Location BN7 1BL
01273 488237


"seeking to proclaim the Gospel and serve our local community"

Contemporary Society and Contemporary Religion

The Christ Church Thinktank has been in existence for over 10 years. It draws on speakers from all the churches in the Lewes area.  Our speakers provide their services without charge, so our meetings are free and open to all. Whether you go to church or not, join us whenever the topic interests you.

Our meetings are usually held in the church and are also available via Zoom. The format is  45 minutes talk and 45 minutes discussion and our average attendance is about 30. All meetings are from 7.30 pm to 9 pm.

If you would like to attend any of our meetings by Zoom, please email the Church Secretary  for further details.

Meeting on Wednesday 19 June at 7.30 pm

Professor Alan Lester will be speaking on

"Britain's colonial past - its legacy and contemporary importance "

How should Britain's colonial past be interpreted? Can the British Empire be regarded as a noble enterprise, conducted for the benefit of subject peoples as much as for British, or was it an exploitative one, underpinned by racism and violence? And what is the significance of these competing interpretations for our understanding of contemporary society and politics? Alan is a historical geographer and historian at the University of Sussex, who has researched, taught, and written about the British Empire for 30 years. He has analysed and engaged in debate about the 'culture wars' that have recently been bitterly waged about Britain's colonial legacy. His presentation will show why this issue is important for everyone, not only for professional historians.

Meeting on Wednesday 17 July at 7.30 pm

Peter Shears will be speaking on

"Art and Faith in the 21st Century "

Artists, theologians and people from a range of faiths and traditions are finding that works of art can communicate ideas about the spiritual aspects of human experience in ways which enrich and deepen their understanding of what it means to encounter the Divine. Peter is an experienced teacher now at a Catholic comprehensive school. He is also a Lay Reader at St Anne's and has recently completed an MA in Christianity and the Arts at King's College, London. He has now joined the organising committee of the Methodist Modern Art Collection. During the current exhibition (free at Emmanuel Church Eastbourne 11am - 4 pm till 13 June) he has thought more deeply about how contemporary painters, like Maggi Hambling and Graham Sutherland, interpret key moments from the Christian story. Can an artist succeed in painting the indescribable? At a time when many people find art more accessible than religion, he will consider the place of the artist in bringing together churchgoers and non-churchgoers in talking about the spiritual in everyday existence.

Meeting on Wednesday 21 August at 7.30 pm

Professor Norman Vance will be speaking on

"Individualism in 21st Centuary Society "

Norman Vance is Emeritus Professor of English and Intellectual History at the University of Sussex and a Visiting Professor at Ulster University. He is still reading and writing about literature and society in England and Ireland and contributed a discussion of 'Religion and Literature' to the Oxford Handbook of Religion in Modern Ireland published earlier this year. He became interested in individualism while preparing a biography of a strongly individualist Ulster dramatist. His talk will briefly survey, for someone who is not a professional historian, some of the sources of individualism and its collectivist and communitarian opposites, such as religion and socialism, and will ask what it has to say to us today.