Programme for 2018

Each year, The Severn Forum organises a programme of four or five lectures.

Tuesday 27th February, 7.45pm

Professor Sir Malcolm Evans
Sir Malcolm Evans KCMG OBE is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Bristol, Chair of the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture, and a member of the Foreign Secretary's Human Rights Advisory Group. He is author of (inter alia) Religious Liberty and International Law in Europe.


'The Freedom of Religion or Belief'
what does human rights law really have to say about it?'


Elwes Building Lecture Theatre TC104, The Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, GL50 2RH
( see Map » / see University Map »)

Tuesday 24th April, 7.45pm

Dr Meg Warner
Dr Meg Warner is a Hebrew Bible specialist, Visiting Lecturer at King's College, London, Reader in the Diocese of London, and a lay member of the General Synod of the Church of England. She was formerly Executive Assistant to the Anglican Primate of Australia.


Reading in Critical Times:
'Hearing the Voice(s) of Scripture in a divided world'


Elwes Building Lecture Theatre TC104, The Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, GL50 2RH
( see Map » / see University Map »)

Thursday 17th May, 7.45pm

Richard Harries
Richard Harries of Pentregarth is a former Bishop of Oxford and an Emeritus Gresham Professor of Divinity. He will lead a seminar-type discussion on the subject of his recent book.


'The Beauty and the Horror'
searching for God in a suffering world


The House of Lords, Westminster
( see Map »)

Tuesday 5th June, 7.45pm

Dr Rosalee Velloso Ewell
Dr Rosalee Velloso Ewell is Principal of Redcliffe College, a mission training centre and theological college in Gloucester, a Brazilian theologian and was formerly Executive Director of the Theological Commission for the World Evangelical Alliance.


The Place of Christian Mission in the present Age of Multiculturalism


Elwes Building Lecture Theatre TC104, The Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, GL50 2RH
( see Map » / see University Map »)

Tuesday 16th October, 7.30pm

Canon Adrian Daffern
Canon Adrian Daffern is Team Rector of Blenheim, Area Dean of Woodstock and Assistant Archdeacon of Dorchester. He is a former Canon Precentor at Coventry Cathedral, an accomplished organist who plays whenever needed for The Archers!


The Severn Forum AGM, followed by
Hearing with the Heart: Music in Church


Elwes Building Lecture Theatre TC104, The Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, GL50 2RH
( see Map » / see University Map »)

November, Date TBC



An In-House Discussion on a theme to be arranged


Elwes Building Lecture Theatre TC104, The Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, GL50 2RH
( see Map » / see University Map »)

Previous Programmes

Listed below are the programmes from previous years. Some of the lectures are available to download...


'Atonement - Not At One' (09/11/17)
Members Panel Discussion

'The Church and the Media' (03/10/17)
Angela Tilby (Writer and Journalist)

The Montgomery Lecture for 2017: 'Waiting for the End of the World' (13/06/17)
Edward Adams (Professor in New Testament Studies, King's College, London)

'R. S. Thomas and The Hiddeness of God' (27/04/17)
Mark Oakley (Canon Chancellor, St. Paul's Cathedral, London)

'Is the winter of ecumenism's discontent towards its close?' - A view of ecumenism today (21/03/17)
Bishop Christopher J Hill (His Inaugural Lecture - Chairman of the Severn Forum)


The Montgomery Lecture: 'Justice for Animals - What does Christianity mean for the animals we eat?' (13/10/16)
David Clough (Fellow of Professor of Theological Ethics, University of Chester)

'Christianity and Islam: Similar Problems, Different Solutions. How do we handle texts and what are the limits of compromise?' (03/05/16)
Chris Ewer (Advisor on Interfaith Relations to the Bishop of Birmingham, St Ethelburga Fellow in Christian and Moslem Relations)

'All That You Have Done . . . Has Been Fully Told To Me'. The Power of Gossip and the Story of Ruth (12/04/16)
Philip Esler (Portland Professor of New Testament Studies University of Gloucestershire)

'Seeing more clearly with the eyes of love'. A liturgy of voices based upon "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (17/03/16)
Revd Andrew Taylor (Chaplain of Downe House School, Cold Ash, Berkshire)


The Montgomery Lecture: 'Rediscovering the Bible as the People's Book' (13/10/15)
Revd. Dr. John Bell (Church of Scotland Minister and Member of the Iona Community)

'Human Rights Today - 800 years after Magna Carta' (18/06/15)
Roger Ruston (Fellow of the Centre of Law and Religion, Cardiff)

'Constructing Death as a form of failure: addressing mortality in a neo-liberal age' (21/05/15)
Professor Beverley Clack (Chair in Philosophy of Religion, Oxford Brooks University)

'Conceiving Jesus: re-examining Jesus' conception in canon, christology and creed' (05/03/15)
Andrew Lincoln (Former Portland Professor of New Testament Studies, University of Gloucestershire)


The Roy Niblett Lecture: 'Relationships at the Heart of Education' (15/10/14)
Professor Bart McGettrick (Dean of Education, Liverpool Hope University)

'The Just War Tradition and Human Rights: the place of Human Rights on the battlefield' (10/06/14)
Rev'd Nicholas Mercer (Curate since 2011 at St Mary the Virgin, Gillingham; formerly Lt. Colonel)

'Future of Ecumenism in the UK' (13/05/14)
Dr David Cornick (General Secretary of Churches Together and sometime Principal of Westminster College Cambridge; Fellow of Robinson College Cambridge)

'Old Testament Conceptions of Israel and Perspectives on Israel-Palestine today' (20/03/14)
Professor Gordon McConville (Professor of Old Testament Studies, University of Gloucestershire)


The Roy Niblett Lecture: 'Glittering Prizes: the Mosaics of Ravenna' (15/10/13)
Rt Rev Dr Christopher Herbert (Former Bishop of St Albans and Chairman of The Council of Christians and Jews)

'Scripture and the financial crisis' (13/06/13)
Donald Hay (Emeritus, Department of Economics and Jesus College, University of Oxford)

'Ageing and Spirituality' (14/05/13)
Rev Rob Merchant (Director of Dispersed Learning at St Mellitus College, Former Deputy Director for Ageing and Mental Health)

'Love and Romance in the Song of Songs, the Bible's only love poem' (15/10/13)
Professor Cheryl Exum (Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield, Director, Sheffield Phoenix Press)


The Roy Niblett Lecture: 'An exploration of the challenges facing a Christian University in a secularised society' (16/10/12)
Gerald Pillay (Professor Gerald Pillay FRSA is the Vice Chancellor of Liverpool Hope University and sometime Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of South Africa)

'Reclaiming Revelation' (19/06/12)
Jeremy Duff (Director of Lifelong Learning for the Liverpool diocese, and a canon at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, and sometime lecturer at Oxford University, Wycliffe Hall, and Liverpool Hope University. Published books include, 'The Elements of New Testament Greek', and 'Meeting Jesus')

'Poetry as a means of theological exploration' (10/05/12)
Nicola Slee (Research Fellow & MA Programme Leader at the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham. She has a longstanding passion for poetry and has published three collections of poetry and prose, the most recent being 'Seeking the Risen Christ' - 2011)

'Divine Glory Danced: Jewish History and the Theological Imagination' (06/03/12)
Melissa Raphael (Professor of Jewish Theology, University of Gloucestershire. Currently the Hussey Lecturer for The Church and The Arts, University of Oxford)


The Roy Niblett Lecture: 'Do we have faith in education?' (20/10/11)
Very Reverend Dr John Hall (Dean of Westminster)

'Through the Gate: reflections on prisons in the Big Society' (03/05/11)
Reverend Christopher Jones (Policy Adviser for Home Affairs in the Mission and Public Affairs Division of the Church of England)

'Is Christianity dying in the West? The secularisation thesis revisited' (03/03/11)
Dr Elaine Storkey (Director of Education for the Church of England Church Army and President of Tear Fund)


The Roy Niblett Lecture: 'Natural Law and its relevance for today' (19/10/10)
Professor Tina Beattie (Professor of Catholic Studies, Roehampton University, London)

'Is turning off the aid to poor countries the right Christian response' (16/06/10)
Reverend Professor Michael Taylor (Emeritus Professor of Social Theology, University of Birmingham)

'Where does authority lie? How scripture is used for contemporary dilemmas' (12/05/10)
Reverend Professor Richard Burridge (Dean of King's College, University of London)

'Authority and orthodoxy in Islam' (16/03/10)
Dr Arzina Lalani (Institute of lsmaili Studies, London)


The Roy Niblett Lecture: 'John Henry Newman and the Idea of a University' (13/10/09)
Reverend Dr Ian Ker (Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford)

'Suffered under Pontius Pilate: who really killed Jesus?' (23/06/09)
Dr Helen Bond (School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh)

'Hearing the whispers of divinity: reading great literature for Christian truth in the post-modern world' (12/05/09)
Miss Lucy Beckett (Poet, writer and teacher)

'Christians and Jews: Competitive siblings or the Israel of God?' (17/02/09)
Reverend Dr John McDade (Principal of Heythrop College, University of London)

2000 - 2006 Highlights

'The private protection of human rights: an ethical evaluation of private military companies' (2006)
Professor M Frost

'The ritual year and contemporary culture' (2006)
Bishop Michael Perham

'Fleshing out the incarnation' (2005)
Mrs Jane Williams

'Christianity and other religions: promise or threat' (2005)
Dr Gavin D'Costa

'Issues in human sexuality' (2004)
Bishop Richard Harries

'Judaism and the universe of faiths' (2004)
Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok

'A global faith in a global market' (2003)
Bishop Peter Selby

'Is Jesus among the prophets?' (2003)
Professor David Catchpole

'The international ecumenical scene' (2002)
Dr Mary Tanner

'On Christian Theology' (2001)
Archbishop Rowan Williams

'Theology in the 21st century' (2000)
Professor Maurice Wiles

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