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.

Painting of Eric Symes Abbott, Dean of Westminster 1959-1974

Further Reading

You can obtain booklets of the Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lectures from King's College London.

You can also download Eric Symes Abbott's The Mystery of the Transfiguration: Seven Meditations (PDF, 964KB)

Past lectures archive

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

Beyond Justice

Speaker: The Revd 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

26th Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture

The Word in Print

Speaker: The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres KCVO, Bishop of London

Thursday, 26th May 2011

25th Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture

The End of the Permissive Society? Towards a Christian understanding of the common good

Speaker: The Rt Revd the Lord Harries of Pentregarth FKC, Former Bishop of Oxford, Gresham Professor of Divinity, and Honorary Professor of Theology at King's College London

Thursday, 6th May 2010