Current Lectures

Summer 2022 Friday Night Lectures

Join us for our summer lectures in-person or on Zoom. If you are attending in person, please come to the Manor House at 7:30pm for coffee and dessert. Otherwise, click the link below to join us on Zoom (password is 'Lecture').


For a printable version of this lecture schedule, click here

20th May

The Experience of Awe in Science and Christianity

Dr Ruth Bancewicz, Church Engagement Director at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion in Cambridge

In a recent survey of scientists around the world, the majority of scientists experienced awe in the lab, at least several times a year. Ruth will delve into the experience of awe, looking at the experience of Christians both in and outside of the sciences, as well as scientists with other worldviews. Awe often leads to worship, so she will also look at how science can fuel Christian worship in helpful ways.

27th May

Paradox of Humility (Pt 2): How low do we go?

Joel Barricklow, L'Abri Worker

In almost any category—social status, education, life experience, economic resources, influence—being lowly (humble) is a disadvantage. And yet, from a biblical perspective, being humble is a very good thing. In the previous lecture, we explored how acknowledging our humble position opens us up to receiving what we need. This lecture will clarify what it means to choose to lower ourselves before another and explore why that would be good — for them or us. 

3rd June

Should Christians Be Anti-Racist?

Dr. Jessamin Birdsall, sociologist and author

Debates around race and racism have become increasingly polarised, both in the church and in our wider society. How can we as Christians think well about race? How can we engage in the current conversations about racial justice in a way that is thoughtful, biblical, compassionate, and humble?

10th June

Men and Mercy: An evangelical Christian root of modern masculinities

Dr. Philip Sampson, fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

The return to the biblical text in England from the late sixteenth century challenged the then current expectations of masculine behaviour. The lecture will discuss this, and argue that it continues to be an important (and neglected) source for a more rounded masculinity in contemporary culture.

17th June

Francis Schaeffer's concerns for the church— forty years on

Barry Seagren, former L’Abri worker

Francis Schaeffer was a church man. He pastored three churches in the States before going to Europe and founded a church in Switzerland before he started L'Abri. Several of his books focused on the church, including his last, The Great Evangelical Disaster. What were his concerns for the church, both the local congregation and the wider evangelical movement, and how have those played out nearly forty years after his death?

24th June

Sweat, Smile, Repeat: Christian faith in times of health and well-being

Lili Reichow, L’Abri worker 

Health and well-being have been popular topics of books, research and dinner table conversations in the recent decades. Although it is true that humans have exercised and practiced sports since ancient times, our contemporary society seems to have a very high interest in how to best treat our bodies to improve our lives. In this lecture, we will look at this topic from a Christian perspective, aiming to understand its roots and motivations, and what the biblical view of our bodies has to say about it.

1st July

Who do people say I am? The representations of Christ in cinema (online lecture)

Arthur Metz, Dutch L’Abri worker

The fact that Jesus Christ has been represented over 150 times in cinema shows us how much this question still moves us: "Who do people say I am?” This lecture will show how the representations of Jesus in cinema speak more about cinema than about Christ himself, as well as how our own views about Jesus can speak more about us than about Christ himself.

8th July

The future of dating and romantic relationships 

Josué Reichow, L’Abri worker 

The central aim of this lecture is to reflect on the impact of major culture shifts in the last century—namely, the emergence of gender studies, the affective revolution and the advent of computer technology—on the way dating and relationships are perceived and experienced.

15th July

Finding our place in a groaning creation

Dr. Richard Gunton, lecturer in Statistics at the University of Winchester

The creation has been groaning since the events of Genesis chapter 3, yet for much of the church's history, scant regard seems to have been paid to the duty that God's people might have to alleviate non-human dysfunction. What notable exceptions can we celebrate, and what is our calling today?  In a culture declaring a "climate emergency", how now should we live? This lecture will share a personal perspective and invite insights from others.

22nd July

Living in Harmony: What music can teach us about community

Jonno Saunders, musician

Everyone wants to live in harmony. But what does it mean? Harmony is a musical term, and in music it’s about relationships, unity and diversity, and dealing with (or accepting) dissonance. We’ll explore what music has to teach us about community life. Listen carefully!

29th July

Normal People? The Novels of Sally Rooney

Andrew Jones, Vicar of Grace Church Hackney in London

Sally Rooney is the 31 year old Irish Marxist author of 3 best selling novels—Conversation with Friends, Normal People and Beautiful World, Where Are You. Normal People was adapted into a hugely successful 12 part BBC series and a TV adaptation of Conversation with Friends is about to air this year. This lecture will explore the worlds the novels create and reflect and why they resonate so deeply amongst many within the millennial generation.