At this year’s National Cathedrals Conference we will hear from leaders in their field on the issues of social, racial and climate injustice to help us shape the future direction of the Church and society.
The programme is packed with learning and networking with topics including understanding communal trauma, how cathedrals can open themselves up to diversity, and learning about the new Cathedrals measure.
Take a look at some of our key sessions and speakers below, and explore the full conference programme here.
A synodal Church for a fraternal world: Pope Francis’s dream of a better future
Led by: Austen Ivereigh
British writer, journalist, and papal biographer Austen Ivereigh takes a wide perspective on our future, using Pope Francis’s Christian social teaching to explore how we can be faithful to our creed in today’s society.
Read Austen Ivereigh’s bio here
Different Country, Different Church: setting the scene
Led by: Sir John Major
Prime Minister from 1990–1997, Sir John Major saw the beginning of Britain’s longest period of continuous economic growth. We are delighted that he will be opening this year’s National Cathedrals Conference, sharing his views on the state of the nation; how the UK must prepare for the future whilst facing added challenges of the pandemic and Brexit, and will bring fresh insight to help us think about our role in that future.
Read John Major’s bio here
Havens of Hope: Re-imagining Cathedrals in a World of Climate Injustice
Led by: Lorna Gold
Leading Christian environmentalist Lorna Gold focuses on one of the most pressing issues in our world today: climate change. Combining her knowledge as Chair of the Laudato Si Movement in Dublin and ideas gleaned from attending COP26, Lorna will look at heeding the warnings of climate change from a faith perspective – what can be done and where are the signs of hope?
Read Lorna Gold’s bio here
Cathedrals: a change of heart?
Led by: Stephen Cottrell
How do we talk to England? Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell will give a keynote address on the communication between Church and nation, exploring the messages we are sharing and how the Christian faith can shape the life of our nation.
Read Stephen Cottrell’s bio here
Building a society for all children
Led by: Mark Russell
Committed to social justice for children and young people, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society Mark Russell reflects on the challenges facing children as we emerge from the pandemic. He will share some insight from their leading research, and explore how cathedrals can be advocates for children and their families.
Read Mark Russell’s bio here
The search for an ethical and sustainable world order and the place of faith communities
Led by: Lord Andrew Adonis
Labour peer, formerly serving in numerous government positions for five years, Lord Andrew Adonis will discuss the search for an ethical and sustainable world order and the place of faith communities in that journey.
Read Lord Adonis’s bio here
Justice at the intersections: Theological and Practical Considerations
Led by: Selina Stone
Lecturer in Theology at St Mellitus College in London, Dr Selina Stone will discuss how the inequalities in our society compound difficulties for minority ethnic congregations and community members in the UK.
Read Selina Stone’s bio here
Real zero omissions
Led by: Julian Allwood
Professor of Engineering and the Environment at Cambridge University Julian Allwood gives a frank overview of the challenges of the reality of reaching zero emissions. He’ll explain the hurdles that cathedrals will encounter, and what the options are for creating a zero emissions commitment that can truly be delivered on.
Read Julian Allwood’s bio here
What if Racism never ends: creating fugitive spaces in cathedrals
Led by: Robert Beckford
Specialising in the intersectionality of theology, race and class, scholar and activist Robert Beckford explores how cathedrals can open themselves up to diversity.
Read Robert Beckford’s bio here
Cathedrals and climate justice: mending our single island planet home
Chaired by: Bishop Graham Usher
Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich and lead on environmental concerns, chairs a panel discussion which looks globally at the issues surrounding climate change and climate justice.
Read Graham Usher’s bio here
Introduction & Welcome; Open Space
Introduced and facilitated by: Eve Poole
Dr Eve Poole has been teaching, consulting and speaking on leadership for over a decade, and will be introducing, facilitating and chairing sessions across the conference.
Read Eve Poole’s bio here