Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to deliver lecture at Coventry University

University news

Monday 26 January 2015

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The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will be delivering a public lecture at Coventry University on Tuesday 3 February.
Archbishop Welby, who was awarded with an honorary doctorate from the university in November last year for his commitment to peace-building and reconciliation, is giving a talk entitled “Can we build communities of trust and peace?”
The issue of trust and peace within society is highly topical as communities and culture become increasingly diverse, with critics becoming more and more vocal in their assertion that such difference is something to be feared and not celebrated. As a figurehead for the global Anglican Communion and having visited all of its thirty eight provinces worldwide, Archbishop Welby is ideally placed to reflect on the challenges and opportunities such diversity brings.
He also has a deep and very longstanding commitment to promoting trust and peace. Whilst a canon of Coventry Cathedral he worked in Africa and the Middle East, and he has a particular interest in Nigeria where he was – and remains – involved in work with groups involved in conflict transformation.

In his forthcoming lecture, which is free to attend, he will draw on his experience and his own work in reconciliation in situations of conflict to talk about the lessons he has learnt which may point towards a way to build communities that are stable and peaceful for all. 

He will further explore the role that religious leaders and faith groups can play in preventing conflict and building sustainable peace. He will also be asking questions of what more government and society as a whole can do to encourage greater tolerance and understanding amongst our communities. 

The Archbishop’s lecture is the first in a new seminar series at Coventry University called “The Big Question” which is intended to provide a vibrant public forum for discussing the economic, political and social challenges facing contemporary British society. This talk from the Archbishop is being hosted by the university’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, whose team are engaged in research to develop stronger understanding about conflict, conflict management and the plight of vulnerable people in settings ranging from the workplace to warzones across the globe. 

Archbishop Welby has praised the work of the centre, most recently during a House of Lords debate in which he highlighted its study into the role of religious groups in preventing violent conflict.  The research is a collaboration between the Archbishop’s Office, the Anglican Alliance and Coventry University academics Professor Alp Ozerdem, Professor Alan Hunter and Laura Payne. It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. 

Professor Mike Hardy, Director of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, said:

We are delighted to be welcoming Archbishop Justin Welby back to Coventry. Our city is internationally renowned as a centre of peace and reconciliations and it is of course a place that the Archbishop has a strong association with.  

Archbishop Welby has dedicated much of his life to preventing violence and promoting peace, tolerance, compassion and understanding. As a senior church leader and an eminent public figure, he is also in a hugely influential position and people take notice of what he has to say. His views and opinions often spark debate and discussion across the political and social spectrum.

I am sure the Archbishop’s public lecture in Coventry will likewise be thought-provoking and engaging. I would therefore urge people to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to listen to him in person.

Archbishop Welby’s public lecture takes place at 4.15pm at the Goldstein Lecture Theatre, Alan Berry Building, Coventry University CV1 5FB on Tuesday 3 February 2015. The lecture is free to attend but places must be booked in advance. 

Further information about Archbishop Welby’s lecture and The Big Question seminar series, including how to register, is available here or by contacting Julia Baron, Events Co-ordinator on +44 (0)24 7765 8236 or via email

For further press information, please contact Mark Farnan, press office, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7765 8245 or email