Shaping debate on religion in public life.


Book Launch in honour of John Atherton

Monday 1st October 2018 | 5.30 – 8.15 pm | Manchester Cathedral

Register to attend

Reverend Canon Professor John Atherton (1939 – 2016) was an esteemed and beloved member of the William Temple Foundation team for over 40 years. Canon Theologian of Manchester Cathedral, he was also an honorary lecturer in Christian Social Ethics at the University of Manchester. His work journeyed through involvement with issues of poverty in the 1960s – 1980s, to engagement with economic systems as a cause of poverty from the 1980s – late 1990, leading to engagement with the wider subject of economics, and its growing involvement with wellbeing studies. He was widely considered one of the leading public theologians of his generation.

Two former colleagues, Professor Chris Baker (Goldsmith’s University, London, and Director of Research at the William Temple Foundation) and Professor Elaine Graham (University of Chester) have brought together a series of essays in appreciation of John’s work, entitled Theology for Changing Times: John Atherton and the Future of Public Theology (SCM Press, 2018), which will be launched at Manchester Cathedral on Monday 1st October.

5.30 – 6.15 pm.

All guests are invited to attend Evensong at the Cathedral, which will include prayers of thanksgiving for John’s ministry and an anthem he was fond of

6.30 – 8.15 pm.

Book launch, to include input from some of the contributors to the volume. This will be followed by refreshments, as well as the opportunity to meet the editors, buy a copy of the book and mingle with the many people who knew John and valued his work.

This is a free event, hosted jointly by the William Temple Foundation and Manchester Cathedral.

To register for this event, please click here. (Please note, registration is not essential; it is simply to gauge numbers for catering. You are still very welcome to attend without registering.)

For further information, please contact:

You can also read more about John’s life and work here.

Curating Spaces of Hope: A Call to Action


Curating Spaces of Hope: Building Capacity for Leadership

Wednesday 12th September 2018 | 12.00 – 6.00 pm | Chester Cathedral

Curating Spaces of Hope: Building Capacity for Social Enterprise

Wednesday 17th October 2018 | 1.00 – 7.00 pm | University of Salford

Wednesday 5th December 2018 | 1.00 – 7.00 pm | St. Mary’s, Stockport

This new conference series is a highly innovative assemblage of research, practice and enterprise, all contributing to the reimagining, reshaping and transforming of our public spaces and partnerships in the North West of England. This series builds on the vision and insight of multiple relational networks that traverse Faith Communities, Local Authorities, the Community and Voluntary Sector and Research Teams at the University of Chester and Goldsmiths, University of London.

The William Temple Foundation is delighted to have supported the development of Spaces of Hope through the relationship between their founder, Matthew Barber FRSA and the Foundation’s Director, Professor Chris Baker. Chris has supported Matthew in establishing the theoretical, theological and policy foundations for Spaces of Hope through recent work in Stockport and Chester in 2016 and 2017, including their flagship Spaces of Hope conference at Chester Cathedral in June 2017.

We commend the Curating Spaces of Hope: Call to Action series to policy makers, faith communities, community and voluntary sector activists and researchers. The event will equip you with a practical toolkit for building and sustaining capacity for leadership, social enterprise and coproduction that shapes our public spaces our public policies, our public practices and illustrates the public good of our research.

There are three events in the series. To register for each, follow the links above.

Past Events

Annual Lecture 2017

Theology and New Materialism Book Launch

Malvern 2017