Hope into Action Conference 2017
We had an amazing third annual conference on the 31st March with around 250 delegates from all over the country – a record! It was a day of informative talks, interactive seminars, networking, inspirational testimonies and tenant awards.
Here is a selection of images from the day, and excerpts from keynote speeches given by prison reformer Jonathan Aitken and Steve Clifford (General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance.)
Our thanks go to all those who attended, our inspirational guest speakers and Peterborough Salvation Army who hosted the event with us.
Thank you to our speakers
Rev’d Jon Canessa – Priest to the homeless
Josephine Knowles – Founder of Beyond The Streets, the organisation looking to end sexual exploitation.
Steve Clifford – General Director of the Evangelical Alliance.
Jonathan Aitken – Former Cabinet Minister, author and prison reformer.
Rev’d Paul Cowley MBE – Leads Caring for Ex Offenders and supports prison work across the world.
EXTRACT FROM SPEECHES:
A bit about our ethos:
So we want mutuality in our relationships because we see every tenant as equal, precious with innate undiminishable worth and talents and strengths and gifts. We reflect that by trying to: welcome rather than judge; listen to rather than speak at; focus on strengths rather than needs or risks; give responsibility, choice and power rather than support, charity and hand-outs.
Jonathan Aitkens Speech:
Hope into Action is clearly responding to a great spiritual call as well as a practical call. Its people who have no where to lay their heads that you cater for and you cater for them rather well and this practical union between churches and the charity doing the practical nitty gritty of buying houses etc is a wonderful model and one which is to be praised.
One of the big big concerns of a prisoner is ‘what am I going to do when I get out of here’. You’d think people would be overjoyed when they are about to be released. I used to find lots of people who were very anxious about what they were going to do when they were released and homeless was hugely high on their agenda. I know how difficult the problem is, I know how few organisations there are working on it. And so here in Peterborough and around the country you are doing a great job and fulfilling a great need by being able to offer hope and advise and sometimes the solution. The state doesn’t do this kind of thing well because it is so personal.
“I wish I’d had a Hope into Action house in my constituency as there are very few opportunities for an MP to help those facing homelessness. Even when you have found a bedroom or hostel, it is like trying to clap hands with one hand. And here, now, is Hope into Action combining the practical and the spiritual and clearly doing a great job……mainly because you guys show love…….”
Steve Cliffords Speech:
Hope into Action is an extraordinary expression of the Church at work.
Because we know, don’t we, that homelessness is not just an inconvenience for the individual. Homelessness is not just an embarrassment for society, it’s far more than that! The consequence of homelessness, on both the individual and society is profound!
The way out of homelessness is actually through relationships. What home can offer is family. What family can offer is relationships. And when you put that together with the local church, I would suggest it’s a dynamic of heaven that is at work there.