Most Recent Lecture: The Rt Hon. Mr Frank Field MP

Frank Field worked at the Child Poverty Action Group for 10 years before becoming the Member of Parliament for Birkenhead in 1979. He was Chairman of the Social Security Select Committee in the run up to the 1997 election, Minister for Welfare Reform in the first part of Blair’s Government, and has tried to participate constructively in widening the welfare debate since.  The latest report which he submitted to the Prime Minister was The Foundation Years: Preventing Poor Children Becoming Poor Adults in December 2010.

Frank presented two lectures on 5th November 2011: ‘Henry Scott Holland’s influence on radical politics and the Christian Socialist Tradition’ and  ‘Poverty and Policy – A Century of Debate and Need; a personal perspective.’

2017 Lectures: AST at the Mirfield Centre

The 2017 Scott Holland Lectures were organised by the Revd Dr Stephen Spencer and took place at the Mirfield Centre. The event was a sell-out residential conference on Anglican Social Theology (AST) from 20th to 21st January. Participants came from across the country including Truro, London, Gloucester and Durham. The speakers told the story of AST from its Nineteenth century roots in the thought and action of F.D Maurice and the Christian Socialists, through Brooke Foss Westcott and Mirfield’s own Charles Gore, to William Temple and his successors. Jeremy Morris, Alison Milbank, Paul Avis and Stephen Spencer told this story and responded to each other’s papers, building up a sense of ongoing conversation through the conference. Malcolm Brown, Susan Lucas and Matthew Bullimore brought us into the present, paying attention to our neo-liberal context and drawing out the contribution of the movement’s ‘coalition communitarianism’ (Brown) to our increasingly atomistic society at local as well as national level. The lectures by Morris, Avis, Spencer and Brown comprised the Scott Holland lectures, forming the backbone of the conference. Bill Jacob, the chair of the Scott Holland Trust, described the lectures as thoroughly engaging and the organisation of the conference as a brilliant success. Thanks are due to the Mirfield Centre for much of this. Stephen Spencer, Vice Principal of St Hilda College based at Mirfield and conference convenor, will be turning the papers into a book to be published by SCM Press in the autumn.