On 14 May, the Catholic Union attended the Christians in Government annual conference at the Emmanuel Centre in London. The topic for this year was: “What would William Wilberforce say to us today?”.
Christians in Government is a non-denominational (but mostly evangelical Protestant) staff network connecting, supporting and representing Christians working in UK national Government. It is formally recognised by Cabinet Office to represent and serve Civil Servants. Since 2021, a number of staff have gathered to create the Catholics in the Civil Service network, which is recognised by Christians in Government.
The annual conference was open to everyone involved in public service, including NGOs and church representatives.
Dr Tim Leunig, Economic Advisor to the Chancellor at HM Treasury, presented his vision about how Christians can serve in public life today. Nikki Marfleet, Governor at HMP Woodhill, presented the challenge of leadership in leading teams working in a prison environment. Also, Dr Jonathan Oloyede, leader of City Chapel and the Convener of the National Day of Prayer UK, led us in prayer. Catholic Andrew Tucker discussed leadership, and faith-inspired values that are essential to develop this leadership.
In the afternoon, we gathered in workshops to discuss how to inspire young people to join the Civil Service and work for the common good; the refugee response and social action; diversity and inclusion; and Christian persecution and the International Ministerial Conference on Religious Freedom or Belief, which will take place in London from 5-6 July this year.
This gathering was a powerful, and beautiful way, to celebrate the contribution of Christians to the common good, through the Civil Service. It was also a way to find inspiration, and go back to the outside world with greater faith, hope and charity.