As part of our desire at Sanctuary First, to contribute to the future shape and mission of the church. Sanctuary First is hosting a conference at Tulliallan Police College to seek to inspire ministers and congregations to begin to re-think how church might be in the future. The Conference will be from 11-13 January 2019.

Our aim is to inspire the Church to look again at the Church Without Walls Report and see the timeless themes that continue to be relevant to us as a church. Working from our strengths we are asking; How can these themes be best communicated in an age of social media and advancing technology?

Can we have the courage to Re-Imagine Church for 21st century?

How can Sanctuary First as an online church be used to keep alive the faith of literally thousands who no longer attend conventional church?

How can we also be a collaborative partner in helping a new kind of church emerge that takes notice of the changing culture that has been brought about by the communication revolution of the past twenty years?

What does it mean today to be a Church Shaped by the Gospel, Shaped by our Locale, Shaped by the Gifts of God’s People and Shaped by Friendship?

Contributor Summary

We’re delighted that Professor Len Sweet will join us by a live link from New York State. Professor Sweet was with us in 2005 when we had the Stakeholders Conference in the Edinburgh

Dr Pete Phllips from Durham University is a key influencer in the Church of England’s communication strategy, and we're thrilled that he will be able to join us at the conference.

The conference will also feature contributions from Scotland:

  • Russell McLarty will invite members of the conference to join with him in helping to re-imagine church as it can be in the future starting from where we are now.
  • Neil Glover will outline what a hub style ministry might look like and explain the opportunities that are arising to re-imagine church in a more interdependent way allowing new forms of ministry to emerge from more settled expressions of church.
  • Fullarton ConneXions in Irvine is a Church of Scotland who have re-imagined their role in their Parish.
  • Liz Crumlish with some of her colleagues who are part of the Renewal Programme will share their experiences and inspire us to believe that there is a pathway for the renewal of the church.
  • Peter Neilson is inviting us to re-imagine what it means when we talk about a 'Church shaped by the Gospel'. Peter will be sharing with us thanks to the wonders of technology.
  • Maggie Lane is also a trained counsellor and brings a great deal of experience to the topic ‘Unlocking the Gifts of God’s People. This will be the focus of her seminar as she seeks to empower churches to grow through shared ministry.
  • Sarah Jane Storrie in her seminar will explore how community-led design can help empower those who look after places of worship to create more open, vibrant and sustainable spaces that respect and enhance their heritage.
  • Gordon Kennedy will ask the question ‘How do we re-imagine a church without walls? Gordon will look at the key strands in the report which offer us hope for the future of the Church of Scotland.
  • Linda Pollock will challenge us not to re-imagine Church without children and young people at the heart of our deliberations, sharing their wisdom and imagination. So, join her if you are willing to listen and to be surprised and perhaps even shocked!
  • Jim Stewart will be co-presenting the conference.
  • We are delighted that Andy and Fiona Campbell will join us a event chaplains.
  • Sanctuary First will also seek to be building partnerships across the church and show how we see the future of online church connecting with local parish communities re-connecting many of the disconnected.

This will be an important conference, one which we believe will enable congregations to network and encounter some of the key leaders in the Church of Scotland who are re-imagining church in their local parishes. The main success of the conference will be if we can fill the two hundred places with leaders who are hungry to share their desire for change. So time will be left for genuine networking and ministry exchange.

Book online now



Provisional Programme



Prof Len Sweet

Prof Len Sweet

Professor of Evangelism

Leonard Sweet with his knowledge of the trends of history as they effect church life will help us unpack the journey that a book-based church culture has to make in order to communicate to the Google generation. Len is a scholar of popular culture and media ethics: a semiotician who “sees things the rest of us don’t see and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imaginings.” He is also a best selling author having penned over fifty books and published over 200 articles. He has been voted by his peers as among the foremost Christian thinkers in America.

Peter Phillips

Dr Pete Phillips

Director, CODEC Research Centre

Pete has many years experience of teaching/researching the New Testament, and now explores the interface between all things digital and theological. During his time at CODEC, Pete has pioneered new ways of exploring theology among the Digital Humanities and also developed the world's first MA in Digital Theology, hosted within Cranmer Hall's suite of MA programmes. Pete loves playing with tech, hacking new data, developing new opportunities for research. A lot of Pete’s work takes him outside of Durham – working with the Church of England’s Digital Team.

Peter Neilsom

Rev Peter Neilson

Minister (retired)

Rev Peter Neilson retired from his role as a freelance mission consultant after 40 years of ministry within the Church of Scotland but continues to serve St Andrew’s presbytery as a locum minister. He has had a range of roles from parish ministry in Glasgow and Edinburgh to national roles in mission. We are delighted that he will be contributing to our conference inviting us to re-imagine what it means when we talk about a Church shaped by the Gospel. Peter will be sharing with us thanks to the wonders of technology.

Albert Bogle

Very Rev Albert Bogle

Minister, Sanctuary First

Albert describes the Sanctuary First vision as the catalyst that inspires christians to re-imagine the internet as the open door which creates possibilities to re-think church for every generation. Appointed in April 2016 as minister of Sanctuary First (a pioneering ministry being developed by Falkirk Presbytery), he develops the aspiration that Sanctuary First will become a worshipping congregation of the Church of Scotland on the internet. As leader of Sanctuary First he is keen to develop partnerships with congregations to inspire them to see the potential of the internet as a communication tool.

Jim Stewart

Rev Jim Stewart

Minister, St Mark's, Letham

Jim is currently minister of St Mark’s Church of Scotland, Letham. Before training for ministry Jim worked in the meat industry, and in the civil service. Jim has been involved in a number of high profile roles within the church, including part-time Evangelist for the Church of Scotland and Moderator of Perth Presbytery. He has special interests in bereavement care, mental health issues and chaplaincy to schools including special needs children. He has served on two Special Commissions of the General Assembly of the Church. We are delighted that Jim will be co-presenting the conference with Amanda MacQuarrie.

Amanda MacQuarrie

Rev Amanda MacQuarrie

Minister, Bo'ness Old Kirk

Amanda MacQuarrie is currently Minister at the Old Kirk in Bo’ness, a multi-generational congregation in the town of Bo’ness committed to worshiping God together and finding out where God is already at work in their parish and joining in. She was ordained in 2014 after completing an MTh at University of the Highlands and Islands where her thesis was on the local church and mission. Prior to following a call into ministry Amanda was a full-time Mum to her 4 children and before that was a teacher of Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies. She enjoys spending much of her spare time outdoors.

Maggie Lane

Rev Maggie Lane

Minister, Kirkliston Parish Church

Maggie Lane has been the Parish Minister in Kirkliston for the past ten years. Before entering the ministry she had a successful business career in the catering industry. She studied theology at Edinburgh University before completing her training for the ministry working at St Andrew’s Bo’ness. Maggie is also a trained counsellor and brings a great deal of experience to the topic 'Unlocking the Gifts of God’s people'.

Gordon Kennedy

Rev Gordon Kennedy

Minister, Craiglockhart Parish Church

Gordon was a member of the Special Commission which produced the Church Without Walls Report in 2001. Before being called to ministry he worked as a civil engineer with Strathclyde Regional Council. Gordon has served in the parishes of New Cumnock, Portpatrick and St Ninians (Stranraer) and is presently at Craiglockhart in Edinburgh. Gordon has an ongoing interest in making connections with theology and missional practice. In his seminar Gordon hopes to be asking the question ‘How do we re-imagine a church without walls?'

Neil Glover

Rev Neil Glover

Convener, Ministries Council

Neil Glover is currently minister of Aberfeldy Parish linked with the congregations of Dull & Weem and Grantully, Logierait & Strathtay, He is also the Convener of the Ministries Council of the Church of Scotland. We are looking forward to Neil sharing with us the opportunities that will arise as congregations begin to consider working together creating hubs where growth and renewal can take place.

Sarah Jane Storrie

Sarah Jane Storrie

RIAS Conservation Accredited Architect

Sarah Jane Storrie, RIAS Conservation Accredited Architect and former member of CARTA, has agreed to give a workshop on "Re-Imagining Sacred Spaces". In her seminar/workshop she will explore how community-led design can help empower those who look after places of worship to create more open, vibrant and sustainable spaces that respect and enhance their heritage. Sarah Jane received the "Emerging Architect of the Year Award" from the RIAS in 2016 and is convinced that sacred spaces can be revitalised to connect with contemporary needs. She writes, "reshaping the environments that we occupy, both existing and with the new is such an  optimistic role in serving society. Never doubt the potential to adapt these settings to make better settings to live socialise and worship through the organisation of space and the materiality of making."

Russell McLarty

Rev Russell McLarty

Transition Minister

For 21 years Russell was Parish Minister in one of Glasgow’s most disadvantaged communities. He was coordinator of Chance to Thrive, a 5-year pilot project of The Church of Scotland providing volunteer mentor support to 8 congregations in some of Scotland’s poorest communities to help develop local people’s ideas for regeneration. As a storyteller and part of the Scottish Storytelling Forum, Russell is interested in the stories people tell about themselves and the power of new and positive stories in community life. Russell will invite members of the conference to join with him in helping to re-imagine church as it can be in the future starting from where we are now.

Marc Bircham

Rev Marc Bircham

Parish Minister

Marc has been the minister of St Madoes and Kinfauns Parish Church since February 2000. He is passionate about making the Christian faith accessible in today’s culture. He is also fairly passionate about Kilmarnock football team. He is interested in films and music, and enjoys an occasional latte.

Anthea Bircham

Anthea Bircham

Community Development Coordinator

Anthea is employed as the Community Development Coordinator and promotes Project Criss-Cross. Her role also involves some of the daily management of the Madoch Centre. Before this position she worked full time as a volunteer for 3 years attempting to put the ‘fun’ back into fundraising.  Together they hope to bring three more members of their team to share the story of the Madoch Centre

Liz Crumlish

Rev Liz Crumlish

Path of Renewal Pilot Project

Liz Crumlish has been a Church of Scotland minister for over 20 years and is currently leading and facilitating a Pilot Project: Path of Renewal, coaching and mentoring ministers and congregations through cultural change. Liz hopes to bring some of her colleagues who are part of the Renewal Programme to share their experiences.

Neil Urquhart

Rev Neil Urquhart

Parish Minister

29 years as lead minister of Fullarton Parish Church, married to Dorothy (who has helped considerably to build and grow Fullarton ConneXions). They have 3 grown up kids & a baby grandson. Mad about sport, faith, God's Grace and making God’s Love real in word and deed. Born in Africa, raised in Scotland, served in Israel, Canada & Oz. The new church and community hub has become a thriving community and crossroads for creative, caring relationships, where people of faith and no faith are being helped to take steps closer to Jesus. Neil will have various members of ConneXions' community to share about the exciting journey they're on, encouraging conversation and mutual learning about what is helping people, in our respective contexts, to make ‘Kingdom of God’ connections.

Linda Pollock

Rev Linda Pollock

Parish Minister

Linda Pollock is a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Parish of Possilpark, Glasgow. She is passionate about nurturing children in Faith and being nurtured by them – a reciprocal relationship is key in her understanding of nurturing and growing disciples of all ages.

Fiona Campbell

Fiona Campbell


Summer Mission (all those outreach teams around Scotland in the 60s & 70s) shaped Fiona's Christian life and service from age 15. Through 40+ years of parish ministry alongside Andy she's kept a firm focus on evangelism using her roles as Occupational Therapist and artist to care for people and encourage the church to use the creative arts in worship. From her time as a radio presenter she brings skills in creating and delivering thoughtful worship.

Andy  Campbell

Rev Andy Campbell

Parish Minister

Andy's been in ministry for most of his life and always led Christians to engage with their community. He believes worship belongs where people meet - pubs, farms and radio stations - and technology can support and connect worshipping communities large and small. With a Masters in communication he's trained candidates for ministry and lay people alike to gain confidence in exercising their ministry.