First Online AGM for Quest
The 2020 Quest annual conference was scheduled to be held 17-19 July in Manchester but was postponed until 2021 because of COVID-19. However, the AGM, usually a key part of the weekend conference, went ahead online via Zoom. The pandemic prompted this new way of conducting business but by being online we were able to welcome a number of people who’d never attended conference before and for whom the travel to, and cost of, the conference might have been a barrier to taking part in the AGM. This has got us thinking about how we can structure future AGMs so that it can still be part of Quest’s biggest annual gathering, the weekend conference, as well as include people unable to attend for the weekend.
The AGM, required by our constitution as a registered charity, went ahead smoothly, despite a brief pause due to a break in connection, with the current committee re-elected and necessary business undertaken such as approval of the accounts.
The first Quest conference was held in Leicester in 1982 and a weekend conference has been held every year since – until 2020. The roll call of speakers, which can be found here, includes some illustrious names: founders of New Ways Ministry Fr Robert Nugent and Sr Jeannine Grammick, priest/theologians James Alison and Gareth Moore OP, CEOs of Stonewall Angela Mason and Ruth Hunt, Professors Tina Beattie and Gerard Loughlin (he’s due to speak in 2021, 30 years after his first keynote speech at conference), writers Sara Maitland, Michael Carson and Peter Stanford, and the former President of Ireland Dr Mary McAleese.
There is still a lot of uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic but we very much hope that we can meet again next July for what promises to be fantastic weekend with three wonderful speakers at the rescheduled Quest Annual Conference.
Clockwise from top left: current chair Gerard Swan takes the Quest baton from Ruby Almeida at the end of the 2019 conference Mass in Winchester; keynote speaker from 2016 at Scarborough, Rev Christina Beardsley with Ruby; keynote speaker from 2017 at Canterbury, Sr Jeannine Gramick; new chair Ruby in conversation at London Colney in 2011; 4 past chairs of Quest Ralph, Mark, Peter and Ruby at Winchester in 2019; Ruby with speakers Sr Jeannine and Bruce Kent in 2017; conference first-timers at Swanwick in 2015; speakers Keith Sharpe and Ruth Hunt, 2015.