‘Here I stand, I can do no other’ is inspired by the celebrated words of Martin Luther during the Reformation in 1521, posing the question for us:
“And where do I stand? What are the things that hold my life together, lie at the very core of who I am?”
This year’s series of streamed lectures from St Martin’s-in- the-Field by internationally known contributors, addresses this question through their lives and perspectives. We hear from those who have lived for the things they believed in, as they offer insight, prophecy, challenge, controversy, hope, warning, courage and vision.
Browse the background to these amazing speakers below and talk to your friends about these lectures. There is no charge for you to attend; just come to church for 7:00pm, enjoy a hot drink and relax for a stimulating evening!
Here I Stand: Reconciliation: Wednesday 6 September, 7.00 – 9:00pm
Our first lecture explores the meaning of reconciliation. This lecture and panel discussion is hosted by St Martin’s in partnership with Embrace the Middle East, a Christian development charity, supporting Christian partners in the Middle East as they work to transform lives and restore the dignity of excluded and marginalised communities.
Revd Justin Welby was ordained in 1992 after an 11-year career in the oil industry. In 2002 he became Canon of Coventry Cathedral, where he jointly led its international reconciliation work. During this time he worked extensively in Africa and the Middle East. He has had a passion for reconciliation and peacemaking ever since. He has served as Dean of Liverpool Cathedral and Bishop of Durham, and is the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. His priorities are the renewal of prayer and the religious life, reconciliation, and evangelism and witness. He continues to make visits all around the Anglican Communion, particularly to encourage Anglicans in places of conflict who are pursuing peace and reconciliation.
Su McClellan leads Embrace’s work with churches of all denominations across the UK to foster an understanding of the complexities of life in the Middle East. She has a particular interest in Israel and Palestine and regularly leads pilgrimages, study tours and volunteering trips to the region. She is also the curate at Coventry Cathedral, whose ministry of reconciliation is increasingly informing her work at Embrace.
Daniel Munayer is the Executive Director of Musalaha, an organisation that teaches and facilitates reconciliation mainly between Israelis and Palestinians from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Daniel is both Palestinian and British, with an Israeli passport. Daniel is the co- founder of Lighthouse Relief – a response to the influx of refugees in Greece – and has also worked with the Danish Refugee Council and Nonviolent Peaceforce in Greece and Iraq. Daniel is the only Palestinian ever to be invited personally to address the UN Security Council in New York.
There was a technical hitch at St Martins for the first 15 minutes of this lecture. You can access the whole lecture by clicking this link.
Here I Stand: On the Frontline in Ukraine: Monday 18 September, 7.00 – 9:00pm
Focusing on direct experience of the invasion of Ukraine, this lecture brings together Fr Vitaliy Novak, who has spearheaded humanitarian relief and has come from Ukraine specially to speak for us, and Lindsay Hilsum and Emma Graham- Harrison, both of whom have been reporting from Ukraine. They are interviewed by BBC’s Mike Wooldridge.
Fr Vitaliy Novak CM, CEO, Depaul Ukraine. Fr Vitaliy, a Congregation of the Mission Priest, has been Director of Services for Depaul Ukraine since 2007. Before the war, Depaul was supporting around 8,500 people a year and now supports up to 30,000 a day. In response to the conflict, Fr Vitaliy assumed the role of CEO, taking ultimate responsibility for all Depaul Ukraine programmes including humanitarian distribution, family accommodation, emergency shelters, holistic day centres, welfare rights support, and winterisation programmes across the country.
He has worked bravely and tirelessly to bring help and support to thousands of people injured, displaced and made homeless by the war.
Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News‘ International Editor: Lindsey has recently been reporting on the war in Ukraine and the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan. She has reported from sixcontinents, covering the major conflicts and refugee movements of the past three decades, including Syria, Iraq, Kosovo and Rwanda, winning many awards. She is the author of Sandstorm; Libya in the Time of Revolution and In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin.
Emma Graham-Harrison, Senior International Affairs Correspondent at The Guardian and Observer: Emma has won multiple awards for her international reporting and investigative journalism. She has covered conflicts including thecurrent war in Ukraine, America’s invasion of Iraq and the years of violence that followed, Syria’s civil war, the coup in Zimbabwe. Emma was named Foreign Correspondent of the Year in the 2018 National Press Awards.
Mike Wooldridge (Presenter and Chair): Mike Woolridge joined the BBC in early 1970, becoming East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi from 1982-9. He reported live from the prison gates when Nelson Mandela was released in February 1990. After a stint in London as the religious affairs correspondent for the BBC he became their South Asia correspondent, based in Delhi.
From 2001 he was BBC World Affairs correspondent in London.
The availability of each of these speakers is confirmed at the time of advertising but is subject to their emergency assignments.
Here I Stand: Martyrdom: Monday 25 September, 7.00 – 9:00pm
What is the meaning of martyrdom and why are martyrs remembered? This lecture draws on Tom Holland’s historical scholarship and insight into the concept of martyrdom in the ancient world and in Christianity, and Richard Carter’s personal experience of the lives of seven modern martyrs.
Tom Holland is an award-winning historian, biographer and broadcaster. He is the author of Rubicon, which won the Hessell- Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize; Persian Fire, his history of the Graeco-Persian wars, which won the Anglo-Hellenic League’s Runciman Award in 2006; Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom, which is a panoramic account of the two centuries on either side of the apocalyptic year 1000; In the Shadow of the Sword, which covers the collapse of Roman and Persian power in the Near East, and the emergence of Islam; Dynasty, which is a portrait of Rome’s first imperial dynasty; and Dominion, which explores why Christianity is the most enduring and influential legacy of the ancient world. His most recent book, Pax, about the heyday of the Roman Empire, came out this summer. Holland is co-presenter of the podcast The Rest is History, Europe’s most downloaded history podcast. He has written and presented several TV documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 on subjects ranging from ISIS to dinosaurs.
Richard Carter is Associate Vicar for Mission at St Martin-in-the-Fields and leader of the Nazareth Community. He is author of The City is My Monastery and Letters from Nazareth: A Contemplative Journey Home. Before working at St Martin’s, he was chaplain of The Melanesian Brotherhood in the Solomon Islands,where, during a time of ethnic conflict in 2003, seven members of his community were killed and became recognised as modern martyrs for peace. They are remembered at Canterbury Cathedral, in the Basilica of St Bartolomeo in Rome and throughout the Anglican Communion. Richard’s book In Search of the Lost tells the story of their death and life and how it changed his own life.
CHANGED FROM 13TH NOVEMBER…
Here I Stand: My Name is Why?: Monday 13 November, 7.00 – 8.30pm
Lemn Sissay, inspirational poet, performer, writer and broadcaster, explores the courage to discover one’s true identity, to speak truth to power, and what it means to celebrate your own creativity and unique poetic voice.
Lemn Sissay OBE has read on stage throughout the world, from The Library of Congress in the United States to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, from the Opera House of Dubai to the London Palladium and finally to the heady hights of Wigan library in… Wigan. Lemn was awarded The PEN Pinter Prize in 2019 when his memoir My Name Is Why reached number one in the Sunday Times bestseller list. In 2021 it won the Indie Book Awards non-fiction prize. Lemn is Chancellor of the University of Manchester. He is trustee of the Foundling Museum. He is artistic advisor to the Manchester International Festival and was the Guest Director of Brighton Festival 2020 and 2021. He has been writer in residence at the Southbank Centre. He was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics 2012.
His television documentaries were nominated for Grierson, BAFTA and RTS awards in 2020 and 2021. His Landmark Poems in public spaces can be seen throughout Manchester and London at venues such as the Royal Festival Hall. Lemn has also worked in music for many years. In 2021 his poems were part of a concerto performed at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Lemn has written a series of published plays.
In 2015 he brought a legal case against the government for critical mistakes in the first 18 years of his life. The government settled out of court in 2018. His books of poetry are published by Canongate Books. His children’s book Don’t Ask the Dragon was published by Canongate Books in 2022.
Lemn Sissay was awarded the MBE for services to literature by the Queen in 2014 and the OBE in 2021 for services to literature and charity. He has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Huddersfield, Manchester, Brunel, Kent and Essex. He lives in London and Manchester. His story is one of courageous survival, hope, challenge, brilliant poetic imagination and transformation.
Here I Stand: Films that Give Voice to the Voiceless: Monday 16 October, 7.00 – 9:00pm
‘The duty of a film director is to focus more on the soul of the spectator.’ Ken Loach discusses some of the transformative films he has made and why he wanted to make them, and his method of telling the stories of those who are seldom heard.
Ken Loach was born in 1936 in Nuneaton. He attended King Edward VI Grammar School and went on to study law at St Peter’s Hall, Oxford. After a brief spell in the theatre, Loach was recruited by the BBC in 1963 as a television director. This launched a long career directing films for television and the cinema, from Cathy Come Home, which changed the way people viewed homelessness, and Kes, voted one of the greatest British films of the twentieth century, to Land And Freedom, Sweet Sixteen, The Wind That Shakes The Barley (Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival 2006), Looking for Eric, and The Angels’ Share.
Ken Loach’s latest trilogy of films gives voice to some of the poorest in our society: I, Daniel Blake focuses on the effect of austerity on a man who loses his job (Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival 2016). Sorry We Missed You (2019) reveals the pressures of the gig economy on a white delivery van driver and his wife who is a carer trying to make ends meet. His latest film, The Old Oak (September 2023) is a powerful story of hope, compassion and solidarity as a pub landlord confronts locals’ hostility towards Syrian immigrants. This film was his fifteenth to be shown at Cannes, more than any other director, and received a 15-minute standing ovation.
Here I Stand: Politics on the Edge: Monday 23 October, 7.00 – 8.30pm
Rory Stewart’s podcast The Rest is Politics with Alastair Campbell has explored the art of disagreeing agreeably and offered captivating insight and detailed discussion of an insider’s view of politics both at home and across the world. Rory Stewart joins us in person to tell us where he stands and to answer our questions.
Rory Stewart is the President of GiveDirectly – the fastest growing non-profit in the world last year, specialising in cash transfers to the extreme poor, particularly in Africa. He co-presents the UK’s leading podcast The Rest Is Politics, and is a Visiting Fellow at The Jackson Institute at Yale University. Previously, Rory was the UK Secretary of State for International Development, Minister of State forJustice, Minister of State in the Foreign Office and DFID (covering Africa, Middle East, and Asia), Minister for the Environment, and Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.
After a brief period as an infantry officer, he joined the UK Diplomatic Service, serving overseas in Jakarta, as British representative to Montenegro in the wake of the Kosovo crisis, and as the coalition Deputy-Governor of two provinces of Southern Iraq following the intervention of 2003. He left the diplomatic service to undertake a two-year walk across Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal. In 2005, he established the Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Kabul, working to restore a section of the old city, setting up a clinic, primary school, and Arts Institute, and bringing Afghan crafts to international markets. In 2008, he became the Ryan Professor of Human Rights at the Harvard Kennedy School and Director for the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy. Rory has also written four books: The Places in Between, Occupational Hazards or The Prince of the Marshes, Can Intervention Work? and The Marches. He launches a fifth in September 2023 – Politics on the Edge: A Memoir from Within.
Here I Stand: with God: Monday 30 October, 7.00 – 9:00pm
Known as one of the most creative theologians writing today, Sam Wells has become most associated with the practice of being with, as distinguished from three other ways of relating – working for, working with and being for. In a dozen books published over the last 12 years he explores the full implications of the notion of being with in relation to mission, ethics, pastoral care and social welfare. More recently he has explored the significance of this notion for the core tenets of Christian theology – God’s purpose in creating, in coming in Jesus, and in bringing the universe’s story to an end. His ideas are challenging and transformative in their implications for conventional understandings of Christian doctrine and put him in tension with the majority of theologians through the centuries.
Sam Wells is Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, where he leads a unique configuration of commercial, cultural and charitable initiatives, rooted in a vibrant congregational
life. He is also a widely known preacher, broadcaster and author. He spent ten years in areas of significant deprivation in Newcastle and Norwich in the early part of his ministry, helping to found the first development trust in the East of England in 1999. From 2005-12 he occupied one of the most prominent pulpits in the US, as Dean of Duke University Chapel. He was also Research Professor of Christian Ethics at Duke Divinity School. He appears regularly on Thought for the Day on Radio 4’s Today programme. He has published 46 books, including scholarly works on ethics, studies in ministry, liturgy, discipleship and preaching. In 2022 he completed his trilogy Walk Humbly, Love Mercy and Act Justly and published Humbler Faith, Bigger God: Finding a Faith to Live By, which takes the most profound criticisms of Christianity and the church as the pretexts for finding a truer, more honest trust in God. His books have been translated into several languages. He is also Visiting Professor of Christian Ethics at King’s College London. He was a member of the Multi-Stakeholder Council, part of the intergovernmental G20 process, from 2018-20.
Here I Stand: Death and Dying: Monday 6 November, 7.00 – 9:00pm
One thing is sure – one day we will face our own mortality and the dying and death of those we love. But where do we stand in relation to death, and how do we approach the dying and loss of those we love?
Katherine Sleeman is the Laing Galazka Chair in Palliative Care, based at the Cicely Saunders Institute at King’s College London. She is joint Academic Impact Lead for the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care, and Chair of the Palliative Care Clinical Academic Group Reach and Impact Group. She leads the Integrated Academic Trainee (IAT) programme for palliative medicine, and is Honorary Consultant at King’s College Hospital NHS Trust.
Rachel Clarke is an NHS palliative care doctor and writer. She is the author of three Sunday Times bestselling non-fiction books. Breathtaking, published in January 2021, reveals what life was really like working on NHS COVID-19 wards during the first wave of the pandemic. Dear Life, shortlisted for the 2020 Costa Biography Award, long-listed for the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize and chosen as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, is based on her work in a hospice. It explores love, loss, grief, dying, and what really matters at the end of life. Your Life in My Hands, published in 2017, documents life as a junior doctor on the NHS front line. Before going to medical school, Dr Rachel Clarke was a broadcast journalist. She produced and directed current affairs documentaries, primarily for Channel 4, focusing on subjects such as Al Qaeda, the Iraq War and the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rachel is co-founder and a trustee of Hospice Ukraine.
Cariad Lloyd is a writer, actor, comedian, podcaster and improviser. She is the creator and host of the award-winning podcast, The Griefcast, where she talks to people about their experiences of grief and death. It won podcast of the year at the British Podcast Awards in 2018 and has been featured in the New York Times, and was Apple’s Spotlight podcast in 2021. In 2023, she wrote a book based on her grief lessons from the show called: You Are Not Alone, which was critically acclaimed and a Times Bestseller. She has also appeared as an actor in Peep Show, Alan Partridge and Changing Ends and as herself in QI, Have I Got News For You and she is one the creators of hit improv show, Austentatious, who perform weekly in London’s West End.
Angela Sheard (Chair) is a curate at St Martin-in-the-Fields. She trained for ordination at The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham, and previously worked as a junior doctor.
Here I stand: Women’s Advancement and Role in Tackling Climate Change: Monday 20 November, 7.00 – 9:00pm
The Christian Aid Annual Lecture by Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations
We invite you to join us for the Christian Aid Annual Lecture hosted by St Martin-in-the-Fields and delivered by the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, Amina J. Mohammed.
Prior to her appointment, Ms Mohammed served as Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where she steered the country’s programme on climate action and efforts to protect the natural environment. Ms Mohammed joined the United Nations in 2012 as Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with responsibility for post-2015 development planning. She led the process that resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Christian Aid is delighted that Ms Mohammed has agreed to deliver its Annual Lecture on the impact of climate change on women and girls and why it is vital to focus on their advancement and leadership in accelerating green, resilient and inclusive development. The lecture will be delivered shortly before the COP28 international climate conference in Dubai.