Religion and science: New Unitarian GA President brings the two closer together 

29 April 2024

Monday, 8th April 2024 

The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches are proud to announce the appointment of Prof Geoff Levermore as GA President 2024-25. Prof Levermore is a dedicated and prolific climate scientist, and notably one of the Lead Authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contributing to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC with Al Gore in 2007. (

He attends services at both Dean Row and Norcliffe chapels in Cheshire Greater Manchester and gives services at nearby chapels in the North West and Shrewsbury. His own spiritual perspective is influenced by the theologian Gordon Kaufman’s ideas about the Mystery of Creation, and philosopher Karl Popper’s views on the Open Society. “I commit the social sin of discussing politics and religion with people. I believe in open religion, open societies, open to doubt… I’m not so spiritual, although I believe in the transcendency of things. An idea can be so wonderful – a lightbulb moment. This happens with my theology.” His personal theology drives him to make the world a better place and he is confident that technology will play a significant role in combatting global warming. 

This faith in technology comes from a career in climate science that has lasted more than 50 years, beginning when Professor Levermore earned a PhD from Imperial College in 1975. In 1979, he formed the Energy Management Team at Wandsworth Council, London and inaugurated the London Boroughs’ Energy Management Group (still running), which hosted several Government Ministerial visits. In 1983, he started lecturing at South Bank Polytechnic on building services and energy use in buildings. He moved to UMIST, later Manchester University, in 1992. From 1995 to 2009 he chaired a professional committee on current and climate change weather data for building design in the UK and is still on a similar US Weather Data Committee. 

He has authored over 150 journal papers, lectures, and books and his work has earned him numerous awards and grants, including a CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) Silver Medal in 2010. Professor Levermore is currently Emeritus Professor at The University of Manchester and an Adjunct Professor at the China Agricultural University, Beijing. He continues to publish and speak at events on climate change and the potential for good building design to mitigate global temperature rises. 

The Unitarians are a progressive faith group with a long tradition of combining liberal religion with rational inquiry and respect for honest scientific endeavour. Professor Levermore continues this tradition of scientific exploration in the Unitarian community, which has included such icons as Joseph Priestly and Charles Darwin.  His role as President of the Unitarian GA will bring him around the country, speaking to congregations about his views on mitigating the climate crisis and about our moral imperative to act, as well as promoting the work of the GA.