My Conference Experience

This years conference is the second Labour conference I have been to and the first where I have been there as part of Christians on the Left...


I arrived late on Wednesday (the final day) and was greeted with heavy rainfall before I finally made my way to the venue.  Our Christians on the Left stand was visited by a number of conference attendees and we managed to run out of space on the sign up sheet (much to our encouragement!).  The discussions we had were hugely positive, with both those who were new and long-standing members of our party.

Many people were impressed with our #PatriotsPayTax campaign which was mentioned prominently later on in Jeremy's closing speech to conference.  John McDonnell paid us a visit and was talking about his appearance at our Universal Basic Income event the same week, asking how we managed to get Zoe Williams from the Guardian along to the event.


I had resigned myself to sitting in the ‘overflow‘ watching Jeremy Corbyn's speech by video link to a big screen.  I got talking to a retired teacher whilst waiting, and the organisers came round and told us there was space in the main hall.  We both scampered quickly into the main hall and were soon seated close to the middle.


It was a great atmosphere and the message of unity was well delivered by Jeremy, along with hearing more on our policy platform to transform our country into a place that is just and more equal, where we live in peace with our neighbours and ensure no one is left behind.  This resounded with the audience in a way that was both emotional and hopeful.  The friend I made had tears running down her cheeks as the event was wrapped up with the songs of the red flag and Jerusalem, with the help of a Liverpool choir.

It was truly memorable and for us as Christians on the Left I believe God is calling us to play a bigger part in our party and in our communities where He has placed us.

 I hope we can all answer that calling.

Mark Wodrow & John McDonnell
Mark Wodrow is the Christians on the Left Regional Rep for the North West. Mark lives in Salford where he is a Social Worker and general campaigner for CotL, supporter of Tearfund, Shelter, Greenpeace, Child Poverty Action Group and member of Northern Moor Community Church. He is passionate about supporting the Labour Party to ensure all of us reach our God given potential and that no one is left behind. 

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In church recently I met someone who runs a food bank. He talked to me about how his service helped people from many different backgrounds who have become stuck in a poverty trap. Some need short term support to get them through a difficult period, while others are permanently stuck. I was struck by the commitment of this gentleman to help others and of his conviction that our society should not be organised this way.

It is a familiar story to any churchgoer. Churches across the country contain many similarly motivated people. They are driven by their Christian conviction that all are created equally and that everyone therefore has equal worth. Working in food banks, helping the homeless, giving shelter to refugees, fighting famine and poverty abroad, and in many other ways, church members are working for the most disadvantaged in society. Moreover, with at least one church in every town and village, this work is happening and being supported across the country.

This years conference is the second Labour conference I have been to and the first where I have been there as part of Christians on the Left...

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell today praised the campaign organised by Christians on the Left to support paying tax.

Mr McDonnell congratulated Christians on the Left and its chair, Jonathan Reynolds MP, for our campaign slogan  :

"It’s a great slogan. Patriots should pay their taxes. Labour are already setting the pace on tackling tax avoidance and tax evasion."

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