SARX Creature Conf: part 1 of 3
SARX is A UK Christian charity dedicated to Animal Welfare
The three members of Green Christian who ran the stall give accounts of the conference:
Howard Gardener reports:-
(See end of post for links to the other reports and to the SARX website.)
1. First major conference of its kind in Britain: focusing on the Christian theology of the care of animals.
2. Oasis Conference Centre an excellent venue, main auditorium seating up to 300, many side rooms including a refectory.
3. Nine displays or stalls from a range of Christian organisations that have animal welfare as at least part of their remit.
4. Approximately 200 guests attended, with guests from Sweden, France, Ireland, the Netherlanda and Spain, as well as the UK.
5. Main invited speakers invited from around the world, each an expert in their own field.
6. Nine workshops using the invited speakers and others. We (Derek, Matt and I) attended six of them.
6. £65 attendance fee.
This was a very busy conference – not much free time – with a range of information available. This was first of its kind in Britain, and featured international guest speakers who are all experts in their own field. There was a positive “buzz” for the whole day with lots of networking and new ideas and “eyebrow-raising” challenges. There were nine displays where people could discuss and take away resources; ours presented very well, and I know that both Derek and Matthew had many conversations (slightly surprised there weren’t more displays).
I attended two of the workshops on offer: the Art Therapy & Animals with the with two full-time artists, Jane Darrall and Rosalind O’Melia. We had to make a drawing or picture of an animal, and then discuss it with the group. Designed to be therapeutic both for the creativity and the discussion. I will take all this back to my daughter who is an Art Psychotherapist in at the mental health hospital in Chelmsford.
The second workshop I attended focussed on Laudato Si’ with Allison Covey as the guest speaker. We discussed this timely publication coming as it does amid a widespread Christian awakening to environmental issues. It was a very fruitful discussion including how to communicate our theology and the practical outworking of it to a post-modern generation increasingly sceptical of what Christians have to say.
It is possible another SARX Conference will organised in the future, and I hope that Green Christian will be represented.