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The Challenge of Leadership

:Religion and Churchgoing in the Twenty-First Century

Faculty of Education & Theology

Our third leadership conference examined the changing pattern of religious observance in Britain and the challenges which this poses to those who lead and oversee local, regional and national churches. The conference took place on 17 June 2014 in the Dianne Willcocks Lecture Theatre at York St John University.

The fortunes of organised Christianity have radically altered in mainland Britain in the last 70 years. The numbers attending and identifying with the churches have been plummeting, whilst baptism and religious marriage rates have been falling significantly. On the other hand, those identifying with 'no religion' positions have increased greatly, especially in the last 20 years. Equally, community churches of many kinds are flourishing and the historic denominations are adapting in imaginative ways to new situations.

Programme outline »

Keynote Speaker

Professor Callum Brown - Professor of Late Modern European History, University of Glasgow. He is the author of 11 books and numerous book chapters and journal articles, including The Death of Christian Britain; Understanding Secularisation 1800-2000 (Routledge 2nd edition 2009) and Religion and the Demographic Revolution: Women and Secularisation in Canada, Ireland, UK and USA since the 1960s (Boydell 2012). He is currently completing a book on Losing Religion based on an oral history project in Britain and North America.

A copy of the text can be found here.


Responders to the main presentation

Ms Joanna Cox is Archbishops’ Council Officer and National Adviser in Adult Education and Lay Development.

A copy of the powerpoint presentation can be found here.


Revd Graham Hutchinson is Pastor at York Elim Pentecostal Church. He is also chair of One Voice York.

Response notes available here.



Q & A Session chaired by Professor Pauline Kollontai


For more information contact Canon Malcolm Grundy E: m.grundy@yorksj.ac.uk

For admin queries E: edtheoconferences@yorksj.ac.uk or T: 01904 876517


Details of the 2013 conference can be found here

Details of the 2011 conference can be found here.