Meetings for Season 2017-18

Thu 5th October at 7:30pm
Helen Waddell - a bright and shining light

Speaker: Rev'd Dr John Moses KCVO 

Helen Waddell,is largely known today through her books on Peter Abelard, the Desert Fathers, and the Wandering Scholars of the Middle Ages; but she was also an intriguing person whose many skills and profoundly human qualities commended her to large numbers of people. She comes down to us as a compelling person: one of the Church's burning and shining lights.

John Moses is a retired Anglican priest who was Dean of St Paul's from 1996 until his retirement in 2006. His writings include books and anthologies on atonement theology, church and state, desert spirituality, John Donne, prayer, and Thomas Merton. He was educated at the University of Nottingham and Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge. He then studied at Lincoln Theological College, where he was ordained in 1964.

Now living in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, he lists his hobbies as reading novels, holidays in the sun, complaining about his computer, and falling asleep in front of the television.

Thu 2nd November at 7:30pm
Theological Resources for Interesting Times

Speaker: Rev'd John Bell of the Iona Community

If the Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan doesn't re-issue an updated version of The Times They Are a-Changin', people of faith should at least try to offer some lifelines to a society bewildered by Brexit, Trump, Immigrants and the Economy. Prophetic communities such as the Church are called neither simply to critique woes or provide escapist fantasies. We have to identify and encourage hope rooted in present realities.

John is a member and employee of the Iona Community. With his colleagues in the Wild Goose Resource Group, he teaches in areas of liturgy, spirituality and social justice. He works across the globe and is an occasional broadcaster.

Thu 7th December at 7:30pm
The Kingdom of God and The Big Bang Theory(TV version): Explorations in Theology and Popular Culture

Speaker: Professor Clive Marsh, Director of Lifelong Learning, University of Leicester

The talk will explore ways in which theological ideas and concepts interweave with what crops up in everyday life – in the form of the products of media, culture and the arts, and the practices (of watching, viewing and listening) associated with them. Is there such a thing as ‘theology in public’? Whether there is or not, what happens to religious believers who ‘consume’ such things? How does explicit religiosity relate to everyday ‘meaning-making’? And what of those who are not religious who also watch TV, listen to music and play sport?

Clive is Head of the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Leicester, and a Local Preacher in the Methodist Church. His publications include: Christ in Practice: A Christology of Everyday Life (DLT 2006), Theology Goes to the Movies (Routledge 2007) and (with Vaughan S. Roberts) Personal Jesus: How Popular Music Shapes Our Souls (Baker Academic 2013). He is currently working on A Cultural Theology of Salvation (for Oxford University Press, due out late 2018).

Thu 8th February 2018 at 7:30pm
Speaker: Revd Canon Chris Chivers
Chris is the Principal of Westcott House, Cambridge' the same college where he trained for ordination - reading Theology and Religious Studies.

His ministry has seen him as a curate, parish priest and area dean in North London, as the Precentor of St George's Cathedral, Cape Town and then Westminster Abbey, and as Canon Chancellor of Blackburn Cathedral.

Before training for ordination he studied music as a choral scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, having earlier been a chorister at Bristol Cathedral. He taught music at several schools and was Lay Chaplain, Housemaster and Choristers' Tutor at King's College School, Cambridge.

A published composer of choral music, he is also the author of several books. He presents Daily Service and Act of Worship on BBC Radio 4, and is a frequent contributor to the church and secular press in the UK and internationally.

Thu 8th March 2018 at 7:30pm
Dorothy L. Sayers, novelist, playwright, theologian: Apologist for her time – and ours?

Speaker: Rev'd Dr Jane Craske

Dorothy L. Sayers is best known as a writer of detective novels but she also wrote plays with explicit theological themes as well as essays, not least the book-length The Mind of the Maker, exploring the doctrine of the Trinity from an analogy with the creative process. Jane’s talk will explore whether there are things we can learn from Sayers’ work about theology, particularly apologetics, for today.

Jane is Director of Methodist Formation and Co-Director of the Centre for Ministerial Formation at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham. Following her time as a secondary school teacher of English, she trained for Methodist ministry at the Wesley Study Centre, Durham. She was ordained in 1996 and has served Circuits in London, Manchester, Leeds and Lowestoft/East Suffolk as well as being a tutor at Hartley Victoria College, Manchester. She has written on Methodism, preaching, and the novelist Philip Pullman. She enjoys reading, singing – and supporting West Ham United FC.