The Institute

Westminster Abbey Institute aims to nurture and revitalise moral and spiritual values in public life and service. It seeks to replenish and sustain public servants of all faiths and none, and to celebrate and animate public service as a force for good. The Institute draws on Westminster Abbey’s resources of spirituality and theological learning, rooted in its daily worshipping life and broader Christian tradition, to convene discussion, nourish reflection and inspire regeneration.

The Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey

Autumn 2023: Dignity and Public Service

A season of events exploring how public service can preserve, protect and enable one of the most fundamental aspects of humanity: dignity.

The audience for the One People Oration lecture at Westminster Abbey

Public programmes

Our twice-yearly themed programmes focus on issues related to morality in public life. These lectures, dialogues and symposia are open to the public, but priority is given to public servants.

The rough trade of politics

In October 2021, Westminster Abbey welcomed Parliamentarians to St Margaret’s Church as we mourned the tragic death of Sir David Amess MP. We joined our voice with so many others, echoing the call for a renewed courtesy in public life, and the need for a different conversation that acknowledges our shared humanity.

Letters from Lockdown

The book Letters from Lockdown: Sustaining public service values during the Covid-19 pandemic, with five additional letters from Dr Claire Foster-Gilbert and three reflections written by Detective Chief Superintendent Treena Fleming, Dawn Butler MP and Peter Howitt, Incident Director in the Department of Health and Social Care, is now available.

Public service seminars

Public service seminars

We hold tailored seminars with Government Departments, MPs and Peers, Parliamentary Select Committees, and senior staff in other public service institutions. These offer the opportunity to step back and reflect on moral challenges, relationships, values, virtues and other critical aspects of public service.

Fellows' programme

Fellows' programme

The Institute offers a year-long programme in servant leadership for up to 20 public servants, nominated from Parliament, law, teaching, police, Armed Forces, Civil Service, media, clergy, arts, science, academia and medicine, who are moving into senior roles.

Institute people

Institute people

Westminster Abbey Institute is run by a Steering Group, consisting of the Canon Theologian as Chair, the Director of the Institute, the Canon Rector of St Margaret’s and the Receiver General. The Director is assisted by a Manager and an Administrator. The Institute is advised by a Council of Reference chaired by the Dean of Westminster.

Past public programmes

Catch up with videos and podcasts from Westminster Abbey Institute's past public programmes.

Join Institute mailing list

If you want to receive updates about our upcoming public programmes, sign up for our mailing list.