Sustainability forum

As part of National Quaker Week Banbury Friends held a Sustainability Forum on Thursday 9th October. Following successful events chaired in previous years by Sir Tony Baldry and Colonel John Bridgeman, both attended by over one hundred people, a new selection of experts presented their perspectives. fielding questions and responding to views from members of the public again this year.

The chair this year was the reverend Dr Paula Clifford, vicar of Minster Lovell and past advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury on climate change, and the speakers were Marion Homer, lead local partnership advisor for the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP); Mike Pollard,Midlands Reserve Manager for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB); a speaker from Kids Company helping underprivileged young people; and Sabrina Gröschel, project developer for the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility on Ethical Money.

There was a light buffet reception at 18:30 and the forum was from 19:30 to 21:30 in the Main Hall at Banbury and Bicester College (formerly Oxford and Cherwell Valley College) in Banbury, Broughton Road, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 9QA.

For enquiries about future Sustainability Forums please contact Judith Mason on 01295 720900, or Jane Burn on 01869 277770, or submit an email

Paula CliffordRevd Dr Paula Clifford

Before embarking on a career in international development, Paula taught at the University of Reading and then at Magdalen and Somerville Colleges in Oxford. She worked for Christian Aid for 13 years where she was Head of Theology. In 2007-2008 she was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Advisor on Climate Change. Currently she is Vicar of Minster Lovell and also has a part-time post working with the Oxford churches. Paula has published a wide range of books and articles, including Angels with trumpets: the church in a time of global warming.

Marion HomerMarion Homer is Lead Local Partnership Advisor for WRAP and works on the successful consumer food waste prevention campaign ‘Love Food Hate Waste’. She leads a team delivering training across England, Wales and Northern Ireland helping people recognise the significance of the food they waste and how, by making just small changes to their habits, they can dramatically reduce their food bills as well as significantly reducing their environmental impact. @LFHW_UK; Love Food Hate Waste Community on Facebook; Free Love Food Hate waste App

After having children Marion worked from home with her own network marketing business and worked for Stratford upon Avon Methodist Church as the Circuit Administrator. She is also an active school governor with particular responsibilities for safeguarding. She was appointed to WRAP in May. Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mike PollardMike Pollard was into nature and ecology from his early childhood. He is a keen birder, naturalist and photographer, and works for the RSPB managing and developing nature reserves in the Midlands.  He has clocked up 25 years’ experience since he joined the RSPB back in 1989 as a membership recruitment officer. These days his work is focussed on developing nature reserves that are bigger and better for nature and great places for people. He says, “In the Midlands challenge is to rebuild biodiversity, as so much has been lost already.  Our nature reserves at Otmoor near Oxford and Middleton Lakes near Tamworth show what can be achieved in relatively short timescales: build it and nature will come.”

Karen StenningKaren Stenning is the Manager of the Urban Champions programme, the service delivery for vulnerable young people over the age of 24 years. Karen started at Kids Company in 2002 as Camila Batmanghelidjh's PA, when the charity was very small and only a couple of hundred children attended the provision. Since then she has held a number of different roles including Fundraiser, Key worker, Communications Coordinator, Manager of the Volunteers Programme and Manager of the Treehouse in Kilburn. In the past few years, she has developed a coaching and motivational provision for vulnerable young adults who do not have a carer or family network in their life. Currently Karen is also developing a pilot model in Liverpool with MD Productions called Emotions.

Sabrina GröschelSabrina Gröschel is originally from Germany and grew up in the Lutheran Church. She moved to Devon for the first time in 1998 to study for her A-levels. She returned to Germany to train for ministry at the University of Göttingen. After post-graduate study she worked in a Lutheran church near Hamburg, where she developed a large scale youth church project, before returning to Devon in 2009. Sabrina was employed as County Ecumenical Officer for Devon until December 2012. She has maintained close links with Churches Together in Devon as she now serves on its Enabling Group as the URC Ecumenical Officer for Devon. She currently works for the URC South Western Synod as a Synod Pastoral Advisor. In January, Sabrina was appointed by the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility to develop and promote the 'Ethical Money Churches' project which is to be launched during 'Good Money Week' later in October. Telephone: 01395 579795

Download a flyer to advertise the event.

Map of reserved, permitted, and public parking near the event