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Landmark conference on Carlisle's future

A landmark conference organised by the Diocese’s Urban Officer for Carlisle is to look at social issues affecting the city.

Keynote speakers at next month’s event, to be held at Brunton Park, will talk on issues such as domestic abuse and youth-related matters.

The Conference for Carlisle 2013 is open to all and has been set up by the Rev Alun Jones, who is the vicar of St Herbert’s church in Currock and the Church of England Urban Officer for Carlisle.

One of its principle aims is also to consider what God has planned for Carlisle’s future.

Alun said: “I get tired of hearing people say that Carlisle is a terrible place to live. It isn’t. But there are very real problems that need to be addressed here.”

“It’s essential that issues such as domestic abuse and what is being done to improve the prospects for our young people are debated, rather than allowing them to be hidden under the social landscape of the city.

“But at the same time there is good news about Carlisle and that is what will be reflected on day two of the conference. What is also important to understand is that God has a vision for this city.”

The conference will run on Thursday 10th October and Friday 11th October, 2013.

On the first day, delegates will hear about the problems of domestic abuse from Mandy Marshall, an international trainer on gender based violence. She founded the Restored organisation which is a Christian alliance aimed at ending violence against women. She recently spoke to the United Nations in New York on this subject representing the Church of England.

Later Mark Bowman, who is chief executive of Inspira – which specialises in youth support service and career guidance in Cumbria – will talk on matters affecting young people in the city.

On Friday, speakers include Cumbrian businessman Brian Scowcroft who will look at how inspirational actions can spark change.

He will be joined on the day by the Rev Greg Downes, who is principal of the Centre for Missional Leadership and an international speaker on the social justice and the Gospel. He will lead sessions looking at the challenges faced by the city and consider what God’s plan could be for its future.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, will give the closing address and lead prayers at the end of the conference.

It’s hoped that a Conference for Carlisle will highlight the issues raised and enable ongoing support to tackle them, and that Conference for Carlisle will become an annual event looking at other tough aspects of Urban life,

The cost of attendance is £10 per day which includes lunch and refreshments.

To book a place please call Rev Alun Jones on 01228 523375 or email at




For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434 or at or Rev Richard Pratt on 07788 728508.


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