Please read through the information to learn more and if you have any further questions contact the Programme’s Director, Rhiannon Winstanley-Sharples at email@example.com
Please read through all of the information below and, if you are interested in applying to the programme you can download an application form here.
Watch past and present interns speak about the experience:
Watch Westminster hosts speak about the value of the programme:
The Buxton Leadership Programme (BLP) aims to mould and shape the next generation of Christian leaders in public life by helping them develop:
– A Christian vision for a renewal of politics based on relationships, community and the common good.
– A realistic understanding of how politics and power currently operate, and how this affects ordinary people and their communities.
– A relational network of leaders who are committed to transforming the world as it is, to the world as it should be.
It was the most incredible year, spanning the most incredible people, places and ideas and was such an amazing start to my professional life.
I didn’t think that these would be spaces that I would be in, but I’ve realised through the Buxton Programme that my voice is important, that God has called me to these spaces. I’ve been empowered not only to understand why as a Christian it’s important to engage with social justice, but how to act on it.
This year-long graduate programme involves a unique combination of a parliamentary placement alongside an opportunity to practice community organising in an East London church. We are now looking to develop partnerships for the next cohort, September 2023-July 2024.
Community organising is a structured process which brings together grassroots institutions such as churches, mosques and schools in a neighbourhood, and develops the public leadership of ordinary people to act on issues of common concern. It originated in the Unites States and has been used in social movements such as the Civil Rights movements, and more recently in the UK was instrumental in the campaign to win a real Living Wage for low-paid workers – which to date has benefited over 300,000 UK employees.
The programme, which started in 2013 is now in its 10th year, and has successfully developed almost thirty young leaders. Westminster placements have included MPs from the main parties; Peers, including several Bishops in the House of Lords, as well as not-for-profit organisations like the Good Faith Partnership. Community organising placements have included working on issues including the Living Wage, Housing and Homelessness and Youth Safety.
This unique combination enables the development of leaders who understand Parliament and yet are not trapped in the ‘Westminster bubble’ but rather have deep roots in a community.
Buxton associates have made a fantastic contribution to my work in Parliament since the scheme began. The programme is marked out by its conviction that politics needs to be rooted in the experience of those experiencing injustice. I can whole-heartedly commend the Buxton Programme. (The Rt. Hon. Stephen Timms, Labour MP for East Ham and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee)
The Centre for Theology (CTC), which hosts the BLP, is a charity based in the heart of London’s East End. Our mission is to equip churches to transform their communities through harnessing the potential of community organising, rooted in theological reflection and prayer. We have over thirty churches in our network, from a range of denominations including Anglican, Catholic and Pentecostal, and we are engaged in several strategic partnerships and innovative projects around themes including community-led affordable housing, ‘hidden workers’ in the City of London, and interfaith action.
Throughout the year participants will receive a range of training and development activities, including:
– High-quality theological and leadership training from a range of leading thinkers and practitioners
– Formally accredited community organising training with Citizens UK
– Reflection and spiritual mentoring with the CTC Chaplain, including regular away days, assignments, and discussions – as part of our aim to support the vocational development of participants.
We believe that opportunities to explore a vocation in public life need to be genuinely accessible to people from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds and see the BLP as a crucial part of CTC’s work in developing leaders from churches in diverse and disadvantaged areas. As part of this, we ensure that participants are paid the London Living Wage for both placements.
The programme takes inspiration from the life and work of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton. Buxton lived in the east end of London (near to CTC’s home in Shadwell) in the early 19th century. He was inspired to enter politics by witnessing the horrific conditions in Newgate prison where his cousin Elizabeth Fry was working. As an MP he took over the leadership of the Abolition movement from William Wilberforce, spearheading the campaign which led to the banning of slavery in the British Empire in 1833 and the emancipation of over 800,000 people.
As a profoundly influential Christian in public life, and a man who spanned the worlds of east London and Westminster, Buxton provides a great role model for the kind of innovative and effective engagement that the programme seeks to promote.
The Buxton Programme is aimed at university graduates with a bachelor’s degree (or further postgraduate qualifications). We also require that to apply you are a practicing Christian, and have the right to work in the UK.
Please note, that whilst this programme is aimed at university graduates, CTC is in the process of developing a sister apprenticeship scheme for young leaders who haven’t gone to university. If you or anyone you know would be interested in hearing more please let Rhiannon know.
Please read through all of the information above and if you are interested in applying to the programme please email your CV along with the completed application form (which you can download here) to the Programme Director Rhiannon – firstname.lastname@example.org