetable for conference, copies of mailings.

Publicity:

  • Website
  • Brochures
  • Advertising in The International Journal of Children's Spirituality and other related publications produced by Taylor & Francis.
  • General mailshot;
  • Flyer swaps with other conferences, mailings and events (e.g. Soul Education Conference, Roehampton's Education, Spirituality and the Whole Child Conference)

3: Delegation

Number of bookings: 132.

Delegate breakdown:

- By country

  • Australia 9
  • Belgium 1
  • Canada 4
  • China 1
  • Finland 1
  • Germany 1
  • Ireland 3
  • Israel 1
  • Malta 1
  • New Zealand 1
  • Norway 1
  • The Netherlands 1
  • UK 86
  • USA 16

- By profession

  • Higher Education UK 20
  • Higher Education outside UK 18
  • Religious / Church bodies & Diocesan Advisers UK 38
  • Religious/ Church bodies & Advisers outside UK 23
  • Research 13
  • Schools (e.g. teachers, heads, heads of dept.) 4
  • Other 1

4: General feedback:

  • Evaluation forms were included in conference packs and 80 completed or partially completed forms were returned (see below for analysis of evaluation forms).
  • Other feedback in the form of personal emails and cards were received from 25 delegates.

5: Outcomes

  • Edited volume of selected proceedings from the conference.
  • Papers published in the International Journal of Children's Spirituality.
  • Association.
  • Further conference at University of Haifa, Israel, 2001.
  • Further conferences every two years in UK.