Monday 5 March 2012

Fantastic SPUC youth conference paused in silence to remember Tony Bland RIP

This past weekend saw one of the best pro-life events I've attended in nearly four decades of service to the pro-life movement. The 5th International Youth Pro-Life Conference, organised by SPUC and held in Rotherham, south Yorkshire, was a massive success for the future of the pro-life cause. 140 delegates grew in their knowledge and love of the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the family. They also had lots of fun, made or renewed friendships, prayed deeply and left with hope for our world. Do see an album of photographs from the conference on SPUC's Page on Facebook (you don't have to join Facebook to see the photos or read the page.)

I'm pictured here with (left to right): Magdalene Soon, Sophie Lawes, Imogen Fell and Lucy Boyles, all from Students for Life Leeds:

And here is what they told me about the conference:
Lucy: "Very informative; I feel far more confident in terms of people questioning me about pro-life issues."

Magdalene: "Very informative and eye- opening to the reality of the culture of death. It is good to know there are support groups that are there to help you."

Imogen: "For me, this weekend has enhanced my knowledge but also gave me a support system whereby if I were to make a point, I know I have a network for information I can access to back it up."

Sophie: "This weekend has revitalised me, and strengthened my resolve to fight for the rights of all vulnerable. Most importantly, it has highlighted to me further that it is not 'if' we can change views, it is 'when', and our coming together can only facilitate this. As a group, I feel we have bonded and are stronger. We are ready to take the next steps in Leeds to make our voices heard."

Thank you SPUC!
In the midst of the conference's intense buzz, we did not fail to remember those who could not be with us. On Saturday morning we observed two minutes' silence for Tony Bland who, 19 years ago to the day, was starved and dehydrated to death following a court ruling. This was particularly poignant, since the conference venue was little more than an hour's drive away from Airedale General Hospital where Tony Bland was killed. A recurring theme of the conference was the need to protect the disabled (Tony Bland was left brain-damaged by the Hillsborough disaster) and other vulnerable groups against lethal discrimination via abortion and euthanasia.

I will be blogging throughout this week with reports of the conference speeches, workshops and social events.

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