The conference has been designed so that we all make a journey of discovery together. The majority of workshops will be in medium-sized groups. The leaders of these groups are drawn from different denominations and have extensive experience of dealing with conflict in the context of faith-based communities.
Sandra is a leadership and management trainer, working with business and church leaders. Amongst a range of leadership topics Sandra helps senior leadership teams as they seek to develop new habits of ‘healthy conflict’, lead change effectively and develop healthy rhythms of well-being. She is a mediator working with congregations, church leadership teams and interpersonal mediation, she is also an Associate Trainer with Bridge Builders. Sandra is married to Steve, a Baptist Minister in the Midlands.
Bill is passionate about peace, and considers his work a huge privilege. Formerly a commercial lawyer, he has spent the last twenty years mediating a wide variety of conflicts amongst people from many countries, spanning commercial, ethnic, religious and political situations – mostly as a private mediator, but also as an official peace envoy. He acts as adviser on conflict, mediation and peace processes to a range of governments and international bodies, including the World Bank and the UN. He writes, trains and speaks widely. Bill is married to Belinda, and they have three teenage sons. They live in Sussex, where they worship at a local Anglican church.
Alastair’s interest in handling conflict began in 1994 through a mediation skills course at the London Mennonite Centre. In 1996, Alastair established Bridge Builders at the Mennonite Centre to equip the Church to engage more effectively with conflict. After completing an MA at Eastern Mennonite University, Alastair returned to London to head up Bridge Builders full-time. He expanded the service through recruiting interns, an assistant director, and associate trainers. Given Bridge Builders’ focus on transforming church culture in relation to how leaders lead, and how conflict is handled, Alastair is delighted to be involved with the Faith in Conflict conference.
David Richbell has been a Mediator and trainer of Mediators in the UK and overseas for over twenty years. He is also a Licensed Lay Minister and has the privilege of practising his Christian faith in peacemaking and reconciliation in almost every aspect of his work. Prior to this he was a Chartered Surveyor and had responsibility for around fifty rural churches and chapels and advised congregations on the use and development of their buildings; so had a sound grounding in areas of conflict within the church! His vision is that all churches should be mediation centres for their local community.
Stephen is married to Fiona an artist. They have four children and live in Wandsworth. Stephen spent 25 years as a commercial barrister and QC. A career change ten years ago from litigator to mediator was a ‘Damascus Road’ type event – work became vocation. Professionally, he now works full time as a commercial mediator. As founding director and trustee of Wandsworth Mediation Service, Stephen is active in the community mediation movement. He is involved in a number of initiatives to promote mediation more widely both at local and at Governmental level. He spends an increasing amount of time mediating church and faith-based disputes and is currently helping to develop a “Peace Course”. He is also a Trustee of New Wine.
Ruth Scott is a priest, writer, broadcaster, and mediator whose disparate areas of work are united by the theme of storytelling. She co-facilitates a storytelling workshop designed for use in situations of conflict, most recently in the Middle East. With the subject of her third book, Alistair Little, she spent 2 years writing, Give a Boy a Gun: One man’s journey from killing to peace-making. In 2009, as a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow, Ruth spent 8 weeks in Israel and the West Bank exploring transformative friendships across that conflict divide. In the business world she helps people to work creatively with conflict in a competitive environment. As a School Chaplain she is trained in the use of Restorative Justice in the school context.
After a brief early career as a solicitor, Chris then spent 12 years working in ministry at Revelation church in Sussex and Hampshire. Chris has long been involved in reconciliation and peace-making work, including projects in Croatia and Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Africa, and North America. In 1999 he co-founded Peaceworks with Micha Jazz (aka Mike Morris) after having trained as a mediator with Bridge Builders. Peaceworks is a social enterprise working in mediation both within and without the church in workplace, leadership, small commercial, community and congregational disputes. Inspired by his work at Peaceworks, Chris still believes that the church can play a catalytic, prophetic and servant role in the transformation of conflict in our society.
Rev Dr Patricia Took retired as the LBA’s Regional Minister (Team Leader) in September 2010. She had served in that post since 1998. Before that she was the minister of Cann Hall and Harrow Green Baptist Church, Leytonstone. Her work was focused on ministry matters including the pastoral care of ministers and churches with responsibility for the call of people to ministerial service and the settlement of ministers in churches. She is currently (2011-2012) President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
Joanna (Jo) is a Baptist Minister, Mediator and Trainer. She combines ministry with reconciliation work with churches in conflict and training in conflict awareness across the denominations in the North of England. She trained in mediation and conflict transformation with Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) and Bridge Builders, and is a member of the College of Mediators. Over recent years she has developed a training programme on conflict for Baptist Ministerial students which she delivers at the five Baptist Colleges, as well as a BA module for Northern in Manchester. Jo is very excited about the conference, and is looking forward to the opportunity to meet with o
thers who share the same passion for transforming conflict within the church.