2019 Conference

2019 Conference

15-17 March, 2019

Our Sunday speaker this year is Mick Roberts, speaking on the theme “Marriage made in Heaven“.

Below are the briefs of the 2019 workshops.

All day workshops

1. Living in a multi-faith society

The UK is often described as ‘post Christian’: a whirlpool of different faiths and world views. So, how do we relate to non-Christians? Do we keep them at arm’s length to keep our faith pure? Do we try to convert them? Or do we engage with them and try to find common ground, but with the danger that we compromise what is unique about the Christian revelation? This workshop will start by mapping the landscape – thumbnail sketches of the major faiths we are likely to meet – and will then move on to more practical issues about how we are to be a ‘good neighbour’ in a complex world.

Jim Bilton

2. Church!

We read in Ephesians that God’s plan is to display the rich variety of His wisdom and glory through the church. (Eph 3:10 and 21). It’s a big thought, but would TripAdvisor reviewers of our church notice any of this?

Here’s a simple mission statement. “God Honouring – Christ Centred – Spirit Led – Bible Based – People Focused – Mission Minded”.

If these 6 intentions are worked out, practically and spiritually, in the life of our church, what difference will it make? Through interactive discussion, biblical application and real-life case studies, we’ll find out!  Be encouraged, Jesus is building His church and it willprevail.

Nic Willis

3. Spending time with Peter

Let’s spend some time with Peter – follow him a bit, experience some of his challenges and maybe transform ourselves just like he did. From the Gospels to his letters we see an amazing man who loved his Lord and wanted so much to do his best. Are we as eager to learn – as quick to act – as humble to say sorry? This workshop is for those who want an opportunity to look deeper into the life of Peter – ask lots of questions, and not always find the answers!

James Riley

4. Building the body

The way in which our bones mend themselves, how our brain deals with addiction, how blood gives life; God designed the human body in an amazing way, right down to the very tiny microscopic details.

Our community, as the body of Christ, can learn a lot from our perfect creator in how we can work together to function as a healthy, purposeful being. This session gives insight into the wonders of the human body and how spiritually it makes perfect sense that God created us this way.

Simon & Emma Palmer

5. Come let us reason together

Disagreements themselves are not bad but become toxic when those involved are unable to reach a solution.  When this happens in the brotherhood, parties may find it difficult to remain worshiping together and may feel the need to leave our fellowship altogether.

We will see how mediation may enable arguments to be settled, exploring how it works and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the process. There will be some optional role play – you may join in or watch. You will not leave this session as a mediator but with a knowledge of one-way disputes may be settled.

Angela Riley

6. Revisiting the role of sisters

The role of sisters can be a difficult and contentious issue for many sisters and brothers. The aim of this session is to help us understand why there is a desire to revisit Bible teaching on this topic and question the traditionally accepted roles.

We will discuss and examine legitimate alternative scriptural interpretations in context which will help us to move forward and embrace new attitudes whilst still acknowledging that God is changeless

Sally Whitehorn

7. Faith, evidence and evolution

Discussing the relationship between our faith and evolution sometimes raises strong emotions. In this workshop we’ll try to understand why that is. We’ll look at the range of different things that people mean when they talk about evolution, and how those relate to the scientific evidence and to faith in God. We’ll also try to find ways to foster more engaging and helpful conversations about creation and God with those who take different views.

Pete Jeavons

8. The New Testament in context

The New Testament did not just appear out of nowhere. There is a history and a context, both oral and textual, which we need to understand before we can really begin to appreciate what the New Testament writers are telling us and why.

Beyond that, what was the Church’s actual process in selecting the inspired canon from the explosion of texts in the first and second centuries.  The aim is a deeper understanding of the truths we hold so dear; but prepare to have some assumptions challenged along the way.

Merri Mansfield

9. Living fruitfully in God’s modern estate

Throughout this session we’ll build a practical view of the purpose that God and Christ have with this world, and vitally for us as their co-workers in the 21stcentury.

Using the metaphor of a community garden, we’ll investigate and profile the roles we can play in community development – building on insights from Christ’s phenomenal interaction with thousands of people across society.  We will also explore contemporary social-enterprise examples including those inspired by our own charities such as Christadelphian Outreach Group and Meal-a-Day. With these insights and models in mind, what can we do in our home towns and villages to bear good fruit for Him in modern society?

Martin Catchlove

Half Day Workshops (MORNING ONLY)

10. The Name above every name

An interactive group activity ‘building’ a crossword containing names/titles/attributes of our lovely Lord. Clues will enable the filling in of blank grids which fit together to make the whole. This workshop is intended for all and sundry and not intended as an ‘egghead’ exercise. The real value will be in considering together spiritual lessons of how God in Christ has covered every eventuality of his creation, i.e. Jesus is the ‘prime meridian’ – the hinge/hub/pivot around which the whole creation revolves.

Don Graham

11. Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs

Music is as old as humanity and has played an important (and often controversial) part in the life of the people of God. From David and his lyre to Handel’s “Messiah”, from Hildegard of Bingen to Hillsong, we will dip into this vast resource to learn more of the background and to participate in an eclectic selection of music from different places and ages including the opportunity to sing traditional-style hymns in four-part harmony
 “The aim and final reason of all music should be none else but the glory of God and refreshing the soul. Where this is not observed there will be no music, but only a devilish hubbub.” (JS Bach)

Viv Brown

12. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

There is no doubt that for most of us, Israel’s first king was a total enigma. He was God’s choice and yet, if we are honest, we struggle to know what to make of him. Was he a goodie, or was he a baddie? And how many of us, over the years, have given Saul the benefit of the doubt over most of the situations he found himself in? In this Old Testament study, we will review the evidence, make up our minds, and see how our discipleship today might be influenced for the better.

Tim Webborn

13 Flipside of the 10 Commandments

Eight of the 10 Commandments are negative and feed a perception that religion is negative and restrictive in life. Is this what God is really interested in? Paul says, ‘let him that stole steal no more’ then adds ‘but rather let him labour’ and he does not stop there but goes on ‘that he may have to give’.

Having thought about the negatives we want to look at all the commandments and examine what God really wants from us – the positive flip side. To emphasise that our discipleship is not about separation from but ‘separation to’ and is not to focus on the ‘not doing’ but much more on the ‘positive doing’ There will be an opportunity for group activities.

Mark Buckler

Half Day Workshops (AFTERNOON ONLY)

14 PowerPoint. PCs, Presenting…..some tips, tricks & traps

This interactive session is for those who struggle with using technology for talks, are afraid to try it or would like to improve on what they do already. It will cover the basics of connecting equipment; creating simple PowerPoint slides on a PC; running the slides; some guidance on what to do and what NOT to do when working with PowerPoint. Absolute beginners up to moderately experienced presenters are welcome. Also, family and friends who would like to help are invited. It will not be a deep dive into IT so don’t be afraid! If you have existing questions bring them along.”

Eric Lowe

15 Make a joyful noise to the Lord

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory.”

We’d like to invite musicians, percussionists and vocalists of all backgrounds, genres and abilities to join us in trying to get a glimpse of that Kingdom Praise we read about in Revelation 19.

This will be a great chance to get together and sing! And we’ll be using our collaborative improvisational skills to create an acoustic soundscape that will accompany our singing, to fill the Yew Tree Hall with uplifting music.


John Dunstan

16 Be still and know

Our many words can be one of the obstacles we put up to God. This workshop is a quiet retreat to consider our response to the first two chapters of Ephesians, thinking about the benefits of silence, and of spiritual practices which can bring us closer to God.

How often do we open ourselves up to the potential God has to work more fully in our lives? Ephesians describes mind blowing blessings and possibilities available to us as disciples of Christ.

“The power working in us is the same as the mighty strength which he used when he raised Christ from death.”

 Anne Jeavons

17 The power of plants

This workshop presentation will be divided into two sections. In the first, we will consider ‘Plants of the Bible’, looking at both the practical and spiritual significance of some of the flowers, trees and crop plants mentioned in the scriptures. Secondly, we turn to the ‘Wonders of Creation’ taking a close look at a range of plants from tropical and temperate zones, focusing mainly their pollination mechanisms and the secret of carnivorous plants asan opportunity to marvel at His power in creation. This workshop is suitable for anyone who is interested in plants and the natural world.  The format will be presentations followed by discussion.

Matt Biggs

18 Wilderness wonderings

…a new take on an established Hoddesdon tradition. For those that want to get out in the fresh air, this session takes a walk from the Conference Centre into the nearby woodland,  where Marian will introduce us to signs of Spring and whatever birds and animals choose to make an appearance.  An opportunity for exercise, conversation, photography and reflection on the majesty and diversity of God’s creation.  Uneven paths and possibly mud! Good footwear and walking gear suitable to the conditions and weather a must.

Gordon & Marian Dawes

Booking for 2019

Every year, the Hoddesdon Weekend is over-subscribed. So, please do book early! The key steps are:

  • Bookings open on this website at 09:00 am on 1st January, 2019.
  • Places will then be confirmed by email after Jan 10.
  • Payment (either in full or a minimum deposit) has to be made within 5 days of receipt of the confirmation of booking.
  • A final request for the balance of payment will be sent out at the end of February.


En-suite rooms

All en-suite rooms have bathroom suite, towels and soap, plus tea and coffee making facilities. All have high standards of décor and furnishings.

Standard Rooms

Standard rooms provide hand wash basins and comfortable furnishings and décor. Each group of standard rooms has the use of a suite of toilets / bathrooms. As with en-suite rooms, towels and soap are provided. Refreshment points are situated close to these rooms for delegates to make drinks at any time.

Room for guests with disabilities

Half of the bedrooms are located on the ground floor with lift access to the majority of those on the first floor. There are six bedrooms specifically designed for delegates with disabilities, including adapted doors and space for wheelchair users, the provision of alarm pull-cords and specially designed showers and bathroom suites


Standard Room: £130 per person (subsidised rate: £65)

En-Suite Room: £160 per person (subsidised rate: £80)

Subsidised places: half price.

For those who find the cost of the Weekend beyond their means, there are subsidised places available at a 50% discount. We are only able to offer this facility as a result of contributions made by other delegates and through the collection which is taken up during the Weekend. Thanks so much to everyone who supports this important fund.

Another option is ecclesial sponsorship, asking the Arranging Committee if they would be prepared to sponsor you. We have found that many past attendees have gone down this route.

The 25s-and-Unders offer: £30

One of the defining characteristics of the Hoddesdon weekend is the wide age range of the attendees. However, we are keen to encourage more under 25 year olds to come and help to shape the event. We are also very aware that the cost of the weekend can be a bit of a financial challenge. That is why we are offering a special rate of only £30 per person for 25s-and-Unders: a massive saving of £99 below the standard rate. There are only a limited number of these places available. So, please book early!

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What if I am offered a place, but my partner or friend isn’t?
Two people can book on the same form. These two people will be treated together, so if one is allocated a place, so will the other.

I was on the waiting list last year. What are my chances of gaining a place this year?
We prioritise those who were on the waiting list last year and were not able to be offered a place then.  This should ensure that those who were not able to go to Hoddesdon last year, but wish to do so this year will be offered places.

Can I send in a paper booking?
We have discontinued paper bookings and will only accept booking online. If you are unable to access the internet, we would encourage you to ask friends or relatives to help you. If this is not possible and you have no other means of submitting a booking, please contact Keith and Mary Riley on 01202 576807 before 1st January.

When will I need to pay?
When you receive confirmation of your booking you will need to pay at least a deposit within 5 days.  The balance will be due at the beginning of March.

What if I can’t pay the full fee?
We do offer subsidised places to those who need them at 50% of the full fee or you can request your ecclesia to sponsor you.

What rooms are available?
There are many ensuite rooms available, but very few standard rooms so please book ensuite if at all possible.

How many workshop choices do I need to make?
Please choose 6 different workshops.  We will do our best to allocate at least 2 of your 4 first choices

How do I contribute to the Subsidy Fund?
There is opportunity to add a donation when you are completing the booking form and a collection is also taken at Conference.