Myles Dempsey founded the New Dawn in the Church conference in 1987 after visiting a large charismatic conference at Ars in France. He began to intercede for England, and he got two clear words: “Walsingham” and “New Dawn”.
At the time Walsingham meant little to him as he’d only visited the shrine once 20 years previously. There was no precedent in the Catholic Church in England for anything so big and lasting so long, as most large pilgrimages to Walsingham only came for a day.
In 1985 the Prince of Peace Community was formed, which was to become the springboard for the conference. The little group had no experience of organising such an event and no financial assets, but with only £20 in a jam jar, they began the mammoth task.
The first conference in 1987 attracted 800 people and an impressive line-up of international speakers including Fr Tom Forrest CSSR (USA), Fr Jean Rudolph Kars (France) John Michael Talbot (USA), Fr Chris O’Donnell O’Carm (Ireland) and national speakers such as Fr Ian Petit OSB, Fr Sean Conaty and Charles Whitehead.
This year’s conference is dedicated to the Eternal Father and a series of speakers who will unpack the theme using the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
In collaboration with the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, the virtual conference will run from Friday July 31 to Sunday August 2.
No registration or fee is required. To join the conference, or for full programme details, please go to www.newdawn.org.uk
Pictured above is New Dawn celebrating in the grounds of the original Walsingham Abbey