1980: Goals at the beginning
As you read under ‘history’ in 1980 key people in each country were co-opted onto a steering committee, ideas and possibilities were put forward, and targets for a European seminar were formulated.
These can be summed up in the following manner:
- It was the declared intention that the diverse cultures of the continent of Europe should all be represented, and as such spokespeople from as many nations as possible were invited to be members of the committee (now called the Council) and to take part in deciding which artists and teachers were to be invited.
- The seminars were intended to be ecumenical (or ‘inter-denominational’), insofar as this is possible. Due to necessity, for the first few years the makeup of the Council, and indeed the majority of the first people to attend, were from the Protestant evangelical wing of the church in Europe. It has been a major problem to find representatives from all the denominations. This was partly out of suspicion from churches about a new entity and partly out of theological suspicion, especially when such an organisation was bound to affect the young people of their congregations. For conservative evangelical churches anything relating to the arts, let alone the performance arts, was considered ‘of the world’, (even demonic in the case of some rock music *4); for those of a Catholic tradition, sacred music was one thing but the new ‘Christian arts’ were seen to be an invention of evangelicals. It took a number of years before Catholics could be convinced of the purposes and aims of the Christian Artists movement, though later they became widely represented both on the Council and also by artists, teachers, and registrants.*5)
- It was decided that the Seminar would aim to attract practitioners from all artistic disciplines. This proved impossible in the early days, as the seminar could only grow according to what was acceptable among Christians and in the churches of Europe. In the early 1980s new and contemporary styles of music were becoming more widely used amongst Christians but there was little understanding of the use of fine art, and theatre or dance in the church were still an anathema in some denominations. The integration of these other art forms proved to be a slow process.
- To have the annual social dialogue about all practicalities related to work, society and EU.
Read more about this under History.