A brief report
Faith in Business Quarterly 17:2 p14
‘Best ever’. That is how several regular attendees described the Faith in Business 2015 spring conference. Numbers were up for the fourth year running: over 60 people all convinced that business is important for the Kingdom and wanting to make a kingdom influence felt in ways that are both sensitive and substantial. The atmosphere was very relaxed. Delegates enjoyed the speakers’ input, the networking and sharing at a deep level, in Q & A sessions as well as over meals and drinks.
A major theme of the conference was business leaders telling their stories. Delegates were particularly gripped by entrepreneurs and business owners Gary Grant (from the toy retailer The Entertainer) and Matthew Kimpton Smith (from engineering firm Cygnet Group) explaining the ways that God had led them to develop highly distinctive companies. In their roles as sustainability directors, John Revess and Cal Bailey provided strong backup from plc and family business perspectives. Personal story was balanced by academic input from Andy Henley and Peter Heslam, who demonstrated the worldwide prevalence of entrepreneurship among evangelical, pentecostal and charismatic Christians. Eve Poole on Saturday evening and Richard Higginson in the Sunday service weighed in with theological reflection and ethical analysis.
Five Ridley students attended the conference as part of the new Common Awards module Theological Perspectives: Business and Ethics. They found this invaluable, opening their eyes to the ministry they could exercise to and with business people in their future parishes.
A memorable time was had by all. Many of us are already looking forward to getting back together for the 2016 spring conference. FiBQ readers are warmly welcomed to join us.