Location - The Abbey
Confession is big business. As family relationships are laid bare for daytime TV audiences and mock courtrooms try real cases for entertainment, calls for repentance echo everywhere. Those who hold power; religious, political, legal and cultural; are held to account by a free media and unregulated internet. In these contexts, what can the Church say about the Christian requirement for mercy as a public value? Is the quest for purity as damaging as it is noble? Do our public conversations confuse sincerity with truth? And is there any such thing as innocence?
Speaker: The Reverend Lucy Winkett, Rector, St James's Piccadilly
Lucy Winkett was ordained in 1995, having worked previously as a professional soprano. With degrees from Cambridge and Birmingham Universities, she served her title in Manor Park, Newham before moving to St Paul's Cathedral where she later became Canon Precentor, the first woman priest to be appointed there. She became Rector of St James's Church Piccadilly in 2010. She is a long-standing contributor to Radio 4's Thought for the Day, was a founding advisor for the public theology think tank "Theos" and is one of the co-founders of "Leading Women", a national development programme for women clergy.
The Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lectures are given in memory of Dean Eric Symes Abbott (1906-1983), who was at various times Dean of King's College London, Warden of Lincoln Theological College, Warden of Keble College Oxford, and Dean of Westminster. The Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Fund was endowed after his death by his friends to provide for an annual lecture on spirituality and pastoral theology. Past lecturers include the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the Rt Hon Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, and the playwright David Hare.
Read the lecture transcript (PDF on the King's College London website)