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Churches and Neighbourhood Resilience: Can We Brexit–proof the North East?

Churches and Neighbourhood Resilience: Can We Brexit–proof the North East?

The event will see the launch of Paul Bickley’s latest Theos report People, Place, and Purpose. The report is the result of the William Leech Research Fellowship, and explores the role churches play in supporting neighbourhood resilience and helping communities respond to change, uncertainty and unpredictability.

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Date: Monday 12th November 2018 (18:00 – 21:00)

On Friday 29 March 2019 the UK will officially cease to be a member of the EU.

The Government’s own Brexit impact studies suggest that the economy of the North East could shrink between 11 and 16 per cent. Whichever position you take on the decision to leave the European Union, in the short term it has the potential to exacerbate the social and economic disadvantages that already affect the North East.

With limited resources local authorities are struggling to help sustain communities and public services are stretched to breaking point. In the future, what will be the role of churches and other community groups?

The event will see the launch of Paul Bickley’s latest Theos report People, Place, and Purpose. The report is the result of the William Leech Research Fellowship, and explores the role churches play in supporting neighbourhood resilience and helping communities respond to change, uncertainty and unpredictability.

This panel will draw on their rich and diverse experience of what it takes to help communities overcome challenge and change and look ahead to what churches and other communities will need to do more of in the future.

The event will be followed by a reception in the Life Science Centre Robots Then and Now exhibition.

Confirmed speakers

Julia Unwin is an experienced, well known and respected senior strategic leader, with extensive professional leadership experience in the voluntary and public sectors, and corporate social responsibility. She was the Chief Executive of Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2007–2016. She now holds a Carnegie Trust Fellowship examining the role of kindness in public policy and is currently the chair of the Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society. She is also a Provincial Canon at York Minster.

Mark Shucksmith is a Professor of Planning at Newcastle University and Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Social Renewal, which exists to help individuals and communities thrive in turbulent times. Mark is a rural sociologist, and his research interests span poverty and social exclusion in rural areas, rural development, agricultural policy, and affordable rural housing. He was recently appointed as an adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy

Paul Bickley is Director of Political Programme at religion and society think tank Theos. His research has focused on the role of faith–based organisations in the provision of public services, most recently with a report on religion and social innovation. He has held a William Leech Research Fellowship exploring the importance of churches in promoting neighbourhood resilience. He is the author of the report, People, Place and Purpose: Churches and Neighbourhood Resilience in the North East.

Other speakers TBC

Chair: Elizabeth Oldfield, Director – Theos

Tickets and venue

Tickets are free of charge on a first come first served basis.

The Life Science Centre is in Newcastle City Centre and easily accessible by public transport. Directions can be accessed here.

The room is wheelchair accessible, but please contact us in advance.

Join the conversation

Twitter: Follow us @theosthinktank and use the hashtag #TheosResilience to start the conversation

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Contact us

For more information, contact Theos on hello@theosthinktank.co.uk.


 Image from pauljrobinson available under a ShutterStock Licence 

Paul Bickley

Paul Bickley

Paul is Director of Political Programme at Theos. His background is in Parliament and public affairs, and he holds an MLitt from the University of St Andrews’ School of Divinity. @mrbickley

Life Science Centre
Times Square,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE1 4EP
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4EP

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