LC2022 event header

Leaders' Conference 2022

Our annual residential conference for church leaders, reflecting on 100 years of gospel work in the Fellowship.

Event Details

  • The Winter Gardens, Blackpool

    time Mon 7 — Wed 9 November 2022
    marker The Winter Gardens, 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL
    Book Now

It’s been 100 years since Edward J Poole-Connor led the formation of an ‘association of mutual helpfulness’ for Independent churches, which we now know as FIEC. Today we're a much bigger family, yet we’re still seeking to help one another as we reach Britain for Christ.

So, at the 2022 FIEC Leaders’ Conference, we want to mark the centenary by reflecting on the founding principles of the Fellowship that are still at the heart of our gospel work: faithfulness to the truth, a commitment to unity, and mission at the heart of the local church. Praise God!

With God’s help, FIEC churches have been keeping the light on for 100 years.

Prayerfully, wisely, carefully, biblically: let’s commit to ensuring the light of the gospel does not go out.

Our annual conference is for leaders of all kinds in the local church – and their spouses. Pastors, elders, deacons, women’s workers, seniors and youth workers, evangelists, administrators, musicians, and other leaders – all doing great work in service. Come together and be encouraged.

Join us in Blackpool, among the lights, as we prayerfully explore the themes of truth, unity, and mission, and re-commit ourselves to working together to reach Britain for Christ.


We had three great years in Torquay on the South coast (and one year on tour!), but we can no longer be accommodated there. So, we’re heading to a different seafront this year to use the new conference facilities of one of the country’s best-known venues.

The conference takes place at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool - one of the country’s best-known venues, on the seafront in the north west of England.

There’s plenty of space, it's easy to get to, and there are plenty of accommodation options nearby. We are excited to be using some of their brand new conference facilities, pictured below.


The conference will begin from 2pm on Monday for arrival and registration with the first gathering at 4:30pm. The conference will end after the final gathering on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30pm.

Main gatherings

Our main plenary sessions will be from the book of Jude, helping us reflect carefully on the task that lies ahead, rejoicing in all that God has done in the past and continues to do in the present.

John Stevens will open the conference by preaching from Jude 1-16 on contending for the faith. Julian Hardyman will provide a fitting end to the conference by preaching the beautiful doxology at the end of the letter (Jude 24-25).

In between, we will explore the foundational principles underlying the Fellowship. Paul Mallard will lead us in thinking about the importance of rejoicing in and affirming our core doctrinal convictions (Jude 3). Andy Hunter will speak on the power of partnership (Jude 19). Andy Paterson will preach on the centrality of mission for the church in the last days.


Our seminar options have been chosen to help you delve deeper into the topics and themes we are exploring. You can see a summary of the seminars available below, or read in more detail on our seminar details page.

We’re delighted to have experienced pastors and gospel workers leading these seminars who can pass on their skills and expertise.

Session 1

Developing themes from the conference gatherings, these seminars cover doctrinal orthodoxy and unity & partnerships.

  • Independency past, present and future led by Robert Strivens
  • Current challenges in the doctrine of the church led by Graham Beynon
  • Engaging with issues in an unbelieving world led by Sharon James
  • Complementarianism in practice led by Rachel Sloan and Paul Rees
  • Developing meaningful local partnerships led by Paul Gamston
  • Developing meaningful national partnerships led by Tim Manson & Pete Roberts
  • Maintaining church unity in a complex world led by Colin Adams

Session 2

These optional seminars answer some of the key questions the people have about the nuts and bolts of church life.

  • Lunch and 'Women in Ministry' track with Elinor Magowan and Rachel Sloan
  • Elders and wives drop in with Ray and Jenny Evans
  • Christ, trauma, abuse, and church led by Phil Swann
  • Creating diverse leadership teams
  • Finding the right hills to die on led by Mike Kendall with input from Gavin Ortlund
  • Joys and challenges of smaller church life led by Jonathan Bond
  • Developing and nurturing healthy leadership cultures led by Richard & Carolyn Lacey
  • Edward Connor Solicitors hosting a session for church leaders
Read more about the seminar sessions

Prayer gatherings

One of the great outcomes of our national conference is bringing church leaders in similar contexts together from the length and breadth of the country.

Our morning prayer gatherings are designed to foster and develop relationships between church leaders and to lift up the joys and needs of their particular contexts to the Lord.

  • Churches in hard places led by Pete Roberts
  • City churches led by Howard Satterthwaite
  • New churches led by Josh Walsh
  • Rural churches led by Dave Rushbrook
  • Small/Market town churches led by Ashley Jones
  • Suburban churches led by Richard Wardman
  • Churches with students


Accommodation is not included in your conference booking so you will need to book your own. Although there is no accommodation at the venue, there is a wide range to choose from in Blackpool: from Travelodge and Premier Inn to B&Bs and self-catering.

Many options are within walking distance of the conference venue and there is also a regular tram service which stops nearby if you need it. We advise booking your accommodation early!

Our friends at Venues of Excellence are offering delegates fixed prices on some hotels in Blackpool for the conference. However, these options do not guarantee the cheapest available price (you should check elsewhere) or locations that are within comfortable walking distance of the conference venue.

To find more hotels, B&Bs, and self-catering options in Blackpool, you might find the Visit Blackpool website helpful to search.


By car

Blackpool has a motorway link direct to the heart of the town – take Junction 32 off the M6, and the M55 will lead you almost to the beachfront.

There is no parking at the venue so we recommend parking at your accommodation and using public transport to travel into the conference - there is a tram stop very close by.

If you do need to park for the conference, there is a multi-storey, pay-on-return car park available nearby within the Houndshill Shopping Centre (FY1 4NY) or ground level, pay-and-display parking available on the corner of Adelaide Street and Alfred Street, also close to the venue (FY1 4LA).

By rail

Blackpool North Station is a ten-minute walk from the Winter Gardens and there are direct train routes into the town from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, and York.

From Edinburgh and Glasgow, there are direct train routes to Preston with one change on to Blackpool.


We want to encourage gospel workers from deprived communities to attend the conference, so we have 30 bursaries available this year.

Each bursary is worth up to a maximum of £350. We'll pay for a conference pass (£195) and then offer a bursary to the church of up to £155 to cover two nights' accommodation and some travel costs.

You can apply for a bursary using the button below.

Apply for a bursary

Please note these bursaries are limited so we cannot guarantee every application will be successful. We will confirm the outcome of the applications by Friday 30 September 2022.

If your application is not successful, we will make conference tickets available to you at the early bird rate of £195 should you find funding from elsewhere.


Please use the form below to book your place. Once you have submitted your details you will have the option to add further people and make a group booking. Please note full payment is required at the time of booking.

Prices are as follows:

  • Earlybird (on or before 30 September): £215
  • Standard: After 1 October: £235

Bookings will close on 30 October.

Your event pass includes access to all the conference sessions, meals (excluding breakfast), and tea and coffee in the scheduled breaks.

We are not able to accommodate children at the conference.

Don't forget that you must book your accommodation in Blackpool separately.

Please note that email communications will come from our ticketing provider Eventtia.

Event Details

  • The Winter Gardens, Blackpool

    time Mon 7 — Wed 9 November 2022
    marker The Winter Gardens, 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL
    Book Now

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