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What’s new for 2018?

This year’s Leaders’ Conference is just over two weeks away. Phil Topham can bring us up to speed with what to expect this year.

What’s new for 2018? primary image

I think the theme of this year’s conference is vital.

We have got to think about how we can best communicate the good news about Christ to a culture that is increasingly hostile to the gospel. That’s why we’ve got such a strong line-up of speakers this year – and why we’ve been adding to that list in recent weeks.

I just want to take a few minutes to outline some of the things that will be different this year and I hope this will whet your appetite for this year’s event.

More Seminars

There’s a reminder of the seminars we’ve got taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday morning on the Leaders’ Conference booking page.

On top of those, we’re delighted to have three more seminars added to our programme which will take place on Tuesday afternoon. We’ll be joined for the conference by Dave McDonald who is the National Director of FIEC Australia. He will host a seminar called Don’t Waste a Good Crisis as he shows us how to point people facing hard times to Jesus.

Mark Jones from Edward Connor Solicitors is going to be helping us to think through equality legislation. He’ll answer all your questions about what the law demands in this regard and what the implications are for Bible-teaching churches.

We’ve also got Paul and Sue Harrison from Christian Safeguarding Services who can navigate this important area of law. Their seminar will encourage churches to look at safeguarding as an outworking of their gospel principles.

Directors’ Drop-In

Alongside the seminars above, our FIEC Directors and Heads of Ministry will be on hand for an informal drop-in throughout Tuesday afternoon.

This is a great opportunity to ask questions or seek advice on specific issues. For example, Mission Director Andy Paterson will be on hand to chat with the church planters, while Revitalisation Coordinator Phil Walter will be able to answer any questions on churches seeking help with this important area of our ministry.

All the members of our ministry team will be available during Tuesday afternoon ahead of the AGM at 16:30 so do make use of this opportunity. The timings mean you should have time to attend one of our extra seminars and still have the chance to chat with a member of the ministry team.

Social Space

Last year we felt that the social space at the Riviera Centre in Torquay was a little bit tight. So, this year we are making some changes.

The Rosetor Room will only be used for the bookstall and social space this year. It won’t host a seminar and it means it will be in use for people throughout the day. We have also freed up more space up at the back of the Forum Hall for people to mill around.

In addition to this, we’ve also been able to secure exclusive use of the Aqua Lounge café in evenings. This space has lots of comfortable seating and a fully licenced bar for you to continue socialising. Of course, the Aqua Lounge is also available during the day, but it is open to the public at this time, so cannot serve the free tea and coffee that will be on offer in our other social space.

Newcomers Reception

If you’re arriving at the conference on your own, or coming for the first time, we’re hosting a newcomer’s reception this year. This will take place on the Arena Restaurant balcony with members of the FIEC team on hand to greet you and talk with you.

Running Order

Lots of people have been in touch asking for the running order for the event this year.

We’ve made some changes for 2018, based on your feedback from last year. You’ll notice that the Conference will finish at 14:30 on Wednesday. This is to allow people travelling back to London to get the 15:00 train which is a direct service.

We’ve also started our day on Wednesday half an hour later to allow time for people to check out of their accommodation. You can now find the whole programme on the event page.

Practical Arrangements

In the coming days all conference delegates will receive an email with their car park pass. If you park at the Riviera Centre car parks, please ensure you display this at all times.

This email will also ask you to choose seminar preferences. It would be really helpful if you could respond to this so that we can allocate seminar rooms based on attendance numbers.

There will also be reminders about discount train fares and the free use of the leisure facilities at the Riviera Centre.

Finally, please be in prayer for this year’s Leaders’ Conference. Pray for our speakers and seminar leaders. Pray too for the FIEC staff and volunteers as we seek to deliver the event. But most of all pray that the Conference will equip churches to be sharing the gospel so that we see people come to faith across the nation.

Phil Topham photo
Phil Topham - FIEC Executive Director

Phil started working for FIEC in the role of Head of Communication, but then became our Executive Director at the start of 2019. He is married to Kath and they live near Market Harborough and attend Christ Church in the town.