Professor David Bebbington

‘A fascinating character’ – David Bebbington reveals his topic for Catalyst Live

We’re really looking forward to hearing David Bebbington, Professor of History at the University of Stirling, talk at Catalyst Live.

In this clip recorded just for you, Professor Bebbington reveals his topic for Catalyst Live and what he’s looking forward to.


Book your place in the Catalyst Live audience by heading to:


A taste of our exclusive Catalyst Live interview with Stanley Hauerwas

Stanley Hauerwas has said things you might not agree with.

To hear the full exclusive video with this brilliant theologian, you’ll need to be at Catalyst Live.

For the time being, here’s a taste of what he told us in our interview with him.

Buy your ticket today by heading to the tickets section of this website.

Canon Rosie Harper will be speaking at Catalyst Live 2018.

‘I know I’m on the naughty step about this one’

“I think it’s a wonderful thing, Catalyst Live,” says Canon Rosie Harper, a writer and activist on issues of justice and equality within, and beyond, the Church.

“I love the way it opens up discussions and that you’re not afraid of challenging subjects.”

In this video message recorded just for you, Rosie Harper reveals the topic she’ll be tackling at Catalyst Live.

Book your place in the audience today by heading to the tickets section of this website.


A special message from Stanley Hauerwas

Stanley Hauerwas will appear at Catalyst Live via an exclusive video interview to be screened only at our events in Birmingham and Bristol.

In this message recorded just for you, Professor Hauerwas explains why he can’t be there in person.

Wendy The Robot

Do androids dream of electric speakers?


Wendy the robot was a big hit at Catalyst Live 2016, and so was her friend, robotics professor Nigel Crook. In the spirit of getting former speakers and delegates to recommend the event, we visited Wendy and interrupted her fitness regime to ask her to make a promo video to give you reasons why you should buy your tickets now to Catalyst Live 2018, which will feature Stanley Hauerwas and Paula Gooder.

Buy your tickets for Birmingham here or for Bristol here and reaffirm thinking humanity. Come to Catalyst Live.


Adrian Snell

The exile returns

Adrian Snell will be speaking at Catalyst Live 2018, on his fascinating and emotional work as a music therapist for special children in the UK and overseas. BMS Director of Communications Mark Craig spoke to Adrian recently for Baptist Times:

For a number of years in the 1980s, Adrian Snell was one of the brightest stars in the Christian music firmament. Which was always something of a disappointment to the man himself, as his music was never created for an exclusively Christian audience (*shudders*) and thoroughly deserved a wider listenership, which it only sometimes got. Indeed, Adrian resisted for years the inevitable pigeon-holing of his music as being ‘for Christians’; naturally, much of that unhelpful labelling is by Christians themselves, keen to claim him and his art as ‘ours’.


You can follow the rest of Mark’s interview with Adrian here

Catalyst Live 2016 in pictures: how then shall we live?

“How then shall we live?” That was the question posed by BMS World Mission General Director David Kerrigan, opening Catalyst Live 2016 in Birmingham and Reading this week. “Each generation needs to address the question,” he said in an introduction that took in Leslie Newbiggin, Francis Schaeffer and William Carey.

Catalyst Live 2016: 5 reasons to go

5 reasons to go to Catalyst Live 2016

The days, hours and minutes are counting down quickly to Catalyst Live 2016. The Birmingham event is completely sold out, but you can still get tickets for Reading on 17 November.

Why should you go? We asked two Baptist ministers, who previously have been to Catalyst Live in Reading, what they liked about it and why they are going again this year. Here’s what they said:

1. The speakers

Lucy Wright, minister at Worcester Park Baptist Church in Surrey, enjoyed the variety of speakers when she went to Catalyst Live in 2014.

“It was really helpful that there was a wide range of different speakers,” says Lucy. “It is a global-wide view rather than just people from the UK or the West. I don’t often have an opportunity to hear speakers from a global perspective.”

Find out more about who is speaking at Catalyst Live this year.

2. The format

At Catalyst Live, the talks are mostly 20 minutes long, something Nick Hudson, Minister Team Leader at Wokingham Baptist Church, particularly liked when he went in 2013.

“I enjoyed what seemed to me to be a unique format, which is lots of bitesize elements with different people contributing on a whole variety of different things,” he says.

3. The location

Lucy found the Concert Hall in Reading, where Catalyst Live is being held again this year, very convenient.

“The venue was very good because it was quite near the station,” she says. “It was a nice hall and a good space to be in.”


“I recommend going to Catalyst Live to have your thinking challenged, your perspective broadened and to hear voices that you wouldn’t hear otherwise speaking into your context.”
Nick Hudson


4. See friends and discuss issues

Lucy loved the opportunity to catch-up with friends at Catalyst Live and discuss the day with them.

“There were a lot of people that I knew there,” says Lucy.

“Through the breaks I was able to chat to people and see what they thought about the issues being raised.”

5. A place to think

Both Nick and Lucy enjoyed having a space to stretch their thinking, something they don’t often have in day to day ministry.

“The opportunity to engage the brain and do some thinking about theology is an opportunity that you don’t have in other places,” says Nick. “I appreciate BMS World Mission putting it on.”

“I would recommend Catalyst Live as it is an opportunity for a day to go away and think more deeply about other subjects that we don’t often have chance as ministers,” says Lucy.

So don’t delay any longer. Get your ticket for Catalyst Live in Reading today! Both Lucy and Nick will be there. Will you?

Catalyst Live 2016: 5 reasons to go

Catalyst Live: Birmingham event sold out

Were you were planning on coming to Catalyst Live in Birmingham on Wednesday 16 November but haven’t got a ticket yet? We are sorry to say that you will not be able to come as it is now completely sold out.

This doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on seeing inspiring Christian speakers like Samuel Escobar, Shadia Qubti and Vinoth Ramachandra though. There are still some spaces at Catalyst Live in Reading on Thursday 17 November and we’d love to see you there. To avoid disappointment, order your ticket today.

Catalyst Live 2016 speakers Shadia Qubti

Keeping hope and peace alive in the Holy Land

Catalyst Live 2016 speakers Shadia Qubti

Catalyst Live 2016 speaker Shadia Qubti

Being a peacemaker in Israel-Palestine is a daily personal battle for Catalyst Live 2016 speaker Shadia Qubti.

In a month’s time Shadia Qubti will be in the UK speaking at Catalyst Live, but she is in her hometown of Nazareth when I talk to her. At sunset it will be Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar, a time when the security forces are on high alert. “Things are very tense during Jewish holiday season,” Shadia says.

But the tension in Israel-Palestine rarely subsides. “The general atmosphere is that things are at a boiling point and it could overspill at any moment,” Shadia says. “Sadly this has been the case for the last year. Palestinians see there is no progress and no sign that the situation is going to change.”

It is against this backdrop that Shadia has dedicated herself to working for peace, to finding a way for reconciliation and encouraging hope. But how do you keep hope alive when people are so pessimistic?
“It’s a tough question,” Shadia admits. “I have to choose to believe that there is hope and that eventually the walls will not continue and the discrimination will reduce. It is a daily battle between me and myself to believe in it, but I have to believe in it. Otherwise, what choice do I have?”
Being a Christian Palestinian in Israel makes Shadia a “minority within a minority”. She didn’t really appreciate this growing up in Nazareth until she went to study at a technical school in Haifa, where out of 300 students there were only 15 Palestinians and she was one of two Christians.
“It overwhelmed me to the point where I just wanted to get along with everyone, integrate with the majority, and just hope to be on their good side,” she says. “Whether it was reducing my accent when I spoke Hebrew or changing my clothing more to fit into Israeli-Jewish society. But it hit me that whatever I tried to do, I would always be on the sidelines for being a Palestinian.”
Shadia felt helpless. But a trip to the Balkans to learn lessons from the conflict there changed her perception of what she could do and showed her that she could make a difference. “It really helped me transform from seeing myself as part of the problem to being part of the solution. I saw that the ability to speak both Hebrew and Arabic is an advantage, not a minus. The ability to fit in and blend in with other cultures is an advantage that can be used for peace and bring people together.”
For the last ten years, Shadia has been working with a BMS partner that is creating dialogue between Christian Palestinians and Messianic Jews. She has been co-ordinating youth programmes and has seen the impact as young people aged 14 to 18 from different sides of the conflict have formed friendships by spending time in the desert together. Shadia has also got involved in other peace making and justice initiatives like the Christ at the Checkpoint conference held in Bethlehem biannually as well as working with women’s groups, including the blog anothervoice.
You can hear Shadia at Catalyst Live, BMS’ conference for Christian thought-leaders, next month (16 and 17 November).
I ask her what Catalyst Live audiences can expect from her talk. “I hope they can relate to my story, to my life experience as a woman who is trying to find her place and to find her calling,” Shadia says. “But also they will be motivated to take action, whether it’s by promoting me and other women who are involved in peace making or seeking to be peacemakers themselves. You don’t need to do a lot, you don’t need to change your life completely. You can use the advantages in your life to make one person’s life different and better.”
Chris Hall was talking to Shadia Qubti
See Shadia Qubti and other excellent Christian speakers at Catalyst Live this November. Book your tickets now.