Church Leaders Mark 100 Years of FIEC at Leaders’ Conference
by Joel Murray
Nearly 1,000 pastors, elders, women’s workers, youth leaders, and others in church leadership gathered at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool in November for the 2022 FIEC Leaders’ Conference.
It was the first national conference for three years due to the Covid pandemic but came just in time, marking FIEC’s 100th anniversary.
FIEC was founded in 1922 with a vision to support and encourage the ministry of Independent churches. So, the conference theme was to reflect on the founding principles of the Fellowship that are still at the heart of FIEC: faithfulness to the truth, a commitment to unity, and mission at the heart of the local church.
With some church groups and denominations changing their position on orthodox Christian doctrine and teaching, and only 2-3% of the UK population born-again believers, this vision of truth, unity, and mission is as important in 2022 as it was in 1922.
The main gatherings included preaching from FIEC directors – including Andy Paterson (FIEC Mission Director) as he retires – and FIEC pastors, exploring the letter from Jude on contending for the faith, the importance of core doctrinal convictions, and the power of partnership.
Sung worship was led by Phil Moore, Colin Webster, and their band – a precious opportunity to sing in such a large group, especially after singing has been restricted over the past years.
A new song commissioned for FIEC’s centenary – written by Phil with Tim Chester – was introduced at the conference too: Lord Jesus, build your church today.
Seminars went deeper into the topics of the main gatherings, there were prayer gatherings between similar churches from across the country, and lots of time to eat and drink together to build relationships and partnerships between church leaders.
Looking to the next 100 years of FIEC, Pray for One Hundred was launched which features a selection of one hundred mission initiatives at churches across the FIEC Fellowship. Leaders took home resources to help their churches pray for these mission initiatives across the country.
John Stevens, FIEC National Director said: “The Leaders’ Conference is at the very heart of the life and work of FIEC where we can express our togetherness, get to know others, and build each other up.
“It’s been great to be together again for the first time in three years, especially during our 100th anniversary year as FIEC. I pray that the leaders who came have been blessed by what was taught from God’s word and by the opportunity to spend time with other leaders.”