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The Leaders’ Conference Checklist

More than 600 people have now booked for our first ever Leaders’ Conference in Torquay. But as we’re going to a brand new venue this year, we’ve compiled a list of things you need to think about before joining us in November.

The Leaders’ Conference Checklist primary image

It was great to spend some time in Torquay last week on a final recce for this year’s Leaders’ Conference.

We’re going to a brilliant venue with great facilities but I was struck by how new everything is going to be – both for us and for you! So we’ll have to help each other out as we navigate some of the differences between this years’ conference and those we held in Norfolk.

Because the Riviera Centre in Torquay is designed for conferences like ours, there are some big advantages that I thought it would be good to remind you of – especially as they could save you some money.

So here’s a list of a few things to help you plan for this November now you’ve booked your conference pass. If you’ve not booked yet then visit our booking page as there are still plenty of spaces.


You’ve probably booked your accommodation already… haven’t you? I thought it would be worth a gentle reminder just in case!

There’s a booking page of local hotels and B&Bs via our conference webpage but that’s not all that’s available. One of things our visit to Torquay reminded me was that there are other options which are not on the conference recommendation page. So feel free to shop around – you might find something nearer and more convenient – though it may not be cheaper.


Did you know there are now cheap train tickets available to the conference? We travelled to and from Torquay for the recce on a cheap “Torquay Conference” ticket.

The Riviera Centre have an agreement with GWR Trains which offers a range of prices depending on where you are travelling from. There’s a route map you can download to help you plan your journey.

To give you an example, it costs just £49 for an open return from London Paddington to Torquay. You can even do it first class for £99 and Torquay station is less than a 10 minute walk from the conference centre.

To book these tickets and see the routes, simply click on the GWR Trains link from the Riviera Centre Conference website. By choosing “Torquay Conference” as your destination on the GWR website you will be able to book these discounted rates.


Because your accommodation won’t be at the conference venue in Torquay, we’d suggest you check in at your hotel or self-catering cottage before you come to get your event pass. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First of all, you have to pay to park at the conference venue and there isn’t a waiting zone so it’s better to come along once you have checked into your accommodation.

Secondly, we are currently negotiating the exclusive use of a couple of car parks at the conference venue but we can’t have use of all the spaces all the time. This is because it is a council-run car park for the local amenities and leisure centre. Therefore, we’d recommend coming to the conference venue on foot wherever possible.

If you’re too far away, you can buy an event car-park pass for the week but it would help the flow of traffic if you could share lifts with others in your accommodation. We’ll be emailing delegates later this month with details of how you can get hold of the car park passes ahead of the conference.

Seminar Choices

Because we’ve already got more people than ever coming to the Leaders’ Conference this year, we need to get an idea of which seminars you’re interested in attending.

Later in September we’ll be emailing all the delegates who have booked for the conference with a list of seminars and topics. While you’re free to change your mind when you get to the conference, an idea of which way you are leaning would be useful so that we can allocate the right rooms to the right seminars.

Team Time

One of the things we’ve been picking up this year is that more churches are bringing their whole leadership team to Torquay.

What’s the reason for that? For many it’s a chance for “team time” away from the rigours of church life and a chance for whole leadership teams (Elders, Deacons, Youth Workers, Women’s Workers, Evangelists ,etc.) to be envisioned for their gospel ministry together.

Alan McKnight, Senior Pastor at Harper Church in Glasgow is coming to Torquay with his wife Pamela and other members of their wider leadership team. He said:

“There will be six of us, along with four others from some of Harper’s partner churches in Scotland. We’ve hired a house for the week so that we can attend the conference in the first half of the week and then enjoy some annual leave together at the end of the week.

I know that in Torquay there will be challenge and encouragement from the conference as we consider this year’s theme of Transforming Church, but I also know that there will be joy and laughter as we take time to have fun together.

We’ll also be able to spend time digesting new ideas, learning from others and leave better equipped to implement these things at Harper Church.”

Perhaps your church would benefit from some “team time” too?

So we’re really looking forward to seeing you in Torquay. Please keep the conference in your prayers and pray especially for the speakers and planning team as we put the finishing touches to all the arrangements.

Don’t forget – it’s not too late for you to book places at the conference, either for yourself or other members of your leadership team. But prices will increase after Sunday 15 October to reflect the administrative costs of late bookings.

See you in Torquay!

Phil Topham photo
Phil Topham - FIEC Head of Communication

Phil looks after FIEC's internal and external communication. He is married to Kath and they live near Market Harborough and attend Christ Church in the town.