Core at the Fringe!

"Why Didn’t We Have This Conversation a Year Ago?"


Mediating Conversations about Conflict at the Festival Fringe: 
The Church, the Constitution and the Climate


Dates: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 24, 26 & 27 August, 6.30-9.30pm

Location: St Paul’s and St George’s Church, York Place, Edinburgh


Tickets are available here


Navigating tricky territory at the Festival Fringe this year with topics which cause some deep divisions, leading mediator John Sturrock QC will pose the question: “Why didn’t we have this conversation a year ago?” Tackling climate change, the constitution and the church, the event seeks to show how barriers to talking about these issues can be overcome.

“How we talk about difficult things will define our futures – yet we tend to struggle with discussions about our differences,” says Sturrock, who will host the events over three evenings in late August (Monday 24, Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27, 6.30-9.30pm). “On issues that matter to many of us, we become entrenched in polarised camps, using adversarial language which in turn generates more conflict.”

“So often as a mediator, I hear people ask: ‘why didn’t we talk about this a year ago?’. We waste vast amounts of time and money – not to mention human emotion and stress – on unresolved conflicts.  The purpose of these events is to explore how to deal with disagreements and to talk about some of the effective ways which good negotiators and mediators adopt to help bring about real progress in disputes – and to change lives. We want the audience to be engaged too, and to bring issues which they are finding difficult. Let’s talk about them!” Sturrock emphasises that there is no pressure to participate!

Each evening will also feature music with a house band, food and, more importantly, conversations with distinguished guest speakers about important contemporary issues where conflict abounds. 

So, on the Monday, the question is “Theology Today: Can we take the Bible both literally and seriously?" Sharing thoughts about today’s theology will be the Very Rev John Chalmers, formerly Moderator of the Church of Scotland; Rev Scott McKenna, Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church, Edinburgh; and Rev Canon Dave Richards, Rector, St Pauls and St Georges Church, Edinburgh. 

On the Wednesday, guest speakers will tackle “England and Scotland: Can we live interdependently, whatever happens?” We will be joined by John Swinney, MSP, Deputy First Minister, and Bernard Jenkin MP, Chair of Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, House of Commons. 

And on the Thursday, the discussion is about “Carbon Dependence: Can we wean ourselves off fossil fuels quickly enough to survive?” Responding to that question will be John Ashton, commentator on climate, politics and culture and former UK envoy on climate change, Tessa Tennant from Our Voices, George Marshall, author of Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change and Alastair McIntosh, author of Hell and High Water.



The events run on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 24, 26 and 27 August starting at 6.30 pm at St Paul’s and St George’s Church, Edinburgh.


Tickets available here

For further information please contact:

John Sturrock QC, Chief Executive and Senior Mediator
0131 524 8188, 07793 401511  
Core Solutions, 10 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EP       

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