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SACRE Annual conference

Following on from the successful SACRE 2021 conference, Telford and Wrekin’s SACRE held its very first conference for pupils - 23 March 2022. We had 13 participating schools and over 400 delegates from primary and secondary schools, who met on Teams.

The theme of the conference, which was free to all participating schools (from Years 5 and 6 up to Year 12) was to look at the Climate Crisis through the lens of Faith, and give pupils a sense of hope - because in the words of Greta Thunberg, “You are never too small to make a difference.”

Before the conference all schools received a pre-teach pack, linked to David Attenborough’s Climate Change - the Facts, (BBC iPlayer), with questions to support them in developing some secure knowledge before they joined the key note speaker session.

Our key note speaker, Dr John Reade (Principal Lecturer for Agriculture and Environment from Harper Adams University) engaged delegates with ideas about how they could reduce their carbon usage and why it is important for us all to take action, an urgency stressed in light of current scientific research and shared at the recent United Nations Cop 26 global conference.

Following this, delegates were divided by their schools into one of six faith workshops, covering Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism.

All Faith leaders were asked to talk about:

  • how different faiths describe the moral imperative to act to meet the challenges posed 
  • what the difference is between needs and wants.

Delegates then returned to their school groups to brief each other and come up with pledges and actions they could all undertake. They then nominated a delegate to report back to the whole conference on behalf of their school. Delegates’ ideas were amazing and included:

  • ‘We would like to write to our MPs to ask for more help from the government’
  • ‘We will try to stop wasting food – maybe I can eat that spotty banana’
  • ‘We will turn off taps when we brush our teeth’.
  • ‘We will try and look at labels in supermarkets to see where our food comes from and pick the most local. We could also encourage our parents to shop at markets instead of the big stores’.

Delegates also came up with some catchy and thought provoking slogans:

  • ‘Save the Earth, Save Yourselves’ (Ercall Wood Academy)
  • ‘Turn off before our planet does’ (Holy Trinity Academy)
  • ‘Foot Friday’ (i.e. walking to school) (John Fletcher of Madeley)
  • ‘We may only be small but together we can make a big difference’ (Lawley Primary)
  • ‘Green is more than just a colour’ (Lilleshall Primary)
  • ‘If we don’t make a change today we won’t have tomorrow’ (Tibberton C of E Primary).

Delegates have been asked to feedback to their governing board on their pledges and we are planning a follow up conference on the morning of 7 July 2022, where we hope all delegates will be able to share their progress to date.

Last updated: 09/05/2022 08:44

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