These are the voices we’ll here from on the main stage…

Roger Carswell

Host for the Week

Roger became a Christian at the age of 15 in the Lebanon when his uncle clearly explained the Christian message to him after a game of tennis. After university, Roger was a teacher for several years, before becoming as a full-time evangelist.

Travelling largely in the UK, he speaks at universities and churches. He has also written numerous pamphlets, and many books, including such titles as ‘Grill a Christian,’ ‘Things God Wants us to Know,’ and ‘Where is God in a messed-up World?’

You may know Roger as the speaker from Durham CU’s Carols in the Cathedral. In the evenings, Roger will be speaking from Luke’s gospel after the interviews.

Lunchtime Speakers

Sharon Dirckx

Talking on "Has Science Removed the Need for God?"

Sharon is a speaker and author, with a PhD in brain imaging from the University of Cambridge, whose work focuses on responding to the spiritual and faith-related questions that people ask today.

She speaks internationally on topics such as science and theology, human consciousness, and the problem of evil. Sharon has written for The Times and is  the author of the award-winning book, Why?: Looking at God, evil and personal suffering (2013), as well as Am I just my brain? (2019).

She is motivated to show how and why the person of Jesus Christ remains as relevant as ever to the pertinent questions of our time, and to do so in an engaging way.

Matthew Roberts

Talking on "Does Anyone Love Me?" and "Why Does God Care About Sex and Identity?"

Matthew is the minister of Trinity Church York. He grew up in St. Albans, near London, and has been a Christian all his life. He did a Physics degree before moving to London to work. Later he trained to be a church minister in London and in Philadelphia, USA. He came to York in 2009.

He has authored a book on Gender & Sexuality, called “Pride”, which looks at identity politics through a Biblical lens.

Michael Ots

Talking on "Why Does God Allow Bad Things To Happen?" and "Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?"

Michael is a Christian speaker and author. He travels widely around the UK, Europe and Eurasia speaking mainly on University Campuses on the relevance of the Christian faith to all areas of life.

He is the author of four books, the first of which What kind of God? was nominated for a major UK book award and has been translated into seven languages. Michael studied in Scotland, lives in England

“One of the principles I live by is the idea that objections to the Christian Faith don’t need to be obstacles but rather can be opportunities to discuss the big questions of life that truly matter.”

Evening Interviewees

Hear the stories of how these lives were changed by the Good News…

Piyush Jani


Piyush is a Consultant head and neck surgeon that also teaches medical students at Cambridge University. He was born in a tiny village in Africa and grew up speaking Swahili and Gujarati. He grew up in a Hindu household but is now a follower of Jesus

Hear how the Good News changed the life of a former-Hindu Oncologist

Eddie Roberts


Eddie was born into a complex family with his mother being a Roman Catholic republican with family members in the IRA, and his father being a loyalist and active member of the Protestant paramilitary group, the UDA. Eddie became active in militant loyalist activities from a young age further getting involved in gangs, heavy drinking, anger, violence, criminal activity, serious injury, and a life of rebellion and pride. A shock death, however, suddenly lead to a new start in life…

Hear how the Good News changed Eddie’s life from one of crime to one of love.

Emma Scrivener


Anorexia is the mental health disorder most likely to kill those who suffer from it. Emma, who first developed the illness in her teens, describes herself as one of life’s ‘good’ girls – a keeper of rules and a craver of acceptance. When the magically safe world of her childhood began to collapse around her she took responsibility for tidying things up. Her anorexia was never about ‘feeling fat’ or wanting to fulfil a physical ideal, but about control. Emma was a perfectionist, and this drove her to behaviours that nearly ruined her…

Hear how the Good News helped Emma amidst the struggles of having an eating disorder.

Ronaldo Andre


From a gangster in streets of Brazil into a father, Pastor and missionary, going to more then 18 different countries in 3 continents, preaching the gospel, Ronaldo had a very unusual life growing up. His story is one full of twists and turns, trapped in a past of hurt and hatred towards his father – the cause of everything bad that happen to him, not only in his childhood, but also throughout his teenage years. He had a dramatic change when he was rescued from the streets and given a chance to meet the one man that would change his life for ever…

Hear how the Good News brought Ronaldo from being a street kid in Brazil to being an evangelist in Newcastle.

Yvonne Edwards


Yvonne was an ardent atheist from her early teens. She lived a hedonistic, alcohol and drug fuelled life whilst working successfully as an Executive Assistant at Board and Director level. Yvonne married at 30, determined to put her wild ways behind her, and to all appearances was living the dream – beautiful home, adoring husband, three healthy sons, cars, money, friends, overseas travel. However, secretly she was spiralling into chronic alcoholism and feeling suicidal. Then one bank holiday weekend she found herself in The Priory Hospital, opened a Bible and came to believe and trust in Jesus…

Hear how the Good News saved Yvonne, a businesswoman, from her addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Cultural Hour Speaker

Gerard Charles

Leading the talks at Cultural Hour

Gerard is originally from Lancashire, and after a 10 year career in private forest management in Scotland studied theology in Glasgow. With his wife Sarah and two children he then worked for 10 years church planting among Muslims in East Asia.

He completed his PhD in Islamic identity at Durham in 2017, and currently works as OMF International’s North England Representative, based in Yorkshire. He teaches in several theological colleges, and regularly delivers training on cross-cultural ministry, world faiths and particularly enjoys helping Christians understand Islam and how to love our Muslim neighbours. He currently worships in the Elim church in Huddersfield and works at Cranmer Hall, St John’s College, Durham.

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