Speakers

Here are some of our fantastic line up of speakers taking part in the Premier Digital Conference 2020. 

Laura Digan

Minister, Church of Scotland

Laura is a Probationary Minister with the Church of Scotland. She came to Sanctuary First on placement and stayed as she is interested in how a worshipping community can grow and develop in the digital space. Laura previously worked in Internal Communications with a major British brand with the retail sector. Laura brings to her ministry her experience of online communications, marketing, managing change projects and creating and growing models of communities built around co-ownership.

Tony Miles

Minister, Methodist Church

Tony Miles is the Superintendent Minister and Team Leader of Methodist Central Hall, Westminster.  During the pandemic, Tony and the team at MCHW have had a significant response to their online worship - MCHW.live.  Tony is an author and broadcaster, who has presented for Premier Christian Radio weekly for 23 years. He has also been a contributor to Pause for Thought for BBC Radio 2’s Early Breakfast Show with Vanessa Feltz.  Tony has been a trustee for many charities over the years and is a non-executive director of the international conference centre, Central Hall Westminster Ltd.  He is married to Frances, and they live in Shirley, Croydon. They have two adult children and four grandchildren and are supporters of Fulham Football Club.

Amber Zheng

Marketing Manager, China, Christian Vision

Amber is a passionate evangelist and loves sharing Jesus in her daily life. She seizes every opportunity to bring people to Jesus and talking to Uber drivers is her best scenario. She is energetic, patient and brave. She can always find a good way to start the conversation and stimulate people’s interest in Jesus. Amber is also a gifted worship leader, serving a large congregation in a local church.

Amber joined CV China in 2019 as a marketing manager. With the background of test engineer and product manager, she has been leading creative faith-sharing projects called “Unlock+” and “Chatbot” to mobilize young Christians (18-35) to share faith in their communities and bring more people to know Jesus.

She has a clear vision! The vision connects colleagues, connects work, connects lives!

Bex Lewis

Senior Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University, with a particular interest in digital culture and the digital environment, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, includes social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014), of which a second edition is in preparation for 2021. Alongside academic journal articles, she has authored a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.

Albert Bogle

Church Leader, Sanctuary First, Scotland

Albert has been a member of various General Assembly Boards and Committees including Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 2012/13. He studied theology at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities and was parish minister at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland Bo’ness for 34 years where he led a multidisciplinary team of creative people working to effect transformation in communities at a local, national and international level.

He is founder of the Vine Trust, an international relief organisation working in the Amazon and Lake Victoria, and co founder of Sanctus Media. Albert’s ministry has included blogging, broadcasting, and developing digital media as a communication tool for churches.

In April 2016 he was appointed leader of Sanctuary First as a Pioneer Minister to explore new ways to create and sustain opportunities for those disconnected from church to be sustained in their Christian discipleship though the use of digital technology.

“History has taught us that it is through creativity and diversity that God has renewed the worship of his people. We are called to be pilgrims moving from imagination to expression, from expression to action, and from action to reflection; a picture of incarnation, which surely must be at the centre of all Godly communication and authentic worship.

Marcus Jones

Director of Digital and News, Premier

Marcus Jones is director of digital and news at Premier. A trained broadcast journalist, Marcus has overseen Premier’s news coverage for the past six years during which he has conducted interviews with the likes of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and world champion boxer Tyson Fury. He’s now working to grow Premier’s digital reach in the UK and across the world. A Welshman exiled in London with his wife and two children. He’s not the MP for Nuneaton, has never played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers American Football team and has no interest in mixed martial arts.

Matthew Batten

Head of Communications, Church in Wales

Matt joined Diocese of Llandaff in 2019 to lead their digital comms transformation programme. Matt has previously worked in policy and public relations for an equalities charity and has also worked in Organisational Development for a leading nursing organisation. Matt has a degree in Religious Studies and a Masters in Ecumenical Studies.

Chris Curtis

Chief Executive, Youthscape

Chris is a youth worker based in Luton in the UK. He's part of Youthscape, a national Christian ministry who are focused on helping to renew the UK church's engagement with young people. They publish research, create resources and offer training, and try to model youth ministry with local young people. Chris speaks and writes a lot about youth work, but he also is a bit of a mac geek and a member of The Magic Circle in London.

Mark Williamson

Leadership Trainer, OneRockInternational

Mark is one of the founders and co-directors of One Rock, and leads the Sanctuary community in central London – both of which are involved with online discipling of young adults into spiritually mature leaders who make an impact for the Kingdom. He’s also a trustee with Fresh Expressions, and has written biographies on John Wesley and William Wilberforce. He supports Liverpool FC, loves talking about good films, and going for long walks with Joanna.

Steve Fogg

Senior Pastor, City on a Hill Church

Growing up in Derby UK in an unchurched family, Steve became a Christian later in life after emigrating to Melbourne, Australia. Steven has served in various roles as a Graphic Designer to a Creative Director. 

He served as Communications Pastor at Crossway Baptist Church and 6 years ago envisioned, launched and grew Crossway’s Online Church to over 2,500 regular attenders from over 120 countries. 

Steven loves serving the broader church and during 2020 has served many hundred’s of churches on every continent making the pivot to online church. During 2020 he has helped churches get over 750,000 visitors to their various online churches. In October 2020, he stepped back into a leadership role as Executive Director - Digital Ministries at City On A Hill Church.

Redina Kolaneci

CEO, Christian Fundraising Consultancy

Redina is the founder of Christian Fundraising Consultancy based in the UK. She holds a Batchelors Degree in Philosophy from the University of Tirana, Albania and a Master’s Degree in Theology from Spurgeon’s College in London. 

She started her journey of promoting generosity and effective stewardship in churches across the UK in 1998 when she became the first ever Stewardship education consultant serving with Stewardship Services (now Stewardship). 

For over two decades Redina has taught and trained hundreds of local church and ministry leaders on biblical principles of stewardship, on growing generous givers in the local church and much more. 

She has authored a series of Bible studies on generosity titled ‘What does love require?’ and a stewardship resource pack for local churches titled ‘Re-discovering the Joy of Giving.’ 

Redina is passionate about helping church and ministry leaders to see stewardship and fundraising as part of God’s plan for their ministry and raise more funds for their mission causes. 
Redina lives in Colchester, UK but is often travelling to Europe and Australia offering training, consulting and coaching to ministry leaders and fundraisers.

Carl Knightly

CEO, Faith in Later Life

Carl leads Faith in Later Life, a national Christian charity seeking to encourage and equip Christians to reach, serve and empower older people, through the local church. Carl previously headed up communications activity for Pilgrims' Friend Society, a national residential and care home provider. Carl is a regular commentator in the Christian media and is passionate about the importance of older Christians in church, and older people in society more broadly.

Nathan Spicer

Resources Lead, Christian Vision

Born in the UK, Nathan moved to Zambia, Africa in his teenage years as his parents helped to establish one of CV’s early broadcast facilities. Having moved back to the UK as a 17 year old, Nathan started a career with IBM working in the tech sector covering a wide area of specialties.

Nathan, his wife and two children, emigrated to Australia in 2009 to take up a position with CV where he was able to combine what was in his heart (mission), with the skills in his hand.

Whilst at CV, Nathan has pioneered yesHEis into a global evangelism product and is currently working to provide free digital resources and knowledge to churches so the message of Jesus can go everywhere.

Nathan is an early adopter, loves disruptive tech and has a positive approach to all that he does. Nathan is most passionate about finding new ways for people to know Jesus.

Bryony Taylor

Vicar, Church of England

Bryony is the Rector of Barlborough and Clowne - two villages in North East Derbyshire. Before ordination she worked as a social media consultant. 2020 has been interesting as it has brought her former working life right into life now as a priest in the church of England - she has been sharing her knowledge and expertise to help hybrid church (including online and phone church) to grow and reach more people for Christ.

David Adabale

Head of Digital, New Wine, Woolwich

David Adabale is a Media Consultant, Author of 4 books, Conference Speaker, and Associate Pastor at New Wine Church, London.

His practical, passionate, and authentic teachings leave his audience with a hunger to know and experience God intimately. This triggers a hunger for his listeners to be the best that God has called them to be. As an author, his messages inspire personal effectiveness and living a life full of purpose, fulfilment, and satisfaction.

David has over 20 years’ experience in ministry and leadership. He is currently the Associate Pastor at New Wine Church, London, where he is involved in the administration and global operations of New Wine International across 8 countries in 4 continents. In addition, as the Head of Media, David grew and mentored a team of volunteers from 2 to 80+, managing over 11 media operations that reach millions of potential audiences weekly.

David is the author of 4 books; Diamond Believer, Build Media Team, Systems for Living, and Diamond Believer for Teens. Furthermore, he is the founder of Build Media Team, enabling Christian ministries to reach their world through media. More so, David is the founder of a 12-week coaching program (Systems4Living) – enabling young professionals to pursue their goals while achieving a positive work-life balance.

David resides in Kent, United Kingdom, with his wife and 3 children. His favorite past-time is ‘Netflixing’ with this family.

Katie Tupling

Vicar, Church of England

Katie was a parish priest for 16 years before becoming Diocesan Disability Advisor and Lead Chaplain amongst Deaf people for the Oxford Diocese, in March 2019. That changed in Sept 2020 to p/t Disability Adviser. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of 2 1/2 and is now the proud owner of purple crutches, a purple wheelchair, and a red scooter (it didn't come in purple!) Katie is also Co-founder of ‘Disability and Jesus’, a user led task group wrestling with theology, discipleship, and church practice in the lived experience of disability. She has co-authored the book ‘Pilgrims in the dark ‘ - the story of how Disability and Jesus came into being, and co-authored a Grove booklet ‘Worship and Disability, a Kingdom for all’ (both 2018). Katie's social media presence includes: working with UCB Radio as well as BBC local radio, a weekday live feed on Twitter and Facebook, a ‘recorded as live’ Sunday service with Disability and Jesus, and a YouTube channel.

Morag Paton

Community Manager, Aus/NZ, Christian Vision

Morag is passionate about people coming to know Jesus. She is a gifted storyteller bringing a fun, practical and “can do” approach in her teachings. She offers unique and key insights to help people feel confident about sharing their faith.

Morag has extensive experience in sharing Jesus across various avenues facilitating people to come to know God. In 2016 she helped pioneer a pilot project called ‘Why God’ connecting with people over Facebook, with the objective to learn behaviours, insights and understand the blockers that people aged 18-35 have in knowing Jesus.

Morag volunteered for 10 years in YWAM Perth as a cross cultural missionary working both locally and internationally. For the past 5 years she has been working with CV as a Community Manager across Australia & New Zealand.


Michael Spence

Minister, Methodist Church Ireland

Michael Spence is a Methodist minister serving primarily at Movilla Abbey Church in Northern Ireland - an Anglican and Methodist community. Like many, the beginning of lockdown pushed his church into a steep learning curve about the hardware, software and theology of church online. Michael's digital media project Other Worlds explores the connections between theology and geek culture. He is married to Nicki and they have two children aged 4 and 2.


Charlotte Neale

Digital Content Assistant, Premier

As Premier's Digital Content Assistant, Charlotte contributes to social media across our brands in addition to website editing and email marketing. 

Chioma Fanawopo

Team Lead of Youth/Young Adults Ministry, Release International

Chioma is a Youth consultant. She is highly skilled in multi-agency partnership and strategic planning, project management, learning and mental health across a range of sectors including statutory, education, voluntary and private. Chioma passionately believes that today’s youth have the capability of achieving their full potential and with the right opportunity, mentor and access will become tomorrow’s leading entrepreneurs and leaders. Chioma believes that students and young adults are passionate about social justice more than ever before and wishes to empower them to fulfil their God-given ability. For the past fifteen year’s she has been involved in education and youth work in a number of settings. At Release International, Chioma is a Project Lead for the Youth and Young Adults department. Her degree is in Theology and Youth Work from Staffordshire University and she has a Certificate of Higher Education in Primary Teaching from Roehampton University.

Mal Fletcher

Social furturist & commentator, Project2030

Mal Fletcher is an internationally recognised futurist, keynote speaker, media commentator and author.

Mal’s special expertise is in tracking profound shifts at the intersection of technology, leadership, ethics and generational change and how they will impact on the future shape of organisations and society.

As a keynote speaker, Mal has travelled the world for almost 40 years, presenting lectures in major universities, conferences, summits and large events.

He is in constant demand for his expert futurist and social commentary, with major media platforms including the BBC, SkyTV, CNBC, ABC (Australia), Canal Superior and many more.

The BBC arts editor has called him a “polymath”.

As the chairman of the London-based forum on future innovation, 2030Plus, Mal has chaired numerous international leadership forums, including summits within the German Parliament and the British House of Commons.

He is the author of nine books, which are available in several languages. His most recent book is "Fascinating Times", a social commentary for leaders who want to understand cultural change.

Mal has pioneered several major leadership networks in Europe and Australia, including

Youth Alive Australia, a large youth outreach and training organisation and the Strategic Leadership Consultation, which focuses on producing urban and social renewal in Europe.

Emma Stark

Prophet, Glasgow Prophetic Centre

Born in Northern Ireland into a long family line of church pastors, Emma communicates with clarity, humour and a fearless Celtic boldness!

Emma’s father, Pastor John, was a local Baptist church pastor for over 40 years and now works alongside Emma and her team as teaching pastor and ‘in-house theologian’. This background has given Emma a deep love for the church and she loves nothing better than to spend time in prayer, worship and the study of Scripture before teaching, preaching and activating believers into their God-destiny.

Over the years, Emma has been a successful corporate business manager, a media spokesperson, a trained counsellor and a student leader. David and Emma have been involved in leading healing ministries at the local and national level for many years and they have apostolic responsibility for a variety of ministries, ministers and Kingdom businesses.

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