LDCF trundled up to York for a weekend of Lib Dem policy making, catching up with old and new friends, visiting York Minster and facilitating discussions about all things faith and politics.
It was great to be back in York again for Lib Dem Spring Conference! As we did last year, we kicked conference off in prayer and worship with a trip to York Minster Evensong. Lib Dems from across the country joined with the Minster congregation for a great service. Then straight onto the conference rally we went.
Whist delegates delved into all the debates, fringe events and training sessions, we ran our exhibition stand, talking to passers by about LDCF and all that we do. We met some wonderful people and caught up with some old friends. In the evening we hosted the Lib Dems' first ever multi-faith and belief fringe event. After hearing Lord Mike German share with us his thoughts on the importance of people working together and of faith communities getting involved in politics, attendees, armed with sticky notes and flip chart paper, shared their thoughts on a few different questions.
We heard how some people feel nervous about being open about their faith in the political sphere, how some feel a tension between being humble yet willing to say our manifestos are the best and how many feel there is a general view that religion and politics shouldn't mix. People suggested tying faith to the diversity agenda, supporting better dialogue between people of different faith and belief and encouraging activists to engage with faith communities locally. As one attendee described "with increasing racism and right-wing rhetoric, we need to lead in establishing dialogue between different parts of our communities".
This has given us a lot of food for thought and we can't wait to explore how we can address some of these common challenges, and respond to some of these suggestions.
Saturday evening saw a crowd of LDCF supporters descend on the local Italian restaurant for a time of great fellowship!
And on Sunday, our final day, we headed back to the conference centre for the final stint on our exhibition stand and a great closing speech from Tim Farron (read it here).