Stories to live and die by at the University of Winchester

20 Nov 2017

The University of Winchester marks the life of a respected alumnus and former principal with a public lecture on the philosophy of life.

The John Cranmer Memorial Foundation Lecture welcomes Martin Palmer, visiting professor in religion, history and nature at the University of Winchester. During his talk, he explores humanity’s place in the world from a religious perspective. He will begin by asking whether the whole of creation/evolution has taken place for us before moving onto discuss how we can use stories of origin, such as Genesis in the Bible, to live inside a better story.

In addition to his role at the University, Martin Palmer is an Anglican Christian, author, regular broadcaster, and Secretary General of the Alliance for Religions and Conservation.

“As an eco-theologian, I believe that the major preoccupation of our time is the survival of the planet and all the species we share it with,” said the Revd Dr Terry Biddington, Dean of Spiritual Life at the University of Winchester. “Martin Palmer's life's work and this particular lecture are very timely contributions to this critical issue. We owe it to our grandchildren to hear, again, this ancient message of human inter-relationship with the 'other-than-human world' and, at this eleventh hour, commit ourselves to being the difference we so long to see.”

This is the inaugural John Cranmer Memorial Foundation Lecture. John Cranmer was a student on the two year teacher training course at King Alfred’s College from 1954 to 1956, studying craft and geography (in which he obtained a distinction). In 1984, he was appointed Principal of King Alfred's College at an uneasy time when many changes were taking place. John retired in 1992, after eight years, and subsequently was ordained in St Mary’s Church, Crawley, serving as a non-stipendiary minister for many years. He continued his contact with the Winton Club and was a most energetic and diligent Year Secretary. John sadly passed away in 2013.

Revd Dr Biddington added: “John Cranmer oversaw much change during his tenure at the helm of King Alfred's College. Change is always difficult, but I know he would have urged us all to support the urgent renewing of humanity's relationship with the planet.”

Stories to die by and stories to live for takes place on Wednesday 29 November from 6.30pm. There will be a reception at 6.30pm in the Senior Common Room, Main Building, before the talk takes place in the University Chapel at 7pm. Both buildings are on King Alfred Campus, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO22 4NR. Book your free place by emailing

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