A meeting to discuss the importance of theology produced by believers to put the role of lay people back at the centre of the church. The yearly meeting of the “Catholic Theological Association”, the British association of Catholic theologians, that will be ending in Swanwick, near Nottingham, tomorrow, is dealing with John Henry Newman’s “Sensus Fidelium”, that is, the idea that new Christian dogmas may come from the faithful. “Because lay people are more and more important for the life of the Church”, as explained to SIR by Sister Gemma Simmonds, president of the association, that has about 200 members, most of them practising Catholics. “And for the first time we can rely on well educated, very competent lay people”. The professional association of British Catholic theologians was founded in 1985, and members must have a master’s degree in theology and practice it. The goal was to give a place to teachers and academicians who often worked in lay faculties, in a secularised country, where there are few opportunities to speak about church matters. “We meet to practise theology based on the devotees’ lives, with all the dilemmas it involves”, explains Sister Simmonds of the Congregation of Jesus, president of CTA. “Most of us belong to the generation of the Second Vatican Council” and “we have to step down in favour of a generation of younger and somehow more conservative theologians”.