Invest in your calling

Join us to discover how your faith can influence public life.

Online event.

'The Summer Gathering is a remarkable investment into your understanding of culture and your journey to influence it for the kingdom.'

One of the recurring themes internationally over the last 12 months has been the extent to which our politicians – and indeed the whole political process – are representative, accountable and effective. From concerns about the legitimacy of the US Presidential election to questioning governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, it is not unreasonable to ask, ‘What is the good of politics’?

At Jubilee Centre we believe that Christians must engage with the political process – and in political discussion – and carry clear insights into God’s intentions and ways not only as individuals, but also as a society and an electorate.


Who Is It For?


If you are a Christian aged between 18 and 40, are a recent university graduate or young professional and have an interest in politics and social reform, our 2021 Summer Gathering will inspire you with stories from the past, equip you with a biblical strategy and principles for transformation in the present and help you take  practical steps towards engaging with these issues in the future.



Our 2021 Summer Gathering will comprise three days of online lectures, small group discussions, workshops and networking opportunities. Its flexible format requires participation at set times in the small group discussions that offer relationship building opportunities, while lecture attendance can be managed in your own time.


Thursday 17th June: 12:30 to 17:30 BST

12:00 - 12:30 Zoom session opens  
12:30 - 13:20 Introduction to the Summer Gathering Philip Powell
13:20 - 13:50 Being salt and light: the heart of Christian vocation Jonathan Tame
13:50 - 14:00 Introduction to social reformers Philip Powell
14:00 - 14:30 Social reformer  1: Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) - journalist and Dutch Prime Minister Philip Powell
14:30 - 15:00 Social reformer  2: Keir Hardie (1856-1915) - trade unionist and founder of the Labour Party Jacob Dunn
15:00 - 15:30 Tea break  
15:30 - 16:00 Social reformer  3: Ida B Wells (1862-1931) - educator and civil rights leader Mercedes Williams
16:30 - 17:10 Small group discussion JC Team
17:10 - 17:30 Day 1 wrap up Philip Powell



Friday 18th June: 09:00 to 17:30 BST

What constitutes a specifically biblical approach to changing society? We consider a biblical and relational framework for social reform and examine its application to politics in three plenary lectures and four seminars.

9:00 - 9:40 Devotional Mercedes Williams
9:40 - 10:30 Why should Christians care about politics? Andy Flanagan
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break  
11:00 - 11:50 The Bible and political imagination Dr Helen Paynter
12:00 - 12:40 Small group discussion JC Team
12:40 - 13:30 Lunch  
13:30 - 14:00 Engaging with contemporary issues Various contributors
14:00 - 15:00

1. Politics of populism
2. Politics of reconciliation
3. Politics of climate change

Christel Ngnambi

Jonny Clark & Ramy Taleb

Neil Grant
15:00 - 15:30 Tea break  
15:30 - 16:20 The politics of Jesus Dr Stephen Backhouse
16:30 - 17:10  Small group discussion JC Team
17:10 - 17:30 Day 2 wrap up Philip Powell
19:00 - 20:30 Optional online social gathering/chat room  



Saturday 19th June: 09:00 to 13:00 BST

How can a belief in the good of politics bear fruit in your own life? In this final session we will give you space to discern your own sense of calling and to begin designing a strategy for sustainable and holistic engagement in public life which is rooted in a resilient inner life and accountable relationships.

9:00 - 9:40 Devotional Mercedes Williams
9:40 - 10:30 Application: how do you take this agenda forward? Louise Davies
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break  
11:00 - 11:30 Personal application/chat room  
11:40 - 12:20 Small group discussion  
12:20 - 13:00 End of Summer Gathering: closing remarks Philip Powell



The 2021 Summer Gathering will be led by the Jubilee Centre's Training Manager, Philip Powell. The other speakers announced so far are:

Stephen Backhouse 200 x 200

Dr Stephen Backhouse: Stephen is the director of Tent Theology, a venture opening up spaces for theology in churches, businesses and networks. Before that he was Lecturer in Social and Political Theology at St Mellitus College and a Dean at Westminster Theological Centre. Stephen is an historian of Christian thought, an expert on the work of Søren Kierkegaard and an authority on the political theology of nations and nationalism. He is the author of many books and publications, including Kierkegaard’s Critique of Christian Nationalism (OUP: 2011), the award-winning popular biography Kierkegaard: A Single Life (Zondervan: 2016) and the Essential Companion to Christian History (Zondervan: 2019). He is the host of the Tent Theology podcast.

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Jonny Clark: Jonny is the producer of the Guardians Of The Flame ( documentary and podcast series, which profiles the heroic stories of reconciliation that emerged from the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Jonny has also been the leader of Youth With A Mission in Ireland for 14 years and spearheads their work of peace building and reconciliation.

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Louise Davies: Louise is the director of Christians on the Left and a member of the Christians in Politics  leadership team. She regularly speaks at Christian events and festivals encouraging Christians to enter the political arena. She works in Westminster leading Christians on the Left and speaking into the lives of politicians and political organisations. Louise has been the Chair of her local political party, a Sheffield City Council election candidate and has worked for the Shadow Brexit Minister.

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Andy Flannagan: Andy is Executive Director of - based in Westminster, but taking the message of positive political engagement to the church across the UK and beyond. He wrote the critically-acclaimed book “Those Who Show Up” which has inspired many normal people to get involved in politics. His driving passion is to see a just re-wiring of the global economic system. He is a Northern Irish exile living in Luton with his wife Jenny and children Jesse and Jubilee, and also a singer-songwriter. His album “Drowning in the Shallow” was described as a “near-perfect album” by Cross Rhythms magazine, but he is still disappointingly imperfect -

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Neil Grant: Neil is the COP26 Research Fellow for the All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group (APPCCG), where he provides research and policy advice to parliamentarians on climate action in the run-up to COP26. He is also a PhD candidate at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, where his research focuses on the value of low-carbon technologies in decarbonising the economy. Neil has worked on UK climate policy with the Climate Change Committee, WWF and other environmental organisations. He is a director of North Kensington Community Energy, an award-winning community benefit society which installs community-owned solar panels in North Kensington. Passionate about integrating faith in Jesus, climate action and community engagement, he will be speaking on the politics of climate change at the Summer Gathering and he’s looking forward to it immensely!

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Christel Lamere Ngnambi: Christel  is an author, lecturer and teacher based in Dusseldorf and Brussels. Trained as a political scientist, he worked for 12 years as an analyst and then as a representative to the EU for an international Protestant association in the fields of human rights, poverty, migration and the environment. This diversity of fields led him to intersect the themes of ideas and convictions, social issues, political issues and existential questions. Today, Christel acts as a consultant in strategic and political communication. In 2019, he contributed 3 chapters in Is God a Populist?, a book published in Norway and now available free of charge online and as an ebook.

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Dr Helen Paynter: Helen is a Baptist minister and an Old Testament specialist. She is tutor of biblical studies at Bristol Baptist College and founding director of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence there. The CSBV exists to serve the church and the academy by working in twin areas: the interpretation of biblical texts of violence, and the (ab)use of the Bible in a violent world.  @CSBibleViolence

Ramy Taleb 200x200

Ramy Taleb: Ramy is a Lebanese peace builder and leader in forgiveness and reconciliation work. He founded the Foundation for Forgiveness and Reconciliation, which is in the process of building a Peace Centre in the south of Lebanon and which runs inter-faith training on Peace to schools and community groups all over the country.

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Image credit: Ted Eytan under CC BY-SA 4.0


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