How the teachings of the urban theologian, Kenneth Leech, are relevant to today’s society.

Revd Peter Winn, who’s helping to organise the True Prayer: True Justice conference at Hope University, Liverpool on 20th May, explains why the work of Kenneth Leech has become relevant to society.

He said: “Kenneth Leech, who died in 2015, was known for his commitment to a theology which insisted on the unity of prayer, politics, doctrine and action. Over the past few months, we’ve seen a number of reports which highlight the need for us to show how true justice is only possible when we understand that the commitment to God is inseparable from the commitment to the material and social welfare of our neighbour.”

“For example according to the Resolution Foundation, we are set to see the biggest increase in social inequality since the 1980s. Another report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JFR) highlights that around 4,000,000 people are just about managing; living below an adequate standard of living.”

And following a report commissioned by Liverpool City Council about the findings of a Cumulative Impact Assessment to examine the impact of more than 20 changes on its own residents, Bishop Paul said, “A measure of a true and just society is our attitude to the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society. This report provides a statistical analysis of that measure and it makes hard reading.”

Kenneth’s friend, the Revd Terry Drummond CA, and a keynote speaker at the event points out: “His writings are as relevant today, his insights were prophetic and challenging, and are a critique of today’s issues even though they were written between the 1960s and the 2000s.”

He also added: “In addressing the conference I want to share my personal insights about a friend with whom I shared a great deal through our different ministries. I want, in particular, to share insights into a theology that begins and is developed on the streets which can address the academy without ever losing sight of its roots.”

Hosted by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, this conference seeks to introduce these teachings of to a new audience. The day includes a chance to hear the Revd Professor Alison Milbank talking about Subversive Orthodoxy. Alison said, “Ken (Kenneth Leech) represented a tradition of intellectual nourishment from the gospel, the early church writings and the often bizarre but always inspiring Anglican tradition of social thought and practice. That this is not irrelevant is witnessed by the fruits of Ken's labours, which include the establishing of the charity, Centrepoint, which is now a national leader in working with homeless people. We desperately need more of Ken's 'subversive orthodoxy' in the contemporary Church, and I hope that this conference will inspire new generations of Christians towards a radical sacramental faith and social engagement.”

Fr George Guiver CR will reflect on True Prayer. After reading Ken’s book ‘Soul Friend’ he found himself in profound agreement with Ken’s commitment to social justice and prayer, believing these things go together and are an important lesson for every generation of Christians to take to heart.

Revd Peter Winn asks anyone who’s interested in exploring how theology and social justice inform each other, to book their places as soon as possible.


News & Events

True Prayer True Justice – May 20th 2017

Find out more about True Prayer: True Justice Conference

Date: 20th  May 2017

Time: 9 am to 4 pm

Where: Liverpool Hope University