2023 Annual Conference – Take off your shoes: Hospitality & Practical Theology

July 11, 2023 - July 13, 2023


Welcome to our 2023 Annual Conference page which we hope will provide all the information you need to book a place at the conference, apply for a bursary or to offer a paper, workshop or hospitality story to the programme.

Our conference title, Take Off Your Shoes – Hospitality and Practical Theology, allows us to explore a theme that has come under increasing theological scrutiny in recent years. Hospitality is a universal virtue, one that is claimed by every culture, but what does it mean to welcome another into our country, home, space or personal narrative?

“Take off your shoes” was chosen as the title for this conference because it communicates very well the ambiguities, complexities and contradictions of the act of hospitality. On the one hand, it does not hide the power imbalance of the relationship between host and guest that will surely be explored during the conference but, on the other, it is an instruction that is redolent of sacred spaces in the Abrahamic religions. Receiving hospitality as well as the giving of hospitality becomes a sacred act. On the one hand it is an invitation for the guest to leave the cares of the outside world at the door and on the other it is an instruction not to bring the dirt – physical and spiritual – of the outside into the house.

During our conference this theme will be explored from numerous perspectives. Our keynote sessions will examine the hospitality offered or withheld to immigrants and refugees, the welcoming that exists within the interfaith dialogue and reflect theologically upon the theme in relation to disability. The inaugural Practical Theology Hub Event will be an interfaith conversation about hospitality. In addition to all of this there will be many short papers, workshops and informal gatherings throughout the three days. We will have stories of hospitality before each keynote that will encourage reflection in the theme and, through our very own art gallery, there will be an opportunity for delegates to tell their own hospitality story and to illustrate it through an image of a pair of shoes.

Our conference is once again online. There will, however, be opportunities for delegates to meet at various locations around the country and share hospitality and the conference experience for the duration of the three days.

Using the Whova platform, our conference is an online experience which will be flexible across different time-zones and as varied and creative as possible. Building on our successful online conferences in 2021 & 2022, this platform enables many different kinds of engagement over the course of our conference, from informal chats between colleagues and friends, keynote sessions, workshops, papers and online gallery space, plus the opportunity to access conference content in the forms of recorded sessions and shared resources for six months after the event.

Whether online or in person, we look forward to giving you a very warm welcome.

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The Revd Dr Anderson Jeremiah
Anderson Jeremiah is the Associate Dean for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sceinces at Lancaster University and Canon Theologian of Balckburn Cathedral.  He was ordained as a priest in the Church of South India (an Anglican Province), before moving to Edinburgh for his doctoral reaserch. Anderson is an elected member of the Church of England General Synod representing Theological Education, and member of Faith and Order Commison and Minsitry Council. Anderson’ research interests and publications focus on the lived facet of World Christianity, and its theological, political and missional engagement with other faith communities. He is deeply passionate about social and environmental justice as a Gospel imperative. As a Practical theologian, Anderson’ passion for working towards justice and peace as central to Christian Discipleship stems from his early experience as a Dalit Christian in India, which he strives to translate into global context, be it racism, religious hatred, xenophobia and environmental crisis.

The Revd Dr Susanna Snyder

Susanna Snyder is Programme Leader for Short Courses, Director of Research and Lecturer in Theology and Ethics at Sarum College. She is an associate member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, and an Anglican priest. Her research has focused on church engagement with people seeking sanctuary, and she has published a number of books and articles in this area including Asylum-Seeking, Migration and Church (Ashgate, 2012) and “Walking, Wounds and Washing Feet—Pedetic Textures of a Theo-Ethical Response to Migration” (Studies in Christian Ethics, 2018). She has also written about social justice, arts and spirituality and is currently researching the ethics of hope. Her recent co-edited book, Parenting for a Better World: Social Justice Practices for Your Family and the Planet (Chalice Press, 2022), stems from her own experience of trying to juggle social activism and parenting two young children.

The Revd Ray Gaston

Ray is an Anglican Priest living in a superdiverse inner city area of Wolverhampton. The church in which he ministers has seen considerable renewal through its ministry amongst and with refugees and migrants. Recently the church received funding for its work from the Church of England innovation fund.  Ray has ministered in inner city multicultural and multifaith areas throughout his over 25 years of ordained ministry. He has also taught in theological education with an emphasis on his own experience of  interfaith engagement at the grassroots level.  He is author of ‘A Heart Broken Open – Radical Faith in an Age of Fear’ (Iona 2010) and ‘Faith, Hope & Love – Interfaith Engagement as Practical Theology’ (SCM 2017) Ray links his ministry and writing to an activism in the local communities where he lives and to a concern for campaigning on wider social and political issues concerned with human solidarity and social transformation.

The Revd Katie Tupling

Katie is a priest in the Church of England, ordained in 2003 at Derby Cathedral, and has served as a Vicar in Derbyshire and Sheffield. She and her family moved to Oxford in 2019, when Katie took up the part time role of Disability Adviser for the Oxford Diocese, a role she continues alongside her current role as Interim Chaplain at St Hugh’s College, Oxford.  She is co-founder of ‘Disability and Jesus’ – an online community engaging in public dialogue around disability, faith and social justice.  Katie has written for Grove Books: Worship and Disability (for the Worship series) and Being Disabled, Being Human (for the Ethics series) as well as being a co-author for the book Pilgrims in the Dark. 


Professor Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes SJ is Emeritus Professor of Interreligious Relations at the University of Roehampton and Research Associate at the School of Advanced Study in the University of London. An experienced practitioner in the encounter between persons of faith, particularly in West London, he has written several books and numerous articles on the dialogue of religions

Hospitality and the Practice of Interreligious Dialogue

Hospitality entails the generous reception of strangers. But it also means taking a risk, for the stranger may appear more strange than we would like, not a potential friend in a collaborative endeavour but an enemy out to destroy what we hold most dear. This key-note lecture will explore some of the issues involved in this dilemma – a tension which, in some measure, attends all interreligious relations. Clearly in a multi-religious world some measure of attention to what makes for the common good is needed if we are to flourish as cohesive societies. But I also want to argue that practices of hospitality and welcome will enable Christians not only to respond positively to other persons of faith, but also to enjoy more fruitfully that welcome and hospitality that is God’s.

At this year’s conference we are doing things a little differently. Over the last few years we have offered distinct sessions for a variety of reflectors (poets, artists, etc) and we have had worship led from a variety of faith traditions as reflected in our membership. This year, instead of those two distinct offerings, each day will begin with a story about hospitality. Drawn from different contexts and traditions these stories will encourage reflection on our conference theme and challenge us to think in new ways about what it means to welcome others and to be welcomed. A new feature at our conference, we are delighted that it will feature through story tellers with compelling tales to tell.


Jen has lived with her family in Byker, an economically-marginalised but beautiful estate in the North-East of England, for the past decade. She’s currently reading for a PhD entitled ‘Beyond the foodbank: an analysis of faith-based approaches to hardship in the UK’ at Coventry University, and she’s fond of finding the sacred in ordinary places.






A previous keynote speaker at our Annual Conference Saiyyidah Zaidi (say-ee-dah zay-dee) is the first Muslim to complete the Doctorate in Practical Theology (DPT) in Britain. Born and raised in super-diverse London, she spent 10 years living in Glasgow, studying and practising as an Architect. After a career in local government, Saiyyidah left her Director role and set up her coaching practice, and spent several years travelling internationally with her mixed ethnicity family. These experiences informed several theological reflections including the formation and development of identity, and the intersection of religion, race, and gender. Saiyyidah’s DPT Theology thesis ‘This is the sound of my soul: A journey seeking belonging and inclusion in Practical Theology’ investigates these matters through the lens of the lone Muslim Brown British Woman in British Practical Theology. Saiyyidah is honoured to be the first non-White Faculty Member and Tutor with Meyler Campbell, and the first Muslim Committee Member and Trustee in BIAPT. In 2021, Saiyyidah founded the Centre for Belonging and Understanding with the aim of cultivating, curating, and convening belonging and understanding for individuals and organisations. As a practitioner researcher, her interests are inclusion, diversity, belonging, lived experience, identity, subversion, allyship, blind spots, and intersectionality; and helping people to lean into their full potential.



Amy Quinn-Graham is an action researcher for The Salvation Army (TSA) and a doctoral student at the University of Leeds. Her background is in gender and international development, with a focus on the role of faith-based organisations. Her PhD research, partly funded by TSA, explores the role of TSA in responding to domestic violence and abuse.


The Calls For deadlines have now passed

BIAPT 2023 Call for Papers

We welcome 200 – 300 word abstracts for 20 minute papers, from a range of disciplines and religious and spiritual traditions and emerging themes in non-religion.

For more information please click on this link: BIAPT 2023 Call for Papers

BIAPT 2023 Call for Workshops

We welcome 200 – 300 word abstracts for online workshops of 40 or 80 mins duration.

For more information please click on this link: BIAPT 2023 Call for Workshops

BIAPT 2023 Call for Hospitality Stories

At this year’s conference we are doing things a little differently during the sessions which are not formal papers. Over the last few years we have offered distinct sessions for a variety of reflectors (poets, artists, etc) and we have had worship led from a variety of faith traditions as reflected in our membership. This year, instead of those two distinct offerings, we are inviting you to share with us your stories of hospitality.

We are looking for stories either from your own lived experience, from history, from your imagination or from your particular faith tradition.

For more information please click on this link: BIAPT 2023 Call for Stories

Professional Doctorate Summer School – Friday 14 July 2023

For those who have been directed here by their Professional Doctorate course directors:

Hello and a warm welcome to all summer school participants!

We’re looking forward to gathering together online for this year’s Professional Doctorate Summer School, sharing ideas, research and spending some time in workshops and special plenary sessions.

You can attend just the Summer School on Friday 14 July or attend both the Summer School and the preceding BIAPT Conference (11-13 July), and there will be a fee difference.

We’ve outlined the Summer School-specific events in the attached Schedule, but all Summer School participants are encouraged to register for the full BIAPT conference, and to participate fully in the wider conference agenda. For those also attending the BIAPT conference, we’ve asked that any professional doctorate summer school participants be scheduled on the morning of Thursday 13 July– this gives our whole international cohort the best opportunity of participating and supporting each other’s papers.

Either way, look for communications from BIAPT for the Whova conference-platform links and information for the sessions.

We look forward to seeing you there!

2023 Schedule – Professional Doctorate Summer School



Feedback from delegates at BIAPT’s online conferences:

“I’ve been to many online conferences in the past year or so, including two the week before BIAPT. BIAPT was by far the best. A real sense of friendship even online. The Whova platform was a revelation, and it really did feel like a conference – the conversation topics were great.”

“I was so pleased to be able to connect with others interested in research in a similar area and Whova turned out to be a great platform for that kind of connecting.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed it as a first timer – I can’t emphasise that enough!”

“This has been a brilliant experience for me as somebody who was involved at the beginning of BIAPT.”

“The culture of active reflective practitioners – both listening to others and presenting their own research and reflections on experience.”

“I found it a most thought-provoking, challenging and yet reflective experience.”

BIAPT is committed to helping those who might otherwise not feel able to attend our annual conference. We have 2 bursary schemes:

If you wish to support either of our Conference Bursary scheme or our BAME Bursary scheme by making a donation, please find further information following the links.

For further details about our BAME Bursary scheme, please read on.

BIAPT is keen to facilitate Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students, scholars and practitioners, and those of BAME heritage, to participate and contribute to its Annual Conference. [We understand that some prefer to identify as African, African Caribbean, Asian, Majority World Christians or Christians from the Majority World, or of Majority World heritage.] We want to address the marginalisation of their voices, questions, experiences and perspectives and to become a space for deeper and broader theological conversation.

To that end, BIAPT offers a bursary for BAME scholars, students and practitioners that will cover much of the cost of attending the conference.  If you are BAME or someone of BAME heritage and would like to join us at the conference but the cost presents an obstacle to you doing so, please do apply. These funds are for those for whom the full conference cost would pose a financial difficulty.

There are a limited number of bursaries available, and bursaries will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. We anticipate that this scheme will be oversubscribed so we suggest you apply promptly and, if you are a BIAPT member, consider making an additional application for a BIAPT Conference Bursary in the event you are not successful in your BAME Bursary application. Successful applicants will be awarded bursaries of £50 to cover the concession conference ticket cost. Please note, if you are successful in your BIAPT BAME Bursary application, you will not also be awarded a BIAPT Conference Bursary.


The Practical Theology Hub Event is a new feature in the Annual Conference timetable. It recognises the huge success of our article based website https://practicaltheologyhub.com in bridging the divide between practical theology scholarship and practice. This inaugural event will take the form of a conversation about hospitality between adherents of three different faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism.

Dr SH Cedar

Harrie Cedar is an author, academic and chaplain in the Dean’s Office and Chaplaincy at Kings College London and in the Spiritual Care Department, Guys and St Thomas’ (GSTT) NHS Hospital. Harrie is responsible for writing and validating the PG Cert in Healthcare Chaplaincy at GSTT. Research interests and papers are in the area of Hospitality and Homeostasis from Biblical and scientific perspectives.



Dr Steven Horne

Dr Steven Horne is a Licensed Lay Minister in the Diocese of Canterbury and serves as an Ignite Mission Enabler & Pastor. His research into the theology of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community was recently published as ‘Gypsies and Jesus: A Traveller Theology’ (DLT, 2022). Steven delivers lectures and training in the UK, US, and sits on the board for CMEAC (Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican concerns).



Patricia Palazzo Tsai

Patricia Palazzo Tsai teaches at the Buddhist Theology undergraduate program from Instituto Pram?na, in Valinhos, and part of the Buddha-Dharma Association in Brazil
. She is a member of the Scholars at The Peripheries research group from University of St. Andrews (coordinated by Prof. Mario I. Aguilar), and also a member of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women (and one of the co-founders of the Sakyadhita Sao Paulo chapter). She researches Maha?ya?na Buddhism, Buddhist Ethics, and Interreligious Dialogue.

Places of Hospitality

Many of us had hoped to gather in person this year for our annual conference and although, as a committee, we needed to make the financial decision to continue online in 2023, we have come up with something which we hope members might find encouraging as an alternative.. 

We suggest that people could gather locally with other BIAPT members during the time of the conference. This might just mean meeting up during the day or, in some cases, where accommodation could be available, staying in the same venue and then being able to eat together in a small Place of Hospitality.

In these Places of Hospitality, you could join the zoom altogether from a class room or community hall and then, during break times and even during the slots for Reflective groups, you could gather together and talk about things which have come up during the conference or share your own stories of hospitality. We’re hoping that this will be quite a local thing for people and therefore not involve much environmental impact.


So far we have one Place of Hospitality which is able to offer onsite accommodation and a teaching room in which to view the conference alongside other conference delegates which is Ripon College Cuddesdon in Oxfordshire. For those wishing to book accommodation for that week, could they email enquiries@rcc.ac.uk and copy in our vice chair Sarah Brush who is on the staff there on vicechair@biapt.org .

If you think you might be able to offer a Place of Hospitality during the conference either as a day time venue or with overnight paid accommodation, please let us know by contacting conference@biapt.org then we can let other delegates know that your Place of Hospitality is available.