Chelmsford Cathedral
Theological Society 2017

The Chelmsford Cathedral Theological Society has a strong record of putting on interesting and often challenging lectures in Essex and East London, and I’m delighted that we are continuing that tradition in 2017.

The seven lectures cover a wide range of subjects, and we are lucky to have attracted a strong and varied list of visiting speakers again this year.  A copy of the talk is available by clicking on the lecture title, once it is blue.

During Lent there will also be weekly Wednesday evening reflections held in the north transept of the Cathedral. 


Wednesday 25th January at 8.00pm

Christian concern for justice: defending and delivering access to justice today

Andrew Caplen

Andrew Caplen is a Past President of the Law Society of England and Wales, having been President from 2014 to 2015. He is a leading voice on access to justice issues, having been Chair of the Law Society’s Access to Justice Committee between 2008 and 2012. He was one of the co-authors of Speaking Up—Defending and Delivering Access to Justice Today, published by the theological think-tank Theos in 2015. He also launched the Law Society’s national ‘Access to Justice Campaign’ in September 2014. Andrew is married to Rev Lindsay Caplen, an ordained Baptist Minister.


Wednesday 22nd February at 8.00pm

Is ‘equality’ a red herring? A reflection on Christian social ethics

Revd Matthew Simpkins

Matthew Simpkins is Assistant Curate in the Wickford & Runwell Team Ministry. Raised in the Stour Valley, Matt was educated at Colchester Institute and Oriel College, Oxford where he was a choral scholar. Prior to ordination he worked as a musician, journalist and lecturer.  He read theology at Trinity St David and Oxford University, and while training for ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon undertook research in Christian ethics under the supervision of Professor Nigel Biggar.  He has recently had articles published on democracy (Crucible), and marriage (Theology).


Wednesday 3rd May at 8.00pm

God and Enterprise

Revd Canon Edward Carter

Edward Carter has been the Canon Theologian at Chelmsford Cathedral since 2012, before which he was in parish ministry in Oxfordshire. Prior to ordination he worked in the small company sector and ran his own business. He has degrees in both economics and theology, and has recently authored a short book called God and Enterprise. He is a trustee director of the Church of England’s CBF Funds and serves on the Ethical Investment Advisory Group.


Wednesday 7th June at 8.00pm (at St Edward’s Romford)

Reading the Bible as our Story: A Post-Critical Approach to the Christian Scripture

Venerable Dr John Perumbalath

John Perumbalath has been Archdeacon of Barking since 2013. He was born and brought up in the ancient Syrian Christian tradition in Kerala, India and was later ordained in the Church of North India. After a time as Vicar of St James’s Kolkata he served in various parish posts in Rochester Diocese in England before taking up his current post. He has a doctoral degree in hermeneutics. He chairs the London Churches Refugee Network and the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns.


Wednesday 19th July at 8.00pm

God is alive in the public arena: a view from the workplace

Revd Dr Fiona Stewart-Darling

Fiona Stewart-Darling is Lead Chaplain in the Canary Wharf Multifaith Chaplaincy Team in London Docklands. Prior to ordination she was a research scientist working for British Gas. She was ordained into the Church of England in 1991, subsequently serving in parish ministry in Gloucestershire and as Lead Chaplain at the University of Portsmouth. In 2004 she moved to East London and was given the task of establishing a Multi-faith Chaplaincy to the global business community located on the private Canary Wharf Estate. To do this she has built relationships with many of the global companies and over time has built up a multi-faith team which is active today and involved with many of the companies and individuals that work on the estate. She has also developed good partnerships with local parishes, in both the Tower Hamlets and City Deaneries as well as across the Diocese of London.


Wednesday 13th September at 8.00pm

Minding the Gender Gap: how can theology help women and men work well together?

Revd Dr Alison Green

Ali Green is an Anglican priest ministering in the Diocese of Salisbury.  She is also an educator, spiritual director, retreat and pilgrimage leader, mother and grandmother. Before being ordained she was a teacher, then co-founder and director of an ecological consultancy. Her doctoral research was in aspects of Christian feminist theology and she has published books on women’s priesthood, the ministry of priests of both sexes, and on women in leadership in the Church.


Wednesday 18th October at 8.00pm

Christian Stewardship and the Theology of Water

Barbara Ridpath

Barbara Ridpath is the Director of the St Paul’s Institute, based at St Paul’s Cathedral, having previously spent most of her career in finance at Standard & Poor’s. She has an A.B. degree in Economics and a Masters in International Affairs. She is a member of Council at Chatham House, a trustee of CapitalMass, a CUF-Diocese of London joint venture, and a Commissioner of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission of the FCO. Her talk aligns with an international programme called JustWater in which St Paul’s Cathedral is working with churches, cathedrals and civic organisations around the world to draw attention to the gift of water.

To hear the 2016 lectures please click here

To hear the 2015 lectures please click here

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