Space in the City

Autumn 2009

at the United Church, Jewry Street, Winchester
Wednesdays 12:30 – 13:00


30th September Vincent Donovan
Vincent Donovan, an American Roman Catholic priest, was working as a missionary in Tanzania.  With one tribe, the Masai, traditional mission had made no headway, and he felt moved to try a new approach:  simply to go on his own to talk to them about God.  This brought results, but one of them was unforeseen;  for his own vision of Christianity was revolutionised, as he described in his book Christianity Rediscovered in 1978.  This truly prophetic challenge to our Western Church was republished in 2001 and 2004 – but will its message even now be heard?
Speaker: John Austin Baker
Bishop John’s talk (introduced by Miggy Scott) is available here to play or download (11Mb MP3) †
The text of the talk is available here (116Kb PDF) †
Vincent Donovan
7th October Lesslie Newbigin
After forty years of ministry largely in South India, this Church of Scotland Minister, who became a Bishop in the fledgling Church of South India, published works of mission thinking which rocked the Christian world.  As Secretary in the World Council of Churches he had challenged the Ecumenical movement to think widely.  But it was in a series of books written when he was 69 that he will be most remembered.  Lesslie was always accompanied by his wife Helen and after returning to England for retirement was minister of a United Reformed Church opposite the gates of Winston Green prison in Birmingham.  He and Helen had started their retirement by travelling all the way from Madras to Winston Green using only local buses with their possessions in a rucksack and small suitcase!  He had a quick analytical mind, a comprehension of theology, philosophy, and mission thinking that was way ahead of its time, and the series of books published from 1978 have changed the face of missionary endeavour worldwide.
Speaker: Howard Mellor
Dr Mellor’s talk (introduced by Graham Rolfe) is available here to play or download (12Mb MP3) †
The script for the talk is available here (380Kb PDF) †
Lesslie Newbigin
14th October Ivan Illich
A priest who thought there were too many priests, a lifelong educator who argued for the end of schools and an intellectual sniper from a perch with a wide view.  He argued that hospitals cause more sickness than health, that people would save time if transportation were limited to bicycles and that historians who rely on previously published material perpetuate falsehoods.
Speaker: Robert Hutchison
Mr Hutchison’s talk (introduced by Jeanette Archdeacon) is available here to play or download (11Mb MP3) †
The text of the talk is available here (180Kb PDF) †
Ivan Illich
21st October Alan Paton
Invited to speak on Nelson Mandela as prophet, David Holgate demurred as he does not see Mandela as a prophet, but Alan Paton fits that label, and he will be sharing that interesting argument with us.  A principal of a reformatory for young African offenders, an opponent of apartheid founding the South African Liberal party, and a man who communicated to the wider world through his writings, including Cry, The Beloved Country and Make me an Instrument of thy Peace.
Speaker: David Holgate
Dr Holgate’s talk (introduced by Revd Amanda Goulding) is available here to play or download (11Mb MP3) †
The text of the talk is available here (250Kb PDF) †
Alan Paton
4th November Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Why would a Christian pastor who is committed to peace and non violence join a group planning a coup d’état and the assassination of a head of state?  What impulses led Dietrich Bonhoeffer on that path of discipleship to the gallows in a concentration camp in 1945?  His inclusion among the Christian martyrs honoured on the west face of Westminster Abbey is well deserved.  However, it does not address the profound and disturbing questions with which he wrestled.  A lawyer imprisoned with him said, ‘His death robbed not only Germany but the whole of Christendom of a pioneer of Christianity.’  Yes, but the darkness cannot silence the truly prophetic voice.
Speaker: Gillian Court
Ms Court’s talk (introduced by Bishop John Baker) is available here to play or download (11Mb MP3) †
The text of the talk is available here (200Kb PDF) †
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
11th November George Bell
Bishop of Chichester (1929-1958);  a friend of Bonhoeffer who stood out for justice in war, church unity in peace, and social equality.
Speaker: Rachel Moriarty
Dr Moriarty’s talk (introduced by Miggy Scott) is available here to play or download (12Mb MP3) †
During her talk Dr Moriarty mentions quotations in her handout for the talk;  the handout is here (200Kb PDF) †
The text of the talk is available here (220Kb PDF) †
George Bell
18th November René Girard
“One of the most enlightening intellectual breakthroughs to come from the twentieth century.”  That is how Robert Daly describes René Girard’s big idea.  And it is big.  His thinking offers a key to the origins of human society, the basis of conflict and violence, the formation of human identity and – most surprising of all – the vital significance of the Christian gospel.  At the same time, his seminal ideas can be summarised quite simply.  Too good to be true?  Certainly, on this side of the pond/channel we tend to be suspicious of grand theories.  But for a growing number of people, here and elsewhere, this Frenchman from the United States has shed a whole new light on life and faith.
Speaker: Peter Fisher
Canon Fisher’s talk (introduced by Miggy Scott) is available here to play or download (11Mb MP3) †
During his talk Canon Fisher mentions the diagram in his handout for the talk;  the handout is here (190Kb PDF) †
The text of the talk is available here (150Kb PDF) †
René Girard
The eighth talk in the series, scheduled for 25th November, is CANCELLED because the speaker is unwell. Hans Küng
Only two of those who attended the Second Vatican Council are still alive, Joseph Ratzinger who has become Pope Benedict XVI, and Hans Küng.  Both taught together at Tübingen University during the student unrest of the late 1960s;  Joseph Ratzinger was then groomed for high office;  by choice Hans Küng has remained as a professor in Tübingen all his life while travelling the world, questioning the dogmas of his church, not least papal infallibility, and exploring the Christian tradition in new light from science and theology.  So much so that in 1979 he was deprived of his licence from the church to teach as a Catholic theologian.  Undeterred, he turned to the world religions and the possibility of a global ethic and has become the great Christian ambassador of his age, with much honour save in his own church.  His story is spellbinding.
Speaker: John Bowden
Hans Küng

Wednesdays 12:30 – 13:00
Sandwiches available
Admission is free, but we rely on donations to fund expenses.

Copyright of each recording or text belongs to the speaker.  Recordings and texts are made available here, by kind permission of the speakers, for personal, non-commercial use only.  To play a recording, click on the link.  To download, right-click on the link and choose “Save Target As ...”  The texts are the speakers’ scripts, not transcripts of the talks.  Speakers often depart from their scripts to amplify, give examples or even add extra points, so the texts and the recordings may differ.

God of truth and love,
in all ages you have blessed our race with prophetic souls,
humble to listen for your truth and bold to share it in love.
Make us, we pray, humble in heart to listen to your prophets for our time,
and brave in love to act on the truth they bring.

Space in the City next year
  • The January 2010 series of Space in the City will be four talks under the title Mammon’s Revenge:  the global finance crisis, its roots and its results by Rt Revd Dr Peter Selby, formerly Bishop of Worcester and Bishop to HM Prisons, now President of the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards.
  • The Spring series, on 28 April and 5, 12 and 19 May, will be called Aspects of Alfred.
  • The Autumn series, Sanctuary, will be on 29 September, 6, 13 and 20 October, and 3, 10, 17 and 24 November.

Previous series
  • The Spring 2009 series of Space in the City was a series of four reflections on the nature of Inspiration and Place under the general title “Inspired”.  The programme page has recordings of two of the talks in the series.
  • The January 2009 series of Space in the City was four talks by Revd Dr Martyn Atkins under the general title “The Audacity of Hope”.  The programme page has recordings of all the talks in the series.
  • The Autumn 2008 series was titled “When I’m Sixty-Four ... A Celebration of the Third Age!”  The programme page has recordings of all the talks in the series.
  • The Spring 2008 series was titled “What can Christianity do for you?”  The programme page has recordings of all the talks in the series.
  • The January 2008 series comprised four talks by Bishop Richard Harries (Lord Harries of Pentregarth) under the overall title “The Re-Enchantment of Morality: Wisdom for a Troubled World”.  The programme page has recordings of all the talks in the series.
  • The Autumn 2007 series was titled “Spirituality & ...”.  The programme page has recordings of all the talks in the series.
  • The May 2007 series was titled “After Anne Frank”.  The programme page includes the recording of Prof. Michael Taylor’s talk.
  • In January-February 2006, Rev. Joel Edwards gave four talks under the general title “Respect”.  The texts of his talks have been made available by the Evangelical Alliance.
  • In 2004 Bishop John Baker (formerly Bishop of Salisbury) gave a series of four talks on the Lord’s Prayer.  The text of those talks is here.
  • Another series of talks by Bishop John Baker, “Between Faith and Doubt” (about God, about Jesus, about Good and Evil and about Life and Death), is available here.

Space in the City is organised by members of the United Church, St Bartholomew’s, St Peter’s and St Lawrence with St Swithun, in conjunction with the School of Spirituality.

This page was updated on 20 November 2009 by John Stanning.  Comments and suggestions welcome!
© 2009 Parish of St Lawrence with St Swithun, Winchester
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