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St Martin-in-the-Fields Autumn Lecture Series: ‘What am I living for?’

16 September 2022

THE annual St Martin-in-the-Fields Autumn Lecture Series, beginning later this month, will pose the question “What am I living for?”

The series, run in partnership with the Church Times for the first time, brings together a mix of broadcasters, activists, campaigners, theologians, novelists, and artists, who will talk about their experiences of the search for meaning in an increasingly uncertain world.

The series includes a rare UK visit from the prominent human-rights lawyer and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson, the founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama. The true story of his fight to save a wrongly convicted African-American from death row became the subject of a major feature film Just Mercy, in 2019, starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx.

The series opens on 26 September with Canon Sam Wells and the Revd Lucy Winkett in conversation about God and meaning. In October, Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP will look at life, mortality, and the way that friendship brings meaning and hope for the future; and, in November, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams will speak on “A New Heaven and a New Earth”.

Three prominent LGBT+ voices — Peter Tatchell, Canon Rachel Mann, and Bernárd Lynch — will examine the importance of human rights in our contemporary world. And the broadcasters Mishal Husain, Jon Snow, and Aleem Maqbool will discuss the search for truth and meaning as journalists.

Other speakers include the novelists James Runcie, Chibundo Onuzo, and Patrick Gale, and the artist Grayson Perry.

“The pandemic and its aftermath have been a time of profound soul-searching for many — not just about the shape of their own lives, but about the nature of existence,” Dr Wells said of the series. “I’m looking forward to exploring some of the deepest questions of all with a wide range of contributors and a lively audience throughout this autumn.”

The Associate Vicar for Mission at St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Revd Richard Carter, said that the lectures sought to “get to the heart” of issues that were common to us all. “What seems clear from the last two years is that we cannot just continue in the same way. But what can we hold on to, and how must we change? What does our future hold? Each of our speakers will bring extraordinary perspectives and insights into universal questions which involve us all.”

The series takes place at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Monday evenings with a live audience. The suggested price for tickets is £10, but free tickets are also available. Events will also be livestreamed.


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