2013: The Standing Stronger Together Conference

Header Standing Stronger Together 2013


Forest Fire 2012

Looking back in retrospect at 2013 innovative Standing Stronger Together Conference.


Off the back of LEAF's successful Forest Fire 2012 conference at Brockenhurst College; LEAF presented a new look Standing Stronger Together! conference with the catchy sub-title of ~ 3 Nights ~ 3 Venues ~ One Heart! 

Ian Coffey

The conference speaker that year was International lecturer, author and sort-after conference speaker Rev Ian Coffey MTh, the Director of Leadership Training and Vice Principal (Strategy) at Moorlands College and speaker at conferences such as Spring Harvest over many years.

Ian writes and teaches on the subject of leadership. He is married to Ruth and they have four adult sons and four grandchildren. Ian has led churches in suburban, city-centre and international contexts and they are as a couple involved in training a new generation for servant leadership at Moorlands College. Ian has a passion to teach the Bible in a language people can understand and he and Ruth speak at conferences across the world as mentioned above. He has an active interest in writing and has published 14 books including 'Pennies for Heaven', 'Bridges from the Word to the World: Connecting the Bible and Everyday Living' (co-authored with Kim Bush) and 'The Story of David: After God's Heart'. To relax Ian plays golf and is a keen cook with a special interest in international cuisine.

Before the conference and thinking ahead of his topic he told LEAF Administrator Brian Edgeley, "God has laid upon my heart the three themes of  'Pressure, Partnership and Passion' - that means in reality ~ 'HOW to deal with Pressure', 'WHY we need Partnerships' and 'HOW we might kindle, or re-kindle, our Passion for Christ, his People and the World."

Of the three evenings, in three different locations throughout the New Forest area Rev Coffey said this:

"It’s hard swimming against the tide – but knowing you’re not alone gives strength to carry on. The first Christians lived in a world that was hostile to their beliefs and lifestyle but that didn’t drive them into ghettoes. Many become so strong in their faith they were willing to die for it. So what can we learn from their example of not simply surviving – but actually thriving? Over [the] three evenings in May we are going to look at three key themes that lie behind robust belief – Pressure (how to handle it), Partnership (and why we need it) and Passion (and how to kindle it). Based on Paul’s letter to the Christian community in Philippi, I will be exploring the connections between living for Jesus Christ in the 1st and 21st Centuries. Join some fellow swimmers for three evenings of strengthening!"

Ian and Ruth Coffey

"And what was the reason behind LEAF choosing the three different locations across the New Forest rather than in One location which Forest Fire had been?" you might ask? Well, over the year's LEAF has impacted many churches within the New Forest area but there are so many more churches and the area is so much bigger. Even though Forest Fire 2012 was a massive success with Brockenhurst College packed to capacity on the first of the 3 nights of celebration and teaching from Clarion Trust Director Stephen Gaukroger, there were  many areas of the New Forest Churches that were not represented. The vision behind the 2013 Standing Stronger Together Conference was to be representative in 3 different areas of the forest, so that we hopefully touched new area, new people and new churches. Looking back in retrospect that most definitely happened.

Each evening of the conference held a traditional evangelical flavour of praise and worship and teaching. With each location reaching out to a slightly different audience the numbers attending were not as high as expected if the conference were to be held in one central location. But this was understood and the overwhelming effect of the Standing Stronger Together conference did what it said on the tin. It united the churches within those area around the venues, touching new lives, encouraging new people, encompassing new churches and church leadership. LEAF grew through it as did the networking of the church together in each area. Looking at the grand scheme of things God was moving LEAF out of one location and a one location mindset and advancing us into the ground-work of networking churches within their communities. Helping them to Stand Stronger Together!

Praise God!



Original Flyers and Posters can be downloaded from the links below.

If you want to know more, or to be kept in touch with what is going on then please fill out the form at the bottom of this page with your Email address and then follow the on-screen prompts to join our e-Newsletter mailing list.

Origianl Itinerary:

Evening Exhibitions

Each evening the doors now open each evening at 6.30PMand there was free tea and coffee available as people entered to look around the Conference Exhibition centre. There were a range of exhibitors including 

  • Christians Against Poverty (CAP)
  • Christians Counselling Together
  • Families Matter
  • New Forest Food Bank
  • New Forest Prayer Canopy
  • Torch Trust for the Blind
  • Waterside Food Bank
  • Waterside Street Pastors
  • Youth and Families Matter


Original Flyers and Posters can be downloaded from here: Flyer and Poster

NOTE: The image to the right is for visual purposes only; please click the links above to download full sized copies of either flyer or A4 poster.


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Page last updated: 21st July 2015 11:24 AM
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