Truth is a divine attribute and aspiration like beauty and goodness.

In the world of public service, trustworthiness, dependability, wise decision-making and solid relationships all depend upon truth.

Is it in shorter supply than it used to be? How can it be recognised and where can it be reliably found?

Is it justified for politicians to tell lies in order to do good, or does that lastingly undermine the public’s faith in political leadership? Is there such a thing as diplomatic truth?

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Westminster Abbey Institute
20 Dean's Yard

The Charles Gore Lecture

Truth and Beauty

Tuesday 27th February, 6.30pm
in the Nave, Westminster Abbey

Speaker: Professor Janet Soskice

Chair: The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster

In classical Christian teaching God is not only beautiful but Beauty itself, not only truthful but Truth itself, not only good but Goodness itself. What can this mean in a consumerist world where ‘truth’ is contested, ‘goodness’ deemed prissy, and ‘beauty’ discussed mainly in terms of revolutionary new beauty products? Do we, in the age of Instagram, hear the adage ‘beauty is only skin deep’ not as a warning but as a stipulation - beauty is only appearance and appearance is all there is? If so, what can any of this have to do with truth’ or for that matter with God, and how do we avoid swindling ourselves out of that conviction that we are made to seek the truth, to behold beauty and to become beautiful -  made to be, not only loved, but lovely?

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True Enough? Lies, Diplomacy and Politics

Thursday 1st March, 12.45pm
in Cheyneygates, Westminster Abbey

Speakers: The Reverend Professor Michael Banner; John Raine; Rt Hon Jack Straw

Chair: The Reverend Jane Sinclair, Canon of Westminster and Rector of St Margaret’s Church

Is the use of  'diplomatic truth' by officials both with their own governments and foreign governments an outmoded and possibly damaging convention? Does a tweet do more good than a 'demarche'? If in this complex and disordered environment, it all goes horribly wrong, who is to blame? Is it those who assessed, took or managed the risk? If the world is getting more risky should be take more or fewer initiatives overseas?

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Westminster Lecture

Truth Pursued

Tuesday 6th March, 6.30pm
in the Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey

Speaker: The Reverend Professor Vernon White

Chair: Mark Easton, BBC Home Editor

The truth of a situation is often genuinely hard to pin down. But, argues the Reverend Professor Vernon White, that provides no cover or excuse for giving up the pursuit of truth, which remains vital, and believing that finding it is possible.

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Westminster Lecture

Truth Sustained

Tuesday 13th March, 6.30pm
in the Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey

Speaker: Sir Stephen Lamport

Chair: Lord Saatchi

The importance of truth cannot be underestimated. It is at the heart of those things which sustain a civilised society: trustworthiness, dependability, wise decisionmaking and solid relationships.

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Westminster Lecture

Truth Told

Tuesday 20th March, 6.30pm
in the Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey

Speaker: Claire Foster-Gilbert

Chair: Lord Judge, former Lord Chief Justice

However difficult, truth should be the lodestar by which we choose our words and fashion our political and journalistic language, including the use of rhetoric. We all share responsibility for this. If politicians and journalists lie, it is because we want them to.

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