South Creake Lectures

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The South Creake Lectures - food for the mind and soul

This lectures series was launched in autumn 2015. The idea is very simple: free lectures, one on a religious topic and one on a secular theme, given by speakers of national renown. It’s the church giving something of intellectual interest to the community in South Creake and beyond. They are deliberately not positioned as fund raising events although people can make a donation towards expenses as they leave.

The lectures have been a success from the start attracting audiences of between 140 - 180 from all over Norfolk and they return again in 2017 with three


2017 South Creake Lectures

Entry to all lectures is free and unticketed. For more information send an email.


Friday 8 September 7.00pm 
The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chemlsmford: Behold the Man

Bishop Stephen will examine images of Christ in contemporary art and what they tell us about faith today.

Friday 22 September 7.00pm 
Dame Fiona Reynold, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge: The Fight for Beauty

In her lecture Fiona Reynolds will draw on her book The Fight for Beauty and describe how beauty has been fought for, diminished, revived and marginalised as our country has been through the processes of change. In a world where, it often seems, only the economy matters, she will argue for the importance of beauty in our lives. 

Tuesday 31 October 7.00pm
Giles Waller, Research Associate, Faculty of Divinity, and Cambridge Inter-faith Programme: Luther

Exceptionally in 2017 we are putting on a third lectures to commemorate one of the most important events in Christian history, the five hundreth anniversary of the start of the Reformation when on 31 Octobe 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg.

Giles Waller, tipped by Professor David Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, "as a star of the rising generation of theologians", will give his lecture on the exact anniversary day. He will look afresh at the intellectual and spiritual currents behind Luther’s so-called ‘theology of the cross’. How did this astonishing theology of God on the cross ‘hidden in suffering’ relate to Luther’s break with the church of Rome? And in this anniversary year, how might we rediscover Luther’s spiritual insights for our own time?


2016 Lectures

Victor Stock: Force Feeding - Is Religion Bad for You

Victor Stock, Dean of Guildford until his retirement, got the 2016 series off to a tremendous start with a witty and highly amusing performance but with a serious message about the dangers of prejudice, lack of imagination, and over-literalism in Christian belief. You can download a recording of Victor's lecture here.

Charles Saumarez Smith: The Sacred and the Secular in Contemporary Art

Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy, gave a challenging talk summarized in his own blog as follows: "I was asked to give a lecture last night in South Creake church, a surprisingly large rural church in a village south of Burnham Market. I had decided to talk about the twin phenomena of the post-war period: the gradual loss of religious faith and documented decline in church-going (now less than 2% of the population go to church); and the corresponding rise of museum-going (in May alone, 3.6 million people went to one of the national museums). So, the question is whether or not these two phenomena are in some way connected and that, as a consequence of radical secularisation, people are, to some extent at least, seeking meaning in art. As often happens on such occasions, there was good, and rightly sceptical, discussion afterwards." You can download a recording of Charles's lecture here.


2015 Lectures

Dr Juliet Barker: Agincourt Revisited

We launched the series in September 2015 with a lecture by Dr Juliet Barker, the leading mediaeval historian and author, about Henry V’s famous victory at Agincourt. 2015 marked the 600th anniversary of Henry V’s victory at the battle of Agincourt in celebration of which it is said that South Creake’s wonderful angel roof was raised. An audience of around 160 were gripped by Juliet's talk. 

Dr Jeffrey John: Making Sense of the Bible

Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, delivered an entertaining and stimulating lecture on the Bible that would have sent fundamentalists running from the church in dismay. To an audience of around 140 people, Dr John explained that the Bible, far from being a text whose every word and sentence should be believed as the literal truth, was in effect an argument over time amongst its various contributors. Just as the Church nowadays is characterised by debate and differences of opinion amongst fellow Christians, so the Bible reflects the political and doctrinal views of its writers in their time.