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Bristol Cathedral lecture series explores remembrance and memory

15th May 2018

Categories: Latest News

It is one hundred years since the end of the ‘war to end all wars’. In June, to mark this historic milestone, Bristol Cathedral will explore the contested field of memory and remembrance, titled undivided: A Hundred Years of Forgetting and Remembering, 1918-2018.

Image- The unveiling of the Cenotaph in Bristol in 1932. Service conducted by the Bishops of Bristol and Malmesbury with the Dean of Bristol and the Cathedral Clergy. Bristol Archives Ref No.17563/1/0823

Speakers from a range of backgrounds will consider issues such as how we remember war, faulty or selective memorialisation, ideas of memory and remembrance in Judaism and Christianity, and how we make sense of situations where people have lost their memory through old age or ill-health.

Tickets are £4 and include refreshments.

"As we have reflected on the centenary of the end of the First World War in the context of the life of the city of Bristol, we are continually reminded of how contested the whole notion of memory is. Our speakers will shed light on this from war to peace to slavery to loss of memory. Through listening and talking we should all be enriched and see the world in new ways." Canon Martin Gainsborough, Canon Theologian, Bristol Cathedral.

The series begins on Tuesday 5 June when the Revd Andrew Totten, MBE will discuss “Military remembrance: the personal and the political”. Andrew was born and raised in Northern Ireland and educated at Queen’s University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, and Cardiff University in Wales. Ordained as an Anglican priest in the Church of Ireland, he has been a British Army chaplain since 1994. Serving at regimental, brigade and divisional levels, he has experienced operational tours in Bosnia, Kosovo, Ulster, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Graduating from the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2017, he assumed the post of Principal at the Armed Forces’ Chaplaincy Centre, a constituent college of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. He is an Honorary Chaplain to The Queen.

On Tuesday 12 June, the Revd Canon Professor James Woodward will explore "The Dissolving Self? Dementia, personhood and human identity". After a year working at St Christopher's Hospice in London, James trained for the ministry and served in many roles, including Hospital Chaplain. From 1998 to 2009 he was the Director of the Leveson Centre for the Study of Ageing, Spirituality and Social Policy where he pioneered work in both Church and society to encourage better thinking and practice in the support and care of older people.

On Tuesday 19 June Dr Jessica Moody will present a talk titled "Remembering Slavery in interwar Bristol and Liverpool: The Emancipation Centenary 1933-34". Jessica is Lecturer in Public History at the University of Bristol. Her research concerns how people engage with the past, through collective memory, public history, and heritage, with specific interested in the representation of, and engagement with, difficult and dissonant pasts, especially those concerning contested racial histories, transatlantic slavery and warfare. She is currently writing her first monograph which concerns Liverpool's public memory of transatlantic slavery in public discourse from the early 19th century up to the present day.

Ending the series on Tuesday 26 June will be The Dean of Bristol who will be exploring the act of remembrance in Christian theology, notably at the point of Holy Communion, in a talk titled "Do this in remembrance of me".

The lectures are part of Bristol Cathedral’s ongoing evening lecture series undivided, curated by Revd Canon Professor Martin Gainsborough, which invites speakers to talk about issues of theology, social justice and politics.

All lectures begin at 6.30pm and will be held at Bristol Cathedral. Tickets are £4 per lecture and can be bought at

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