The Vision

For almost 2,000 years, groups of Christians have gathered in many different  spaces, from people’s homes to ornate cathedrals to underground caves. There is something vital about gathering together as followers of Jesus.

Ekklesia is an overnight conference for church leaders, to explore together, the power of the gathered community.

This is a space for the raw and the real – a space to unpack some of the thinking and the practical ideas that help us effectively bring about Kingdom change.

What to expect

The set up for the conference will be round tables so that everything shared can be dissected and contextualised with other church leaders. There will be space to make God connections with other pastors and ministers and hear about a range of local church scenarios.

The programme will break down into:

  • Three main sessions packed with worship, teaching and stories from churches.
  • A choice of three seminar streams structured around, gathering to belong, gathering to grow and gathering to send.
  • Meals and coffee breaks to create space for new friendships, collaborations and reflection.

Confirmed Contributors

Rob Parsons

We are delighted to have Rob Parsons OBE, founder of Care for the Family, giving us a Communication Masterclass. Rob is an international speaker on family issues and the author of many best-sellers including The Heart of Success and The 60-Minute Father. Over a million people have attended his live seminars.

Matt Summerfield


Matt is the Senior Pastor of Zeo Church which he leads alongside a wider speaking, training, coaching and writing ministry – Prior to this, he served for 18 years as CEO, and latterly President, of the youth and children’s missionary movement, Urban Saints. Matt is passionate about releasing potential in people and organisations and is the founder of – a simple idea to encourage people in future-changing disciple-making.

Richard Wightman

New Life Church, Milton Keynes

Richard has been senior leader of New Life Church Milton Keynes for the past 15 years. During that time it has grown from around 150 people to over 800 people, and has planted out two other churches. Richard is passionate about developing leaders and devotes much of his time to discipleship and developing a pipeline of effective leaders and effective support systems.

Richard also chairs the Homelessness Partnership in Milton Keynes, a partnership of 30 plus charities and Milton Keynes Council. He chairs the Winter Night Shelter charity, which provides overnight accommodation of 30 beds spread over 14 venues each week, and staffed by about 600 volunteers. He loves to serve the city in the ways that the civic leaders value most.

Before working for the church Richard was Head of Passenger Business for Network Rail.

Richard is married to Helen, and has two children and one grandchild. Richard likes board games, family history, walking, historic houses, and above all spending time with Bethany.

Dr Krish Kandiah

Krish is the founding director of Home For Good, a charity seeking to find loving homes for vulnerable children in the care system. He is an advocate for fostering and adoption. He has written 13 books including the catalytic “Home for Good: Making a Difference for Vulnerable Children” and the award winning “Paradoxology” and now his latest book “Faitheism: Why Christianity and Atheism have more in common than you think.” (Hodder 2018) Dr Kandiah has been published in the Times of London, the Guardian and is a regular broadcaster on BBC National Radio.

Andi Russell


Andi is co-founder and director of Jersey Road Communications & PR. She is a former journalist and experienced PR professional with over 23 years media expertise. She has worked with Murdoch Magazines, GMTV (now Good Morning Britain), Emap and international NGO World Vision, in part managing the crisis and relief communications across 19 offices in the Asia Pacific region. Launching Jersey Road PR over eight years ago, the organisation is a full service media agency both here in the UK and internationally, working with a broad range of clients who are making a lasting difference in the world and having a social impact. She loves storytelling, has keen eye for what makes news, key industry relationships and loves coming up with creative and relevant PR ideas to encourage media and audience engagement. Andi is a trustee of urban youth charity XLP and also previously led the Vineyard church in Milton Keynes for 8 years with her husband Gareth.

Linda Ward

Linda leads Bless Community Church in West London and is committed to releasing leaders from ‘baby boomers’ to ‘millennials’ to ‘Generation Z’ and working across the generations. She co-chairs WLL (West London Leaders) a collaboration of over 100 church and community leaders and is part of the leadership team of Pioneer (leading the London Region and being their national Ecumenical Lead).

Linda has also been vice chair of governors of one of the largest primary schools and is currently a community assessor for the MET Police and a trustee for Ealing Foodbank. She is currently spearheading building and business plans for a resource hub in West London and progressing an unusual relationship between Bless and a High Anglo-Catholic church.

Becca Jupp

Arun Church

Becca is mum to four children, Rosie, Harry, Milly and Poppy. She lives in Rustington West Sussex and is the leader of Arun Church which has about 400 members and employs 60 people because of its large involvement in the local community.

Becca has been married to Tim for 28 years who was the keyboard player of the band Delirious and is the founder of the Big Church Day Out. In 1992 Becca was responsible with a team for setting up the Youth Events called ‘Cutting Edge’ in both Littlehampton and later in Southampton. She has been in church leadership for 23 years and took over the senior leadership of the church from her dad 8 years ago. Her favourite programmes are The Good Life, Miranda and the Vicar of Dibley!

Chris Ebechidi


Chris has served as a Pastor in Jubilee Church since 2009. He currently oversees Small Group ministry in Jubilee, Leadership development, Pastoral Care and Prayer ministry.
Before serving as a pastor in Jubilee, Chris worked as a Senior Physiotherapist in the NHS. He has a passion for leadership development, enjoys sports and is an Arsenal fan.

Cris Rogers


Cris took on the leadership of an Anglican church which had shrunk to seven people and is situated in one of the toughest estates in London. Cris and his family moved to Tower Hamlets with the desire of restarting the church.

Roger Sutton


Roger is the director of Movement Day UK and leads the GATHER movement, a collaboration of unity for transformation movements across the UK. He also co-chairs the Trafford Local Strategic Partnership and chairs the Stronger Communities Board for Trafford Council in Manchester. Roger previously led Altrincham Baptist church in Manchester for 22 years and has vast experience in helping churches work collaboratively in bringing transformation to their area.

Chris Frost


Chris leads the leadership team at Gateway church, Leeds that God is growing into a large, “all-sorts” family that impacts the world. Gateway has been involved in church planting and pioneering mission initiatives such as ‘Hear from heaven’, ‘’ and ‘Leeds Citywide Alpha’.

Manoj Raithatha

Barking Baptist Church

Manoj has had a varied career (as a teacher, a Bafta award-winning children’s TV writer and a property businessman). The power of answered prayer saw Manoj, a born and raised Hindu, gave his life to serve Jesus. Today, Manoj heads up the South Asian Forum (SAF), runs Instant Apostle publishing house and is the part-time Pastor of Barking Baptist Church in East London.

Mike Betts


Mike Betts leads the Relational Mission family of churches.

He is an inspirational speaker with a desire to raise up many spiritual sons and daughters to be all they can be in God. He has authored From the Inside out: A Grace-Filled Life and Relational Mission: A way of life

Mike is married to Sue and they have a married son. Mike and Sue were born and brought up in Lowestoft, UK.

Mike is part of the eldership team at Lowestoft Community Church. In his spare time Mike is a keen fly fisherman, jazz fan and Norwich City supporter. Sue enjoys making crafts and browsing antiques and collectors fairs.

Claude Thomas


Claude’s passion is to invest in people and help them develop to their God-given potential. Presently he is using his God-given gifts and experiences to lead C3Global, a relational network of pastors and ministry leaders. He is actively coaching pastors, leading roundtables, speaking in churches and conferences, and working with organizations to strategically plan their futures.

Prior to becoming President of C3Global, Claude served as Senior Vice President of an International Humanitarian Ministry after serving as Vice-President of a John Maxwell Company.
For decades he was senior pastor of churches in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. Among his peers, Dr. Thomas is known for leading churches to expansion in evangelism and missions, preaching relevant and expository messages, integrating innovative approaches, and leading people to experience Christ and His Word in celebrative worship.

Osoba Otaigbe


Osoba is a Baptist Minister and also an Advanced Certified Cultural Intelligence Facilitator with the Cultural Intelligence Center. He is the author of ‘Building Cultural Intelligence in Church, Ministry and the Workplace’. Osoba has spent his life in cross-cultural leadership positions, with eighteen years as an entrepreneur within the oil and gas industry and fourteen years in mission and ministry in two London Baptist churches. He is a Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Management and served as the chair of the London Baptist Association Mission Strategy Forum.

Sarah Yardley

Sarah Yardley is a Californian based in Cornwall who loves Jesus, family, friendships, coffee, travel, and guacamole. She grew up at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, served at Reality Carpinteria, and currently lives in the United Kingdom, serving full-time with Creation Fest UK and Tubestation in Polzeath. She loves discovering what it means to follow Jesus and inviting others to know and follow Him.

Mark Pugh

Re-Discover Church

Mark has been in church leadership for over 25 years and also led Elim’s national youth ministry for 10 of these. He also served on Elim’s National Leadership Team from 2010 to 2018. He believes in team and seeks to inspire and empower those around him to step into their God-given potential.


Throughout day 2 consultations are available to help you and your local church!

Jon Turner

The Reverend Jon Turner is UK Country Manager for Christian Vision. A well-known speaker, evangelist, teacher and former Executive Minister for Atlantic Baptist Churches in Canada. His doctoral thesis examined exorcism and deliverance ministry. He has two young children and lives in Birmingham.

Want a social media strategy as a Church? Find out about CV Outreach’s social partners campaign, with free weekly content for publicity and to keep that Facebook page looking fresh. Also find out how you might be eligible for Google Grants!

John Keskeys


John Keskeys is the Head of Partnerships at Stewardship which exists to give the wider world the opportunity to encounter Jesus through the generosity of His people and the transformational work of the causes they support.

Simon Barrington


Simon will be offering consultations on how we can best connect and engage with millennials.

He is passionate about raising up a generation of leaders who are clear about their identity, have a strong sense of belief and a core inner strength that leads them to have extraordinary influence.

Before starting Forge Leadership he led Samaritan’s Purse UK as Chief Executive from September 2003 to May 2017 after a successful business career in the telecommunications industry, where he was a Senior Manager at a large Telecommunications Company. His focus at Forge Leadership is on helping leaders reach their full potential.


Mark Waterfield


Mark Waterfield leads Hope Church Newham in East London. He is a passionate preacher and is growing a diverse, grace-filled, word and Spirit New Frontiers Church which he planted 8 years ago. As well as Jesus, family, church and London he is committed to championing and investing in church leaders and does this by leading Stratford Church Leaders and co-leading C3 UK.

Andy Frost


Andy Frost has been the Director of Share Jesus International since 2008 leading scores of projects ranging from London’s Pentecost Festival to national tours. At the heart of all that he does, he wants to help people become followers of Jesus. He is a popular speaker who loves telling the stories of Jesus.

Worship will be led by Tim Williams

Tim heads up the worship at New Life Church, Milton Keynes, where he is also a site/campus leader. He currently oversees the worship development for his wider family of churches, Catalyst (part of Newfrontiers), and was previously the assistant worship pastor at St Andrews, Chorleywood. He is married to Maggie and enjoys the occasional game of golf.

The Important Bits


Wednesday 20th March
Registration will open from 6pm and the first session will run 7pm – 9.45pm. There will then be an opportunity to go for drink with other leaders.

Thursday 21st March
The conference will run from 9am until 8.30pm, giving all delegates the opportunity to travel home after the event.

A full timetable will be available in January 2019.


Participant Pass: £50 if booked before Oct 31st 2018, £70 afterwards.
Group Participant Pass: £250 for five delegates – a great opportunity to bring a core team from your church!

The cost includes coffees, lunch and dinner on 21st March.

Please note booking closes March 15th (due to catering)


The Ridgeway Centre
Featherstone Road
Wolverton Mill South
Milton Keynes
MK12 5TH

The venue has adequate car parking and is a short cab/ uber ride from Milton Keynes train station.


There are a range of hotels in the nearby area.

A good number of people are booking into the Premier Inn, Milton Keynes South West (Furzton Lake). and other similar sites will give you a range of accommodation choices.


Over the last six years, Andy Frost and Mark Waterfield have been helping to run church leader round tables exploring vision, culture and mission as part of C3 Global. The Ekklesia event will be bringing some of the 200+ church leaders who have participated in these gatherings together and during the conference, there will be an opportunity to find out about what a hosting a round table in your area could look like.