Summer School 2020

‘The God Who Speaks’

We are sorry to announce that, due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and the continuation of social distancing measures, we have made the decision to postpone this year’s Summer School.  Sad as it is, we do feel this is in the best interests of all, as the safety of our leaders and participants is always our priority. 
We look forward to seeing you all at Summer School 2021.

Date for your Diary: Summer School 2021

Wednesday 4th – Saturday 7th August 2021

Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, Ditchingham, Suffolk

‘The God Who Speaks’

Celebrating, living and sharing God’s Word

Wednesday 29th July – Saturday 1st August 2020

Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, Ditchingham, Suffolk

Keynote Speaker: Nick King SJ

Director of Liturgy: Mgr Kevin McGinnell

Director of Music: Paul Inwood

Accompanist: Catherine Christmas

Pope Francis recently wrote: ‘The relationship between the Risen Lord, the community of believers and sacred Scripture is essential to our identity as Christians.  Without the Lord who opens our minds to them, it is impossible to understand the Scriptures in depth. Yet the contrary is equally true: without the Scriptures, the events of the mission of Jesus and of his Church in this world would remain incomprehensible. Hence, Saint Jerome could rightly claim: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”’ (Aperuit Illis n.1 2019)

Our SSG Summer School this year will offer ways of responding to this challenge through our liturgy and music. Nick King SJ will lead us into reflecting on the depths of the Christian scriptures and their meaning for us. Through workshops and our liturgies together we will focus on the way we use the scriptures to lead people to a stronger relationship with the Lord, who is the Word of God himself.

The deadline for the early booking rate has now been extended to 1 June.

Book before 1st June for reduced rates:
SSG Members: £335
Non Members: £375
Under 18s: £190

If you book after 1st June rates will be: 
SSG Members: £375
Non Members: £415
Under 18s: £230

Nick King SJ (Keynote speaker) teaches New Testament and related languages at the University of Oxford, where he is at Campion Hall, the Jesuit house. His publications include a translation of the entire Greek Bible into English.

Our keynote talks

These will explore the themes of Celebrating, Sharing and Living the God’s Word.

Our Workshops

John Ainslie

John, a liturgist and musician, served as choirmaster for 29 years at the church of Mary Immaculate and St Gregory, Barnet. He is a former Chairman of the Society of Saint Gregory, and was General Secretary of Universa Laus, the European-based study group for music in the liturgy.

Workshop: Singing the Psalms – exploring the rich treasure trove of the psalms and the different musical styles available, this is a practical workshop for singers and choir directors.

Bishop Peter Brignall

Bishop Peter celebrated his jubilee as an ordained priest of 40 years in 2018. Peter has a particular interest in liturgy and was appointed third Bishop of Wrexham in June 2012.

Workshop: Liturgy of the Hours – Prayer of the Church or Preserve of the Clergy?

Catherine Christmas and Paul Inwood

Catherine is Advisor for Liturgy and Music in Arundel and Brighton diocese, organist at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth and a member of the Collegeville Composers Group. Paul is an internationally known liturgist, organist, choral conductor, author, speaker and composer of the official Vatican Hymn for the Holy Year of Mercy.

Workshop: Singing the Scriptures – exploring the wealth of texts and canticles in Old and New Testaments, and how they might be sung, covering a wide range of resources and musical styles. Choir and ensemble singers and directors welcome!

Nick King SJ

Nick teaches New Testament and related languages at the University of Oxford, where he is at Campion Hall, the Jesuit house. His publications include a translation of the entire Greek Bible into English.

Workshop: The Gospel of Saint Matthew – a study of St Matthew’s Gospel and its relevance for us today.

Mgr Kevin McGinnell

Mgr Kevin is a priest of Northampton Diocese, Secretary of the Spirituality Committee, Department of Christian Life and Worship and Chairman of the Society of Saint Gregory.

Workshop: Lectio Divina – Scripture reading, mediation and prayer.

Dr Marian Tolley

Marian has spent a lifetime studying and teaching and in recent years has focused on what it is we do when we come together to celebrate. She has developed courses for ministers of the Word and written a Handbook and a Workbook for Readers.

Workshops: Proclaiming the Word that never changes in a world under pressure: the expectation of the Reader in our times



‘Big Sings’, Bar and traditional social events.

For me, there are three reasons why I enjoy the Summer School so much: 1) There is high-quality academic input – never dry or boring, but always helping me to grow in my knowledge and understanding of my own ministry within my parish.  2) I always come home with specific, practical ideas to employ within the liturgy in my own parish, either through the workshops or modelled on the excellent liturgies that punctuate the day. 3) Simply meeting and talking with other liturgists, singers, musicians, etc., sharing anecdotes and experiences of our own ministry – there is a real sense of fellowship.

Summer School 2017 attendee

An excellent experience – welcoming and affirming, challenging and thought provoking.

Summer School 2017 attendee

As I arrived at the Summer School as a first timer, I was a bundle of excitement and nervousness.  Excitement for all the hopes and desires of what I was looking forward to and nervousness about the unknown.  From the moment I arrived, I was embraced by a group of people that reflect the mercy and love that God wants for each one of us.  I go back to my parish with a new found enthusiasm, filled with new ideas that I can’t wait to share.

2018 Summer School attendee

It was a fabulous opportunity to meet with like-minded people… engage in really helpful workshops and praise God together. The range of workshops provided opportunities for all to participate at an appropriate level… I was enthused and inspired by these and I look forward to sharing the outcomes with my parish.

2018 Summer School attendee

About our venue

Belsey Bridge Conference Centre is situated on the Norfolk/Suffolk border in quiet countryside, ideal for a relaxing walk.  The Centre has a reputation for excellent, locally sourced food and comfortable accommodation, mostly in en-suite rooms.  The bedrooms with en-suite facilities will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.  For those coming by public transport, there is a bus service from Norwich to Bungay and the Summer School Team can arrange transport from the village to the Conference Centre.  For further information please visit

The Society of Saint Gregory reserves the right to vary these arrangements.

Financial Assistance

If you’re wondering whether Summer School is for you, please don’t let cost keep you away. The Society has funds donated specifically to encourage and help people attend Summer School and we would be pleased to hear from you. We can help with grants of up to 50% which can be applied for by individuals of any age group. You can print off an application form here or get in touch via our Contact form.

Download a McElligott Fund application form

Complete and return this form if you wish to apply for financial assistance to attend Summer School

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