Bishop of Blackburn 

Speaking on 'The Poor Make the Party' with his usual combination of passion, incisive intellect, prophetic analysis and wit. 

Bishop Guli Francis-Dehqani

First Bishop of Housing

Opening our conference is a woman who has lived experience of being both a refugee and a Bishop. Forced, as a child, to leave her home country because of persecution (her father was Bishop in Iran) she is passionate about churches providing refugees with security of a home.

Our Tenants

Central to our approach is a belief we must listen to our tenants, in doing so our humanity and faith will grow. As such, mainstreamed throughout the conference, are numerous tenants who will be sharing their insights on their experiences. However good the other speakers are, trust us, the tenants are always the most powerful, humbling and inspiring voices during the day.

Tania Bright

CEO of Home for Good

With over 80,000 children in care in our country, we are delighted that Tania Bright is joining us. Her passion (and the mission of Home for good) is so similar to ours. She will bring heart, intelligence and considerable knowledge as she challenges us to think about churches caring for care-leavers in particular. 

Bekah Legg

CEO of Restored

Violence, abuse and female homelessness, not a day goes by when violence against women doesn’t hit us in the face. We all know or know of someone affected. Hear from Bekah as she talks about violence against women experiencing homelessness, and argues, passionately,  for the church to be both a refuge and a voice.

Andrew Gray

Speaking about the Taskforce on Homelessness which he launched at the General Synod of the Church of England in 2019. How can the church use all their assets to fight homelessness?

Rebecca Winfrey 

Author and incisive thinker Rebecca will be speaking on: ‘A trauma informed Gospel’ While she will draw from her own research on this topics the seminar will be practically based as she draws the experience on these matters from some of our tenants, some of who will also be sharing. 

Martin Berry

His story, penned across 2 great books, involved years mixed with violence and drugs. Yes – he’s moved from ‘the streets’ to Pastor(!)….and is one of the nicest men you could meet. He’ll be sharing his testimony and encouraging our faith in the Holy Spirit. His could be a life-changing seminar!  

Natalie Williams

leader of the New Frontiers initiated Jubilee +

Author on 3 books on UK poverty. She will be helping us think about churches being a welcoming space for those who’ve experienced homelessness.

Richard Pollard 

A Baptist Minister whose church ran 2 homes for those experiencing homelessness. But he won’t be speaking by himself he will bring 2 tenants who he has supported and seen grow into contributing members of his church and both be baptized. Hear what all 3 have learnt on their journey and how their church has been transformed for the better from this ministry!

Dr Ray Middleton

God has given us a brain and so we love to use it and learn. Ray Middleton will be sharing both from lived experience and his own PHD on trauma. If you’ve experienced homelessness, you’ve experienced trauma. Just the realization that ‘I’ve ended up in this situation’ is traumatic.  It is such a vital topic for us to think about and understand. 

Simeon Sturney

Prison chaplain and author. His time as a ‘through the gate’ prison chaplain has earned him many plaudits, including the Butler Trust commendation. He will be drawing on his wisdom speaking on ‘leave well, to start well’  - inspiring us to mentor and care for prisoners not just ‘on release’ but ‘through the gate and for many years after.’ He’ll bring along a local church leader also involved in this vital work!

Stephen Brown

Stephen has over 20 years experience working in over-seas development and with refugees. He will be sharing the different models in which you and your church can support all refugees: those fleeing Ukraine but not forgetting those from Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and many other places.

Kate Doran-Smith

‘I could sit and listen to her practical wisdom all day long’ – so someone recently said about Kate.  Drawing on her last 9 years with Hope into Action she will share from the heart and rock the place.