Keynote Presentations

Andy Atkins, CEO of A Rocha UK

The science is clear that globally we must respond to climate change urgently and at scale. The Church of England has committed to Net Zero by 2030, and other denominations are making similar commitments.  But what difference could the UK churches actually make?  Andy Atkins will look at the unique assets that Christians and churches can bring to bear on climate change and will point us towards a vision of churches engagement with the environment in 2030, and its benefits for climate, community and church life.

Caroline Pomeroy, Director of Climate Stewards: How and why can churches bring hope for creation?

The bible doesn’t mention climate change, carbon footprints or biodiversity loss, but what does it tell us about caring for God’s creation? We know that climate change impacts our global neighbours and our future neighbours, so how can we love them as we are called to do?  Caroline will help us think through how, as Christians, we can be bearers of hope when many around us are despairing or ignoring the reality of the environmental challenges we face.

Nigel Walter, conservation architect: Church Buildings - What on earth can we do?

Our church buildings represent a significant proportion of the Church's overall carbon footprint, and they offer a prominent sign of how seriously (or not) we are responding to the climate crisis. Without investing to change them, we cannot hope to reach net zero, for which the Church of England’s agreed target is 2030. Because of their public nature, and because care for creation is the fifth Mark of Mission, sustainability improvements to our buildings also offer a significant mission opportunity. And the culture is changing, including around what extent of alteration is acceptable to improve the sustainability of historic buildings. This talk considers some of the principles for improving the sustainability of historic church buildings, including recent changes to the faculty system, examples of practical strategies and an introduction to some of the key guidance.