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Pre-Forum Conference: Emerging Leaders in the Public Square

The vision of the Emerging Leaders’ Programme is to invest in the lives of young people across Europe who show leadership potential to develop and resource them for a life of committed service in the public square. Building on the expertise gained by CARE over 25 years of equipping over 300 Christian graduates now serving in all areas of public life around the world, together with CARE’s sponsorship of the Politics and Society Network at the European Leadership Forum, it seeks to equip future leaders by providing a biblical worldview to undergird their engagement with the culture of their countries. This in turn feeds into a vision for the transformation of Europe as they work for the good of their societies.

By exposure to key texts experienced leaders and engagement with each other, the participants of this programme will both grow in their faith, be challenged intellectually and gain expertise and an understanding of what it means to be a Christian leader today. Following the Pre-Forum Conference, participants will join the Politics and Society Network for the 2020 Network.

This Pre-Forum Conference will take place preceding the European Leadership Forum on Friday, 22 May from 15:00-18:00 CEST.

This Pre-Forum Conference is invitation-only. All participants must apply and be accepted to the Forum. Please email Kevin Saylor at to indicate your interest in attending this Conference.



Nola Leach is a co-leader of the European Politics and Society Network and serves as the Chief Executive of CARE (Christian Action Research & Education), one of Europe’s leading Christian charities, which provides resources and helps bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives. CARE undertakes a variety of social caring and educational programmes and research and is represented in the UK Parliaments and Assemblies. As Head of the Public Affairs team, Nola leads campaigns on topics such as human trafficking, Internet pornography, and the value of human life from its beginning to natural end. She has overseen the publication of Living Free, a sequel to the CARE book Searching for Intimacy – a resource designed to help those trapped in the net of Internet pornography. She has a passion for developing Christian leaders and heads up CARE’s unique Leadership Programme. She is increasingly in demand as both a writer and a public speaker, has penned numerous articles, and regularly appears in the media.


Charlie Hoare is a co-leader of the European Politics and Society Network. He received his bachelor's degree in History at the University of Durham. After a year of working for a British Member of Parliament, he studied law before taking a master’s degree at the London School of Economics in social policy and non-profit management. From 1998- 2012 he was CARE’s International Director. He now acts as a consultant for CARE focusing on International work. In addition to representing CARE at the United Nations, he has helped establish a strategic global network of policy makers, academics, politicians, and diplomats at the national and regional levels. He is married to Eleanor; they have a son and two daughters.



David Hilborn is Principal of Moorlands College, UK. Moorlands is an interdenominational evangelical college based near Christchurch in Dorset, with regional training centres in Birmingham, Torquay and Gloucester. He was previously Principal of St John’s College, Nottingham and Assistant Dean of St Mellitus College. Before that he was Head of Theology at the Evangelical Alliance UK for nine years, also serving on the Executive of the World Evangelical Alliance Theological Commission. David is an ordained Anglican minister and was a member of the Church of England’s Faith and Order Commission from 2006-2016. He currently chairs the Evangelical Alliance’s Theological Advisory Group. He is a graduate of the Universities of Nottingham (BA, PhD) and Oxford (MA), and has led or served on the ministry teams of five local churches. He has authored or edited several books, including Picking Up the Pieces (Hodder), The Nature of Hell, ‘Toronto’ in Perspective, One Body in Christ, Movement for Change (Paternoster) and The Atonement Debate (Zondervan). David is a Londoner by birth and is married to Mia, a senior hospital chaplain. They have two grown-up children. He loves cricket and enjoys a wide range of music.


David McIlroy is a practising barrister based in London in the UK. He serves on the editorial board of Law & Justice, teaches the Mission of Justice and the Theology of Law course at Spurgeon’s College, and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame (USA) in England. He is convinced that justice matters enormously to God and He wants Christians to work hard to see justice done more and more in situations around the world. Through his books (A Biblical View of Law and Justice, A Trinitarian Theology of Law, The End of Law) and many articles, David seeks to deepen people’s reflections on justice and to inspire others to take up the challenge of acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8).


Françoise Thonet is a Senior Judge at the Court of Appeal in Mons, Belgium, specializing in environmental matters and humanitarian law. She has been President of the Court since 2019. She is committed to mission work through studying theology at the Vaux Sur Seine Evangelical College, France and membership of the board of Portes Ouvertes (Open Doors) France and Belgium as Vice-President (PO France) and President (PO Belgium). She is also a member of the International Baptist Church of Brussels since 2005 and prayer ministry leader since 2008. She has a passion for mission work, church planting and mission theology, as well as promoting justice for Christians who are discriminated against.



The Theology and Philosophy of Human Rights

David McIlroy

This talk explores the questions: where do the ideas of human rights come from in history? How do human rights relate to the biblical understanding of justice? Can Christians use the language of human rights or must they reject it? And how should Christians respond to the claims made in the name of human rights today?


Promoting Justice for Christians Who Are Discriminated Against

Françoise Thonet 

What is the call that we have as Christians to promote justice for other Christians who are discriminated against? How can we play a key role in that and help those who are vulnerable? Françoise Thonet has a vast experience on the topic, given her role as Senior Judge in Belgium and her wide international involvement with Open Doors. She will share her personal story and will talk about the motivation that every Christian should have in promoting justice.


Freedom, Religious Liberty and Sexuality

Revd Dr. David Hilborn

Recent books by Tom Holland and Olivier Roy have rightly re-emphasised the foundational role of Judaism and Christianity in shaping key concepts of personal, religious, and political freedom – concepts that are too often assumed nowadays to be secular in origin. Yet whereas these motifs were rooted in profoundly communal commitments to church and godly society, certain Enlightenment philosophies promoted a ‘turn to the subject’ which bred greater individualism, and which came increasingly to present individual freedom as freedom from belief in God and from the Church and its moral teaching. Now, in the 21st century, LGBTQ and abortion rights have begun to trump religious liberties, with the latter increasingly cast as a mask for innately ‘abusive’ beliefs and practices and innately ‘hateful’ speech – all accelerated and amplified by social media. This session will explore the divergence of ‘freedom’ from its biblical roots and will examine how that divergence now threatens liberties hard-won by Christians over the centuries. In doing so, we will consider case studies on same-sex marriage, gender self-definition, street preaching, ‘spiritual abuse’, and the under-reporting of the worldwide persecution of Christians.

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