At the start of the year, the big build up on the allied professions' front is towards the nurses' and therapists' joint conference, which is being held 2-4 February at Hebron Hall near Cardiff. The theme is 'Working Wisdom'– looking at the practical wisdom of the book of Proverbs – and we will seek to understand how we can apply it to our work practice and working lives. There will also be opportunity to discuss the personal implications of the talks in small groups and to pray for one another. We will be welcoming back Hugh Thomson as our main speaker – Hugh was the main speaker at CMF's national conference in 2006.
If you have any Christian colleagues in nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions do let them know about this conference. More details can be found online at www.ctn.org.uk
We have also run a couple of Saline Solution courses with Christian Nurses and Midwives. The first in November in Birmingham was run mainly by the local CNM group with input and support from Kevin Vaughan, while in Chatham, Kent in December, Kevin and I led the seminar between us. Although both events were small, they were well received. We are planning for these to be the first of what we hope will be a regular series of locally led, multidisciplinary Saline days in the coming year.
The Christian Therapists' Network (CTN) is going through a time of change, with a new leadership structure, a new regional structure, and a new leadership Council. One of the big challenges is how to support the allied professions students, as there are no plans for UCCF to replace their allied professions staff worker. At the same time, CNM is in the midst of registering as a charity and developing its student ministries.
Internationally, the main event in 2007 will be the European Student Christian Nurses' spirituality conference in Malta, supported by Nurses' Christian Fellowship International (NCFI). This will be the third such conference (the previous two were in Glasgow and Glamorgan respectively).
A lot of my time is currently occupied with the internal changes in the CMF office. However, I still have had time to be actively involved in the setting up of the ICMDA HIV Initiative which arose out of the ICMDA International Congress and pre-conference in New South Wales July 2006 (see www.icmdahivinitiative.org for more details).
I have also been working with the Christian HIV & AIDS Alliance in sponsoring Christian Research to run the first major interdenominational survey of attitudes among Christians in Britain on HIV & AIDS (results expected to be published in the Spring of 2007).