18th and 19th September 2015
‘Reconciling a Wounded Planet’ was a two day conference where Christians came together to consider ‘stories of hope’ in the midst of the growing environmental crisis that the world is experiencing.
Together, we explored how we could work towards finding solutions and creating a lasting legacy that will protect the planet for generations to come.
With speakers, including keynote speaker Sir Ghillean Prance FRS VMH, Professor Richard Bauckham, Revd Margot Hodson and Bishop James Jones, and a number of discussion stream speakers, we had plenty of opportunities to share and discuss ideas, and to look for creative consensus together. For the main speakers and their biographies click here.
The two day conference took place at Coventry Cathedral, a centre for reconciliation, whose story began on the morning of 15th November 1940, following the destruction of the old cathedral by fire bombs the night before, when the Provost prayed 'Father Forgive', instead of laying up a legacy of revenge. We met in the Nave of the new Cathedral; small group meetings took place in the Cathedral Nave and Chapter House and some also gathered in St Michael's House and in the Holy Trinity Church Centre.
Conference Plus: In addition to the main programme, we screened a film at 7pm on the evening of Thursday 17th September called Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: the Environmental Footprint of War, followed by a discussion led by a distinguished panel.
On the evening of Friday 18th September 'Baked Alaska', a play by the Riding Lights Theatre Company was performed in the Nave as part of the Conference and also for visitors.
One of the principal motivations of this conference was to bring people together to learn, understand and be challenged in a safe environment. Our aim was to continue the legacy of the conference by:
- Initiating a network of partnerships to continue dialogue and establishing new projects arising from the conference.
- Stimulating the church, in particular the Church of England, and its members, through better theological understanding of God’s reconciling work in Christ to become more actively involved in a gospel that is rooted in God’s earth.
- Providing a young people’s forum, to build these ideas into their future.
We hope that Reconciling a Wounded Planet has achieved this and we were delighted to work together with our many speakers, conveners and participants in what was a good and lively event.
"So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ."
Main Speakers information (as in 2015)
Sir Ghillean Prance FRS, VMH is a botanist, former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1988-1999), led 20 botanical expeditions to Amazonia and collected over 350 new species of plants. He is author of 23 books and 540 scientific and general papers in botany and conservation and holds fifteen honorary doctorates.
He was awarded the International Cosmos Prize (1993), knighted (1995), made Commander of the Order of the Southern Cross, Brazil (2000) and the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan (2012). He is a trustee and former Chairman of A Rocha International and a member of Lyme Regis Baptist Church.
Richard Bauckham is Emeritus Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of St Andrews and Senior Scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and was awarded its Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies in 2008. He has published widely in theology, historical theology and the New Testament.
His book Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation, in which he wrote about the relationship of humans to the rest of creation, is an essential read for anyone interested in a biblically grounded approach to ecology.
James Jones, first as bishop of Hull and then as bishop of Liverpool, has been involved in urban regeneration and environmental renewal for twenty years. He set up the first City Academy to have the environment as its specialism. He has worked with American religious leaders showing the centrality of caring for creation to the mission of God. He chaired the Independent Panel on Forestry and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters. The author of ‘Jesus and the Earth’, he broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’. A Fellow of both WWF and the Society of the Environment, he is a Vice President of the Town and Country Planning Association.
Revd Margot R Hodson is a church minister and an environmental theologian; she is Vicar of the Haddenham benefice, made up of four active churches in Buckinghamshire, and was previously Chaplain of Jesus College, Oxford. She is on the Management Board of the John Ray Initiative and of A Rocha UK. Margot taught environmental ethics at Oxford Brookes University and is married to Dr Martin J Hodson. Margot has written extensively on environmental issues and she and Martin co-authored Cherishing the Earth: How to care for God’s Creation in 2008 and Margot R.Hodson & Martin J. Hodson (2015) A Christian Guide to Environmental Issues BRF.
Theological Advisory Group
Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry (Chairman)
Rt Revd Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston
Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Dudley
Professor Richard Bauckham
Professor Sam Berry
Canon Dr Sarah Hills
Revd Margot Hodson
Professor Mike Hulme
Dr Hilary Marlow
Revd Alex Randle-Bissell (Chairman, RaWP)
Godfrey Armitage (Vice Chairman, RaWP)
Revd Alex Randle-Bissell (Chairman)
Godfrey Armitage (Vice-Chairman)
Professor Sam Berry
Revd Margot Hodson
Professor Mike Hulme
The Right Hon. Caroline Spelman MP
Dr Ruth Valerio
Canon Kenyon Wright