Quest Annual Conference

We are delighted to announce that we are again taking bookings for the Annual Conference.

Click to jump straight to the Booking Form.

To find out about previous conferences go here.

Member benefits (early Bird Rate)

The members’ rate is discounted until the 28th February 2021. To join Quest, visit the website here.

If you have already booked and want to know the arrangements should the pandemic impact on the running of the conference then you will find more information further down this page here.

Conference Dates: 23/07/2021 to 25/07/2021

BORN THIS WAY: Gender & Sexuality Re-imagined’ will take place over the weekend from Friday evening 23/07/2021 to the afternoon of 25/07/2021 in Manchester.  A number of buy-in options are available.  Though the finer detail of the timetable isn’t yet fully finalised the main event sessions will be on Saturday morning, after lunch on Saturday, followed by either a Spirituality- focussed hour or free time to explore Manchester, catch up with old friends or make some new ones.  The final session will be on Sunday morning followed by a panel discussion after lunch.

Bookings are not limited to Quest members or Catholics. Our liturgy is based around the morning and evening prayers of the Catholic faith and we finish the weekend (after lunch) with a Catholic Mass.

Read on to find out about

  • The theme of the conference
  • The Guest Speakers / Contributors and Venue
  • What will happen if the current pandemic affects the running of the conference?

Imagine a revitalised Church, touching every part of the world with the mercy of God: inclusive, pastorally sensitive, welcoming, embracing the rich diversity of human relationships and forms of family life; accepting of the complexities of human sexuality, gender identity and equality. Imagine a Church liberated from the strictures of the past and emboldened to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ fearlessly and prophetically.

Pope Francis calls the people of the Church to dialogue. We read of such dialogue in gospel recollections of Christ’s encounters with the marginalised of his time. These recollections show us that dialogue about religious teachings and secular realities are not mutually anathemic.

Church teachings on gender identity and sexuality are often seen to erode human dignity and to deprive the Church of the many gifts that LGBT+ Catholics offer. The 2021 Conference will explore what the Church can usefully learn from current theological perspectives and how these can contribute to the dialogue between the church and secular society, specifically with regard to issues of sexuality, gender and equality.

Professor Gerard Loughlin will be making his third visit to a Quest Conference as a speaker; he was last with us at Lancaster in 2010. Gerard is Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion of Durham University. His work crosses the borders between theology, philosophy and religious studies which is also the study of cultures.

Dr Luca Badini Confalonieri is the Director of the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research. He has a long standing interest in the governance of the Roman Catholic Church, and in other debated issues in current Catholic theology: same-sex relationships, women’s ordination, and contraception. He was a speaker at Quest’s 2019 Day Conference: “Accompaniment-Discernment-Conscience”.

Dr Anne-Marie Martindale is an experienced researcher, lecturer, knowledge exchange specialist and married mum of two (and a cat). In 2019 she completed a research report for GNRC exploring lay Catholic LGB discrimination in the 21st century. As a longstanding member and supporter of Quest she is excited to be leading a workshop at the 2021 Conference.

The Venue: Luther King House Conference & Accommodation Centre is located in a quiet tree-lined suburb, within easy reach of Manchester city centre by either private or public transport and offers free on-site parking.

What will happen if the current pandemic affects the running of the conference?

It is our hope and expectation that come July 2021 the conference will run as planned in Manchester. However, we are aware that it may be some time into a future beyond July 2021 before we are able to participate in face-to-face conferences as we did previously. The following principles will inform how we proceed:

  • If limited restrictions are still in play, we will comply with government guidance and the associated response of the venue. Anyone who has already booked a place or who books a place in this round of advertising whose vulnerability prevents them from attending, will be offered a full refund. To minimise the financial impact on Quest, booked participants will have to advise us of their intention to withdraw no later than six weeks before the conference is due to start. This is the cut-off set by the conference venue.
  • If the face-to-face conference does not go ahead, we will run an online version of the programme on Saturday 24th July 2021 (the speakers and contributors have already agreed to take part in this alternative should the need arise). In terms of fees which have already been paid we will:
    1. (if a paid face-to-face participant wishes to attend the alternative day conference) deduct the cost of the online day conference from any monies already paid and, if requested, refund the difference
    2. OR Offer a full refund should a paid face-to-face participant not wish to attend the alternative day conference.
  • Alternatively: We will allow participants who have paid in part or full, or who have used some of their existing payment to attend the alternative conference, the opportunity to ‘bank’ any remaining fees paid towards the cost of the 2022 conference. It is noted there may be a price difference between the 2021 and 2022 conference and therefore a balance to pay by the participant. Should the participant who has ‘banked’ any remaining fees, later change their mind they will have the opportunity to request a refund provided the request falls within the refund schedules in place for the 2022 conference.

If you have questions then please email

To book a place visit the Booking Form.