Earlier this month Edward Connor Solicitors (ECS) had the privilege of attending the 2023 FIEC (Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches) Leaders Conference in Blackpool. As we’ve experienced in previous years, it was another fantastic opportunity to connect with church leaders, to share our insights, and to contribute to the gospel-centred encouragement that unfolded over the course of the event.

Setting up our stall alongside some other brilliant Christian ministries, the excitement built as doors opened, and church leaders and staff from diverse situations began to arrive, ready to equip themselves and their churches for fruitful gospel ministry. And we were ready too, as delegates came to speak with us, eager to learn more about ECS, and the help and resources we offer.

Ben – our Communications, Advice and Research Coordinator – at our stand.

Engaging with church leaders was an immensely enriching experience. We shared our mission, values, and the impact we aspire to make in the realm of church legal compliance. The enthusiasm and genuine interest from the delegates were very encouraging. Every interaction was an opportunity to learn from each other, to understand the challenges our church leaders are facing, and to speak into those needs with our Christ-centred legal expertise.

The highlight of our time at the conference was undoubtedly the seminar we conducted. With representation from our Charities and Employment Teams, Lynda, Mark and Peter delivered an engaging talk that married well to the theme of the conference (‘Ministry of Justice’) outlining how the law can create a fairer and more just church community.

[We will provide a link here to the seminar recording and slides as soon as they are available.] 

With an extended Q&A session following the talk, it was clear – and encouraging – that church leaders understand the importance of a good legal footing for their ministries, and are asking the right questions to reach this. We were grateful for the opportunity to answer these important questions, and to help equip these church leaders with a deeper knowledge of the law and how it can be a tool to help their ministries flourish.

Mark Bainbridge speaking at our seminar

Beyond the structured sessions, the impromptu conversations and networking opportunities were equally rewarding. Either at the stall, during coffee, over food, or in the bookstall, we often found ourselves immersed in all kinds of discussions about the rapidly changing landscape for churches and compliance to the law of the land.

As we packed up our stall at the end of the conference, perhaps the most significant feeling was one of partnership. Through the conversations, the teaching, the shared times of worship, the sense of partnering with one and other in our shared gospel mission – to build up the Kingdom of Jesus Christ – was clear, and an important reminder to take back with us to our day-to-day work.

The work of our gospel-grounded churches – both within and outside of the FIEC fellowship – is central to God’s plan. And the need for faithful, quality legal guidance alongside these vital ministries is clear. And so, we look forward to building on the relationships formed at the conference, and continuing the journey of empowering church leaders for gospel growth, and the challenges that lie ahead.

We love engaging with church leaders at events such as this – if we could be involved in a church leaders conference that you run, we would really like to hear from you, so do drop us a line.

Please give us a call if you want to talk through your requirements and find out how we might be able to help you.

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