NEWS update  - ACTA - August 2013

A Call to Action – A Time for Dialogue

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Thank you very much for your continuing support.  I am writing on behalf of the ACTA National Steering Group, which the original Core Group elected in June, to set up a National Day Conference and to establish a constitution.


                        The Heythrop meeting in October 2012 was a resounding success. Some of you might not have been in touch with A Call to Action since then. You will be pleased to know that now, less than a year later, we have around 1,200 registered members/supporters. The membership directory in the web-site shows only those who register online. Many others come to meetings and leave their details, or simply join by e-mailing ACTA members they know. Our lists are growing all the time, all around England and Wales.

                   Now you are warmly invited to attend the second annual ACTA DAY CONFERENCE, open to all supporters, which will be at Newman University in Birmingham on Saturday October 26th2013, from 11am to 5pm, doors open at 10am to facilitate registration.

 We are fortunate to have three distinguished speakers – Prof. John Sullivan from Hope University on “Ecclesial Citizens, not sheep”, Prof. Ursula King from Bristol University on “The Church in Dialogue with Women?” and Gerry J. Hughes S.J. on “Where do we go from here?”  There will be questions, discussion and the establishment of the new governing body of ACTA – the elected National Delegate Council. As the venue fits 500 and we have over a thousand supporters, registration for the conference will be essential, on a first come, first served basis. The ACTA conference coordinator is Richard Brooke. Please see his attachment above for all registration details. Details about travelling, access, catering and schedule will be e-mailed to everyone in September.


                        To cover costs we suggest a conference fee of £10 for waged supporters, £5 unwaged and free for under 25 or on benefits. We have not yet embarked on registration as a charity – that will be for the National Delegate Council to decide. If at the Conference, any supporters who are in a position to do so, offer donations to help us cover costs for speakers, travel expenses and venues, this would be very welcome, as it would help ACTA to remain free to join, open to all irrespective of circumstances.


                        If you are need accommodation overnight in Birmingham on Friday or Saturday of the conference weekend, we would ask that you make your own arrangements. Newman University’s accommodation will be fully occupied with its own students in October. Please bring your own packed lunch for the day. Tea and coffee will be available on arrival, during lunch and at late afternoon, at a charge of £1.00 per cup. I’m sure you’ll understand that this is all organised to minimise costs.


                          Andrew Thomson’s work on the Constitution of ACTA is progressing very well – we have till the end of August to provide feedback to his Draft Constitution. Elections for diocesan delegates to the Council will be in September. We encourage as many people as possible to stand for election within their own diocesan groups – ACTA is a representative, participatory democratic movement for laity, religious and clergy members.


We have co-ordinators in every diocese who are happy to welcome new members and put them in touch with other supporters, if that is their wish. ACTA is developing in different ways in all 22 dioceses.  Some dioceses have a programme of talks, discussion and prayer. Members elsewhere are too scattered for that and make whatever arrangements suit their circumstances, meeting occasionally for prayer and discussion, or just keeping in touch by e-mail. There is no uniformity between different dioceses and no necessity for it. All that is needed is a commitment to the ACTA mission statement, which you see at the top of our web-site, Anyone can join as a supporter or member by registering their name and contact details, either on the site or by e-mail or phone or attendance at an ACTA event.

                        We know that many of our members are already very busy working doing God’s work in the world through Justice and Peace or Cafod or other excellent movements. We don’t want to overburden or deflect them – anyone can support ACTA just by taking time to register your support for the Mission Statement by sending us your details. Talking about ACTA to friends and family is an easy and very valuable help.  Attached above is a list of diocesan co-ordinators.


So please -

  • Consider being a delegate – contact your diocesan co-ordinator or the NSG secretary, Kathy Bamber at,

            or myself, Jean Riordan  at


God bless and many thanks and best wishes,

Jean Riordan

Chair, ACTA National Steering Group.