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Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture

In 1985 the Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Fund was endowed by friends and former colleagues of The Very Revd Eric Symes Abbott to provide for an annual lecture on spirituality and pastoral theology, often interpreted in the widest sense, in memory of him. 

In the same year, The Revd John Robson LVO gave the sermon at the Memorial Eucharist service for Eric Symes Abbott.

The first Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture was delivered by Cardinal Basil Hume in June 1986 in Westminster Abbey, and subsequent lectures have taken place every year since then; while past venues have varied between London, Oxford, and Lincoln (to reflect Abbott’s appointments), the current pattern is for the Lecture to be delivered at Westminster Abbey and Keble College Oxford on successive days in May.  The Lecture is now a regular part of the lecture programmes at both Westminster Abbey and Keble College Oxford, and has a growing constituency.

In 2006, the centenary year of Eric Symes Abbott's birth, his "The Mystery of the Transfiguration: Seven Meditations" booklet was reprinted. You can order one of the remaining limited copies online.

The 2020 lecture did not go ahead at Westminster Abbey nor Keble College, as planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rt Hon. the Lord Adonis, will deliver his lecture on the theme of 'Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer, and Martin Luther King: where next for Christianity and social justice?' in May 2022 instead.

Loretta Minghella - recently appointed Master of Clare College, Cambridge, having previously been First Church Estates Commissioner and chair of the Church Commissioners’ endowment fund, and Chief Executive of Christian Aid before that - will deliver the 2021 lecture on Thursday 11 November at Westminster Abbey (6.15pm) and Friday 12 November at Keble College (5.30pm) on the theme of 'Money, Bias and the Geography of the Heart'. Book your ticket here for the Westminster Abbey lecture - a booking is not required for the Keble College, Oxford lecture. 

Past copies of the lecture text booklets are available to purchase - though we are unable to fulfil orders at present due to the Coronavirus lockdown. The most recent year's lecture booklet costs £1 per booklet + £0.50 P&P per order. Past year's lecture booklets cost £0.50 per booklet + £0.50 P&P per order. A limited number of the past 10 years lecture booklets will be available to purchase at the lecture events.

Email the Dean's Office to express an interest, or find out more.

The Very Revd Eric Symes Abbott (1906 – 1983)

Eric Symes Abbott

The Very Revd Eric Symes Abbott was Chaplain to King's College London from 1932 to 1936.