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On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 October Church House Westminster hosted the Battle of Ideas festival weekend, with dozens of debates featuring hundreds of speakers, discussing the biggest issues of our time.

The London festival brought together around 300 speakers for over 70 debates over the weekend. Debates were organised by themed topic areas across nine of the iconic Westminster venue’s event spaces including the Assembly Hall, Hoare Memorial Hall, and the Convocation Hall.

The weekend was concluded on Sunday evening after the final festival panel debates with a drinks reception in the Bishop Partridge Hall, courtesy of the vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham.

Ella Whelan, co-convenor, Battle of Ideas festival, remarked: “Last autumn, for the first time in its history, the festival could not take place. Covid restrictions meant…. discussion confined to social media and Zoom calls – a powerful reminder of the importance of face-to-face interaction. This weekend we took over the historic Church House in central London. There could be no better venue for a weekend festival of open-ended discussion – what we’re calling a People’s Takeover of Westminster – than Church House Westminster. Special thanks to their teams for providing the Battle of Ideas festival with a home, in particular Vedrana Dancerelle, Sue Ross, Sarah Ross, Bradley Hill along with the technicians, and the catering team.”.

Vedrana Dancerelle, Head of Events of Church House Westminster, commented: “The Battle of Ideas festival is unique in the sense that the audience is the festival, so to be able to welcome more than 1,800 guests to our event venue over the weekend was just extraordinary. I cannot help but cast my mind back to 2019 when we first met with the organisers and subsequent liaison from then onwards to make this festival, which really is an intellectual journey, come to life.”.

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