2017

The next CEVMA Conference will be held from 13-17 September 2017 in London, United Kingdom. The conference is an invaluable opportunity for Christians in visual media to meet, network, share ideas, projects and challenges and get spiritually refreshed.

The theme for CEVMA 2017 is ‘Faith and Imagination’

Jesus, the Master Communicator! I wonder how many of us have studied his technique – not from a theological point of view – that’s been going on for millennia, but from a ‘how did he do it’ point of view?

Jesus was the story teller par excellence – in fact the bible is 75% stories. With breathtaking economy of words Jesus created vivid pictures in the mind which enabled ordinary people to get an insight into the most complex of subjects: “the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed . . .’, ‘a sower went to sow his seed . . .’, ‘consider the lilies of the field’, ‘it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle . . .’   ‘I am the bread of heaven’.

Whether he was telling parables, using similes, metaphors or hyperbole – the one thing Jesus did consistently was engage that God given part of us, which for some strange reason, we can be a little bit nervous of exploring: the imagination. Perhaps in our image saturated culture, that most creative element of our being has been slowly withering like a tree starved of energizing nutrients. Is that why the book refuses to die – because it stimulates the imagination instead of killing it off?

‘In the beginning was the Word’ – not the image. Yes, Jesus came to us as a flesh and blood ‘image’ perfectly revealing God to us, but it was only for the blink of an eye – 33 years. Everything we know about Him has been created in our imagination by the words of the Gospel writers in particular, words which create pictures in our heads and hearts and which transform our lives

And isn’t this the challenge those of us involved in visual media face every day – to put what is fundamentally a word based faith onto the screen in such a way that the audiences’ imagination is put to work?

In the past it was all about the words. Bunyan used them majestically with ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, CS Lewis with The Screwtape Letters and the Narnia Chronicles, George MacDonald with ‘Light Princess’, Dorothy L Sayers with ‘The Mind of the Maker’.

They were all masters of creating images in the imagination, and not a camera in sight!

Today we have lots of cameras. The big question is ‘how can we use them imaginatively to make programmes about Jesus which people will sit up and watch? Why don’t you come to London in September and find out?

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Conference Venue: Sunbury Court

Few structures so typify England’s magnificent heritage as well as Sunbury Court. This restored 18th century mansion with its rambling, picturesque grounds, is now one of south west London’s most impressive conference and retreat venues, featuring comprehensive facilities for meetings and a wide range of accommodation. When you come to Sunbury for a conference, you are sure to leave feeling renewed.

Sunbury Court has 80 comfortable, well-appointed double rooms, each with an en-suite shower, lavatory and wash basin. Two of the rooms have been specifically designed to be accessible to wheelchair users and those with other special needs.

Each of the contemporary-styled rooms has ample storage space, and a desk with direct-dial telephone, digital TV, tea and coffee-making facilities with hospitality tray.

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Conference Address

Sunbury Court
Lower Hampton Road
Sunbury-on-Thames
TW16 5PL
United Kingdom

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