Past Institute lectures

Trust in public life

Find out about and watch a series of lectures and discussions that address questions such as: how important is trust in public life? How do public servants engender and sustain it? What do they do when it fails?

About the series

For many, trust starts with God, which provides a wider narrative and moral vision within which to operate. How can Christian theology help engender trust across divided communities?

For all, trust requires an ability to trust oneself to make sound judgements whilst remaining aware of the confounding factors of unconscious bias and misperception. Failure to attend to our own internal moral formation results in more and more external rules to govern behaviour. How is self-trust developed and sustained?

The work of ruling and running the country takes place within the established institutions of state including Parliament, the Civil Service, the Judiciary, the Police, the Armed Forces and the Security Services. How do these institutions make themselves trustworthy?

In a democracy, the people are required to choose their leaders and to respect the rule of law. Do we trust ourselves to fulfil these responsibilities? How should we think of ‘the people’ in a way that promotes trust in public life?


Trust in oneself

Claire Foster-Gilbert, founding Director of the Westminster Abbey Institute, in conversation with film and theatre director Josie Rourke.

Trust in institutions

Anthony Ball, Canon of Westminster and Rector of St Margaret’s Church, in conversation with Lord Woolley, Principal of Homerton College, Cambridge and equalities campaigner.


Trust in people

Watch James Hawkey, Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey, in conversation with Lord Evans of Weardale, former Head of MI5.