Women who have been set apart by their churches for Christian ministry gathered in Worcestershire in May for a conference called Thrive.
Organised by the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), Thrive first took place in 2012 and has now become a yearly event for FIEC, gathering together women working in independent churches.
Organised by Elisabeth Smyth, women’s ministry co-ordinator for the FIEC, more than 30 women gathered at Holland House on the banks of the River Avon for this year’s Thrive at the end of May. The three-day conference is designed to refresh women working in ministry both physically and spiritually.
At this year’s conference, George and Ele Hawkins from Beeston Free Church in Nottingham led the main sessions, with Mr Hawkins speaking from the book of Ruth.
Commenting on their time together, Ms Smyth said, ‘As a Fellowship we want to support and promote the biblical ministry of women in our churches. One way we can do that is through Thrive investing in those women whose godliness and gifting for ministry has been recognised.
‘It was a particular joy this year to appreciate the diversity of role, church and background represented by those who joined us, and to hear many say that they were leaving the conference feeling blessed and refreshed as they returned to their churches’.
One of this year’s delegates was Genevieve Jennings, who is a pastoral worker at Eden Baptist Church in Cambridge. She said, ‘It is marvellous when a conference refreshes Christian workers. It never occurred to me that Thrive could also be relaxing, but that is what it turned out to be for me