Labour Party Conference 2019

Christians on the Left at Labour Party Conference Banner


Campaigns, Cups of Tea, Prayer Breakfasts and a present for Jeremy


Christians on the Left Roundup of Labour Party Conference in Brighton, 2019

Our Delegates Hannah and Anya in the Conference Hall. The Brighton Pavilion in the sunshine. Our giant red teapot on our stand in the conference centre.


SUNDAY SERVICE

Whilst Conference officially began a day (or half a day) earlier than usual, our chair Jonathan Reynolds MP took to the stage during our Sunday Morning Service to cheerfully announce our event as the real start of Conference - to which nobody disagreed, including Jeremy! We were both slightly surprised but equally pleased that despite an incredibly packed schedule, leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn MP was able to attend the service, including hearing from International Justice Mission Director David Westlake and our own Director, Louise Davies.

As part of the service, Marsha de Cordova MP & Ruth Jones MP read our passage from Amos and Stephen Timms MP & London Assembly member Jennette Arnold OBE read prayers for our communities, leaders and nation.

Attendees, Jeremy Corbyn MP and Louise Davies (Director) at the Labour Party Conference Church Service

The service was packed with over 200 Labour Party members, local Brighton churchgoers and CotL members, with standing room only before we had even begun! The atmosphere was splendid and it was just a privilege for everyone there to see God moving and to begin Conference in such a positive way, setting our sights on the most important thing. Parliamentary assistant Amy and a music team from King’s Cross Church lead our sung worship, and Jeremy was able to stay for a song before heading to his next engagement.

Before Jeremy had to leave, we were able to present him with the special gift of a Bible. See a short clip from the service by clicking on the image below.

Jeremy Corbyn MP and Louise Davies, Director of Christians on the Left


FREEDOM SUNDAY

Celebrating “Freedom Sunday”, we heard from International Justice Mission CEO David Westlake who stirred us to action with stories from across the world of injustices undone, through the collaboration of IJM, local police, politicians and changes in legislation. If you just have time for one story, watch the award winning story of Foli, who fishes the waters of Lake Volta (the largest artificial reservoir in the world) in Ghana.

Attendees at our Church Service: Jennette Arnold OBE AM, Baroness Maeve Sherlock, Rev Dave Steell, Marsha de Cordova MP, Jonathan Reynolds MP

 


SHHHH!

One other important element of the service was to announce our top-secret plan for Labour Party unity… But it’s not just for the Labour Party.

It’s also for you.

And for your neighbours.

And your family, your community and your church.

SHHH! Logo and Steps for our secret plan for Labour Party Unity...

Please watch the video here!

tiny.cc/wearelabour

 

Of course, it’s not really a secret any more. And it’s quite simple.

It’s about dropping “them” and “us” and embracing #WeAre instead.

Let’s start a conversation with someone different.

Why not try it now? It might even be someone you live with. As Christians on the Left, we choose to put aside our differences, to talk with those we don’t quite agree with, and to #DisagreeWell.

 

#WeAre

 


MEETING MEMBERS AT CONFERENCE

 

Maintaining a presence in the Brighton Conference Centre, our exhibition stand once again proved a popular meeting point and opportunity to engage with conference attendees, many of whom had not heard of us before. With our giant red tea-pot and cheeky “SHHH!” cards, our fantastic volunteers chatted and explained the work that CotL do to reach out to Christians and the Labour Party, the news, events and resources we produce and the untold hours that members of Christians on the Left invest in their communities and political activities.

It was exciting and encouraging to see so many CotL members being active participants in events, panels and debates. Many CotL members were also delegates for their CLPs and many members were simply attending conference and contributing to the wider discussions that were going on all around us. Several CotL members spoke on the main stage in front of thousands of delegates and one even played a DJ set in a Brighton venue after the official business of the day was over. You find CotL members in all sorts of unexpected places!

CotL Members engage with Labour Party Conference on every levelOur volunteer team played a huge part in speaking to members and delegates and to setting up and hosting all of our events, so a huge thanks to everyone involved: we can't do conference without you!

 


PRAYER BREAKFASTS & LUNCHTIME PANELS

Working again with our fantastic partners The Trussell Trust and World Vision UK, it was great to kick off Monday and Tuesday of conference with Prayer, Discussion and Reflection (as well as some fantastic breakfast bagels…) and to be joined by CotL members Marsha de Cordova & Stephen Timms MP, as well as our good friends Hilary Benn and Kate Green MP. We were also joined by Rev Dr Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference. The breakfasts were well attended and time again we heard the refrain “What a positive way to start the day…”

Our lunchtime events also attracted praise from within and from outside, with our Chair Jonathan Reynolds MP commenting on the quality of discussion. In a first for Christians on the Left, we hosted “Fighting for social and environmental justice abroad” with SERA: Labour’s Environment Campaign, another of the Socialist Societies affiliated to Labour.

 

CotL Event Highlights

Well, that's about it for our conference 2019 roundup. To receive occasional updates, make sure your email address is up-to-date (signup on our homepage for the e-bulletin) or consider a small donation for full membership - for details click here.

Many thanks and we hope to see you next year!

 

*PS. Yes, for those of you thinking it was all sunshine and rainbows, it did rain for most of the week, but Sunday was gloriously sunny for the service which was nice...

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