Sunday Forum

Adult Learning
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8:00am Holy Communion
8:45am Morning Prayer
11:30am Sung Eucharist
3:15pm Choral Evensong
6:00pm Eucharist

Sunday Forum

A Sunday lunchtime series where some of the liveliest contemporary theologians and spiritual teachers speak about the challenges, contradictions and joys of being a Christian in the world today.

First Sunday in every month (except January & August) 1 - 2pm
Wren Suite, Cathedral crypt Free and unticketed
Seating is on a first come first served basis so please arrive early. Latecomers may not be able to be seated.
Disabled access is via the south churchyard entrance.  If for any reason the south churchyard entrance is closed a telephone number is displayed. 

See films of past Sunday Forums

 
Reclaiming Holiness  |  Calvin Samuel Sunday 1 September 2019

Holiness has an image problem. Our culture often tells us that it is good to be bad, and holiness itself can be surrounded by stereotypes, rules, or suspicion of someone being ‘holier than thou’. Or it can just seem unattainable, an impossible ideal.

Calvin Samuel says that all this is a misunderstanding. Contrary to stereotypes, he says, holiness is the most attractive thing in the world: the dazzle of divine love and a radical grace that God offers for our deepest and most joyful good. He will explore how we can reclaim holiness as a force with the power to transform us, the church and the world.

The Revd Dr Calvin Samuel is a Methodist Minister and theologian. He was Principal of the London School of Theology from 2017-19 and was previously the Academic Dean of St John's College at the University of Durham and Director of Wesley Study Centre. His latest book, More Distinct, explores what holiness means today (IVP 2018).

 
We commend to you Phoebe: St Paul, Women and the Church  |  Paula Gooder Sunday 6 October 2019

Sometime around 56 AD, the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome. The letter he sent was arguably his theological masterpiece, and has shaped Christianity ever since.

And he entrusted it to Phoebe, a deacon of the church. Paula Gooder’s new book imagines her journey to Rome and her encounter with the early church there, bringing their joyful, insecure, argumentative community vividly to life. In doing so she offers new insights into how we might engage afresh with Paul’s theology and in particular how it has affected the role of women in the church. She will explore why she thinks we’ve been wrong about Paul’s attitude to women, and how Phoebe might be a catalyst to new and liberating ways of engaging with the riches of his thought.

Dr Paula Gooder is Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, the first layperson to hold the role. One of the best-known New Testament scholars and teachers of our time, her latest book is Phoebe: A Story (Hodder 2018) and her previous books include Heaven and Body: Biblical Spirituality for the Whole Person (both SPCK).

 
The Sacramental Sea: A Spiritual Voyage  |  Edmund Newell Sunday 3 November 2019

Why do so many people feel a spiritual connection with the sea? Edmund Newell’s research shows that throughout history, the sea has been associated with religious experience and that the sea is highly sacramental, speaking powerfully of God.

His new book explores the sea in Christian history, theology and spirituality. It moves from the Bible to the present day, via, among others, St Augustine, Christopher Columbus, William Shakespeare and John Donne, the scientists of the Enlightenment and the great hymn-writers of the 19th century. In this talk, he will explore some of what the sea has meant spiritually over the centuries, and challenge us to see the current dangerous rises in sea-levels worldwide as not only an environmental crisis, but a spiritual one as well.

Canon Dr Edmund Newell is the Principal of Cumberland Lodge, and was formerly Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, Sub-Dean of Christ Church, Oxford and Research Fellow at Nuffield College Oxford. His latest book is The Sacramental Sea: A Spiritual Voyage though Christian History (DLT 2019).

 
Angels |  Peter Stanford Sunday 1 December 2019

In a recent poll, one in ten Britons claimed to have experienced the presence of an angel, and one in three believe they have a guardian angel: a surprising story in a sceptical age.

But what are angels? They make many appearances in the Bible, sometimes bringing comfort but more often arriving with challenging or mysterious messages from God. Are they part of the poetry of religion? Or are they real, a manifestation of divine concern?

In this talk, Peter Stanford will explore something of the history, theology and cultural significance of angels and how they might illuminate a deeper truth about human existence and the cosmos.

Peter Stanford is a features writer at the Telegraph and a contributor to The Tablet among many other publications. His books include What We Talk About When We Talk About Faith, Martin Luther: Catholic Dissident and Judas: The Troubling History of the Renegade Apostle. His latest book is Angels (Hodder Faith 2019).

 
Saying Yes to Life  |  Ruth Valerio Sunday 2 February 2020

As people made in the image of God, we are entrusted with the care of what God has made and also with sharing in the joy and creativity of making a difference for good.

In her new book, Saying Yes to Life, Ruth Valerio draws on the creation stories from the book of Genesis to illuminate the most vital issues of our times. She relates their themes, including light, water, the seasons, other creatures and Sabbath rest to matters of environmental, ethical and social concern. She will challenge us to do the same this Lent, asking ourselves foundational questions about what it means both to be human and to be a follower of Jesus.

Dr Ruth Valerio is Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund, and an environmentalist, theologian and social activist. Her latest book, Saying Yes to Life (SPCK 2019) was commissioned by The Archbishop of Canterbury as his official Lent book for 2020.