Chelmsford Cathedral

Theological Society Lectures 2016

The 2016 programme of lectures explore the Christian faith.  The speakers bring a wide range of interests and expertise and the variety reflects some of the many ways to consider the Christian faith and "do theology". 

All lectures are held in St Cedd's Hall in the Chapter House, Chelmsford, CM1 1NX except on 19 March when it is in the Cathedral and 4 May when it is at St John's Stratford which is a short walk away from Stratford Railway station.  Admission to the lectures is £3.50 but on 4 May there will be no charge.  All lectures begin at 8.00 pm.  The concert on 19 March is ticketed separately.

A video of each lecture will be available on Youtube after the event.  Please click on the lecture title when it turns blue. 


Wednesday 27th January at 8.00pm

What can Rasputin tell us about the Jesus of John’s Gospel?

Revd Robert Hampson

Robert Hampson has been Vicar of Holy Trinity South Woodford since 2001. On his recent sabbatical he worked on the authorship of John’s Gospel. Amongst his interests is a passion for vintage motor cycles.


Saturday 19th March at 6.45pm (in the Cathedral)

Francis Poulenc: deeply devout or uncontrollably sensual?

Revd Canon Chris Chivers

Chris Chivers has been Principal at Westcott House Theological College in Cambridge since August 2015, having previously been a parish priest, precentor and cathedral canon. Born and brought up in Bristol, where he was a cathedral chorister, he read music at Magdalen College, Oxford and theology and religious studies at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He is a published composer of choral music, with works written for the choirs of various Oxford and Cambridge Colleges, as well as Oundle School.

This lecture is followed by a concert (ticketed separately) given by the Chelmsford Singers at 7.30pm, which will include performances of Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, Organ Concerto, and Litanies à la Vièrge noire.


Wednesday 13th April at 8.00pm

Where is God on a Cruise Ship?

Revd Canon Carol Smith

Carol Smith was born by the sea and could swim before she could walk. She worked as a PA prior to ordination, notably for the Mission to Seafarers, the Anglican mission agency that cares for people who work at sea and in port. Carol has used a recent period of extended study leave to explore the work of a Seafarers’ Chaplain more closely. She is Vicar of St Luke’s and St John’s Moulsham.


Wednesday 4th May at 8.00pm (at St John’s Stratford)

Rebel or Slave: a practical theology of discipleship

Rt Revd Peter Hill

Originally from Swansea, Peter Hill studied at Manchester and Nottingham Universities and Wycliffe Hall Oxford.  He taught for eight years in Greater Manchester before being ordained. He has served as a Curate in Nottingham, Vicar of two mining parishes, Diocesan Chief Executive, Archdeacon of Nottingham, and is now Bishop of Barking. A keen sport and outdoor enthusiast, he is committed to the theology and practice of pilgrimage, having completed a number of long distance pilgrim walks.  He has led many pilgrimages to The Holy Land, is learning to fly fish, cycles for pleasure, and has faith enough to support Swansea City and Welsh rugby.


Wednesday 8th June at 8.00pm

Parish Church Cathedrals: rocks of ages or ships in the night?

Revd Canon Ivor Moody

Ivor Moody was ordained as a priest 1983 and has served all his professional life in the Chelmsford Diocese, including curacies at St Margaret’s Leytonstone and St Margaret’s Leigh on Sea, an incumbency at St John the Baptist Tilbury Docks, as Chaplain at Anglia Ruskin University, and since 2010 as Vice Dean and Canon Pastor at Chelmsford Cathedral. He is Chair of the Mid Essex Inter Faith Forum, and Chair of Essex Mind and Spirit.

Ivor has already delivered a lecture about his research into parish church cathedrals for the Theological Society (see above link) and has submitted a shortened version of the sabbatical essay to the journal Modern Believing which will be peer reviewed in the next couple of months.  A copy has also been sent to the Association of English Cathedrals and it is hoped that the work might make a contribution to the ongoing thinking about the nature of cathedrals and what they are for.  To read the full essay, please click here.

Wednesday 13th July at 8.00pm

Shooting the Wounded: the work of a Christian photo-journalist in post-conflict zones

Gareth Barton

Gareth Barton is a Chelmsford-based award winning photographer who has worked for the past 25 years in places such as South Sudan, Burundi, Pakistan, Armenia and Uganda. His photographs were used by the Christian Charity Flame International to illustrate their 2014 report Adding Insult To Injury, which told ten stories of victims of sexual abuse from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Gareth will give an illustrated talk using his work.


Wednesday 14th September at 8.00pm

Living out the call

Dr Paul Beasley-Murray

Paul Beasley-Murray was the Senior Minister of Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford between 1993 and 2014, when he retired. He is Chairman of Ministry Today UK and General Editor of its journal. He also chairs the College of Baptist Ministers. Amongst his previous appointments he was Principal of Spurgeon’s College in London. A prolific author, his books and articles for the most part reflect on the practice of ministry. In a recent project he has been publishing electronically a four volume work entitled Living out the call.


Wednesday 12th October at 8.00pm

(in association with the Montgomery Trust)

From Eve to Yummy Mummy: The Spirituality and Theology of Maternity and Childbirth

Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes is an Anglican priest, a writer, historian and theologian. She is particularly interested in the history of the church, and how historical understanding can shed fresh light on contemporary issues. She also has an interest in contemporary spirituality. After a degree in history at Cambridge she first worked in brand management, then studied for a PhD in medieval history at Durham. Her most recent books are the Prayer Experiment series published by SPCK. She is married with three children, and comes from a family of midwives and doulas.

To view the 2014 series click here

To view the 2015 series click here

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