Want to see how good the 2014 SPUC youth conference was?
Posted by Daniel Blackman on 13 March 2014
The SPUC 7th International pro-life youth and student conference took place this past weekend 7-9 March, at the Telford conference centre.
It was a very successful and enjoyable weekend for attendees, staff, and speakers. We had just over 90 young adults with us, travelling from all over England, Scotland (including the Shetland and Orkney Isles), Wales, France, Malta, Spain, and Romania for the weekend. The photo above is a group picture we took on the last day (minus some people who had to leave early).
Speakers included Dr William Newton (above) of Franciscan University Steubenville, John-Henry Westen of LifeSiteNews.com, Dr Helen Watt from the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, and Dr Tom Ward of the National Association of Catholic Families. Also speaking was SPUC Chief Executive John Smeaton, SPUC Chairman and solicitor Robin Haig, bioethicist Anthony McCarthy, UN lobbyist Pat Buckley, and researcher and novelist Fiorella Nash. The talks were well received, and will appear on the SPUC YouTube channel in the near future.
Apart from the talks, panel discussions, and debates, attendees also enjoyed great breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and tea breaks in the nice dining room (pictured above).
We had groups travel from as far away as Malta, Romania, France, and a group from Spain (above). Groups were asked to bring the flag of their country to help emphasise the international aspect of the conference. The pro-life movement is international!
Here is the SPUC Scotland group, wearing their Project Truth t-shirts. Every year a good number of youth come from Scotland for the conference, and they always make an enjoyable and invaluable contribution to the weekend.
Here is the group from Edinburgh University, which also has a pro-life society.
On Friday night we had a great pub quiz, which included a 'famous faces' round, along with films, culture, quotes, current affairs, and bonus points for team names. It was a lively affair from beginning to end. This is the winning team above, entitled 'Quiztina Aguilera', who came first, winning a magnum of champagne which they enjoyed on Saturday at the ceilidh.
On Saturday evening one of our attendees performed a beautiful interpretive dance on the theme of the child's journey from the womb to birth. It was very moving. Afterwards we had a ceilidh band who led us through several hours of fun dancing.
During the conference attendees were asked to write a short message about why they were pro-life. Here is one example. There are lots more examples of this and other conference photos which you can look at on our Flickr page. All the talks were filmed, so we'll be putting those onto our YouTube channel in the near future.
For some, the conference helped strengthen their pro-life conviction. For others it was a first step into the pro-life movement, while for others it was a whole new way of thinking about these issues. For all it was a great time of fun and friendship. Much good will come of the conference, for individuals and groups all across the UK and further afield. SPUC will accompany each young person as he or she seeks to run and organise pro-life witness at their colleges, universities, towns, and cities. This conference has demonstrated that there are great grounds for hope in defending the right to life of unborn children.