News: Reformation 500 Study Day

Reformation 500 Study Day

Wednesday 8 November

 All are welcome, admission is free.

As part of our celebrations to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation we welcome respected speaker, author and historian, Derek Wilson.  Derek will lead our study day on the historical context and the spiritual impact of the Reformation, with the opportunity for discussion. We are also delighted to welcome Bishop Christopher Herbert, who will be sharing his extensive knowledge of art history in the context of the Reformation.  The day will be of particular interest to students and historians and those with a passion for theology and the arts. 

 10.15 – 10.30     Arrival & coffee

10.30 – 11.30     A History of The English Reformation: 

                           Politics & Power  Struggles 1530-80 by Derek Wilson

11.30- 11.45       Coffee break

11.45 – 12.45      The Spiritual Legacy of the English Reformation by Derek Wilson

12.45 – 13.45      Lunch available in the Refectory

13.45 – 14.45      The Reformation & Art, by Bishop Christopher Herbert

14.45- 15.00       Thanks & closing remarks           

Derek Wilson is a leading author of history and historical fiction. In a long career he has written 70+ books, featured on radio/television programmes, spoken at literary festivals, and the British Museum, Tate Gallery, Hampton Court Palace and the British Library, among many venues. Having graduated from Cambridge in History and Theology, he has explored many aspects of the Reformation. Among his popular works are Out of the Storm – The Life of Martin Luther, A Brief History of the English Reformation, Henry VIII – Reformer and Tyrant, and Mrs Luther and Her Sisters – Reformation Women. Derek writes for leading historical magazines as well as Tudor crime novels. His most recent book is Superstition and Science – Renaissance to Enlightenment.

Bishop Christopher Herbert Christopher Herbert was born in Lydney, in the Forest of Dean; he was educated at Monmouth School and read for his B.A in Biblical Studies and Philosophy at the University of Wales, Lampeter.  In 1967, after attending Wells Theological College and obtaining a PGCE at the University of Bristol, he was ordained and served as Curate at St Paul's, Tupsley, Hereford.  During this period he taught Religious Education at the Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School and later became RE Adviser (1971-6) and Diocesan Director of Education (1976-81).  He was made a Prebendary of Hereford Cathedral in 1977.

In 1981 he became Vicar of The Bourne, near Farnham, in Surrey.  In addition, he was appointed as Director of Post-Ordination Training in the diocese of Guildford and was made a Canon of the Cathedral, becoming Archdeacon of Dorking in 1990.

He was consecrated a bishop in November 1995 and enthroned as Bishop of St Albans in January 1996. He retired in 2009.

He entered the House of Lords in December 1999 and established himself as a speaker in the areas of health and medical ethics. He left the House of Lords in 2009 on his retirement, having served on a Select Committee investigating Assisted Dying and having also been a member of a Pre-legislative Scrutiny Committee looking at issues surrounding human fertilisation and donor-conceived children.

His other major interest is in Art History. The thesis for his M.Phil., awarded by the University of Leicester in 2002, was on 15th century Images of the Resurrection in Northern European Art. He extended his research and was awarded a Ph.D. by Leicester University in 2008 for his ground-breaking work on medieval English Easter Sepulchres

He has an honorary D.Litt. from the University of Hertfordshire and an honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Bedfordshire, and is also an Honorary Citizen of Fano in Italy.

He is a NADFAS lecturer and lectures across the UK and northern Europe and on River Cruises.. His most recent publication in the art-history field is: Foreshadowing the Reformation: Art and religion in the 15th Century Burgundian Netherlands: Routledge 2016.

In 2016 he was made Visiting Professor of Christian Ethics at the University of Surrey. He is a Trustee of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability, Putney and of the Abbeyfield Research Foundation and is a member of the Fabric Advisory Committee of Canterbury Cathedral.


There will be time for questions and discussion.  Free parking.  Please register for your free place by contacting


Added Wednesday 26th July 2017