A task force has been appointed by Bishop Michael Ingham that could lead to the return of the suspended Cursillo program in the Diocese of New Westminster.

The task force is asking for feedback from all parishes in the diocese, and also from Anglicans - called Cursillistas - who in the past have participated in the program, a reform movement that originated in the Roman Catholic Church in Spain in 1949 then spread to other countries and denominations.

In August, 2002, the diocesan Cursillo group was asked to suspend activities and disband its 19-member secretariat.

The request was made by Dean Peter Elliott, commissary (acting bishop) to the diocese in the absence of Bishop Michael Ingham, and by Archdeacon Ronald Harrison on the recommendation of the national Cursillo secretariat. The suspension was for a trial period of two years.

Frank Jones of St. Thomas, Vancouver, a member of the three person task force, said its task will be to examine the "factors" that led to the suspension and determine whether they are "still pertinent."

At the time of suspension, the 19 member diocesan Cursillo secretariat was split over the issue of same-sex blessing, according to the chair of the national secretariat, Lorraine Bryan.

"There were factions fighting. They were having trouble working as a unit," she told the Anglican Journal at the time.

The national Cursillo office's concern, she added, also centred on authority. "Cursillo only operates under the auspices of the bishop. Our movement is not like a child in a divorce case where you can go back and forth between different sides."

The term Cursillo is a Spanish word meaning "short course". The full title is Cursillo de Christiandad, meaning a short course in Christian living. Participants are introduced to the program over a three day weekend. Men and women usually participate separately.

The Cursillo program also includes follow up monthly meetings (ultreyas) and reunions.

The task force is chaired by the Rev. Christine Rowe of St. Thomas, Vancouver. The third member is the Rev. Roger Cooper of St. George, Maple Ridge.

As part of the review the task force has sent a survey to all parishes in the diocese. It is asking parishes for feedback, and also asking individuals who have been involved in Cursillo to relate their experiences with the program.

Comments may be e-mailed to rwcooper@telus.net or mailed t Cursillo Task Force, c/o St George Anglican Church, 23500 Dewdney Trunk Road, Maple Ridge V2X 3L8. Jones asked that those who wish to comment do so as soon as possible.