Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lectures
Eric Abbott was Dean of Westminster between 1959 and 1974. Before that, he was Dean at King's College, London (1945–1955), Chaplain to King George VI and HM Queen Elizabeth II, and Warden of Keble College, Oxford.
He died in 1983 and was buried in the Abbey's Nave. His friends set up a memorial trust to provide for an annual lecture on spirituality, and we held the first one in 1986. The lecture is repeated each year at Keble College.
This year's lecture will be given by Professor Anthony Reddie, Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture, in the Abbey at 6:30pm on Thursday 25th May 2023. He'll be discussing From Black Theology to Black Lives Matter and Back Again.
Find out more and book your ticket: From Black Theology to Black Lives Matter and Back Again.
You can obtain booklets of the Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lectures from King's College London.
Read Eric Symes Abbott's The Mystery of the Transfiguration: Seven Meditations.
Past lectures archive
36th Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture
Securing a Europe of Peace, Freedom and Justice
Speaker: Lord Adonis, Chair of European Movement UK and Visiting Professor at King's College London
Thursday, 12th May 2022
35th Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture
Money, Bias and the Geography of the Heart
Speaker: Loretta Minghella, Master of Clare College, Cambridge
Thursday, 11th November 2021
34th Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture
The Most Spiritual of the Arts: Music, Modernity, and the Search for the Sacred
Speaker: Sir James MacMillan, composer, conductor and artistic director
Thursday, 9th May 2019
33rd Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture
Beating the Bounds: Parish Ministry and Spirituality Today
Speaker: The Reverend Richard Coles FKC, Vicar of Finedon, Northamptonshire
Thursday, 24th May 2018
32nd Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture
Faith and Imagination – How the Arts speak to the reality of the Unseen
Speaker: Salley Vickers, author and critic
Thursday, 11th May 2017
31st Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture
The Sacred, the Profane and the Desecrated
Speaker: Professor Roger Scruton, philosopher, public commentator and author
Thursday, 26th May 2016
30th Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture
Blessed are the Hypocrites?
Speaker: The Reverend Lucy Winkett, Rector, St James's Piccadilly
Thursday, 21st May 2015
29th Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture
Speaker: The Reverend Dr Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Friday, 25th July 2014
28th Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture
Constantine's Vision and the Church Today - From the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (AD 312) to the twenty-first century
Speaker: Professor Dame Averil Cameron FSA FKC, Former Warden of Keble College, Oxford
Thursday, 2nd May 2013
27th Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture
Mis-establishment - Locating, and Re-locating, the Church of England
Speaker: The Right Reverend Dr Peter Selby, President of the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards, Visiting Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King's College, London; formerly Bishop of Worcester and Bishop to HM Prisons
Thursday, 10th May 2012