Sebastian: what does a saint look like?

Sunday 11th March 2018 at 17:00

The Rt Revd Robert Atwell

The Right Revd Robert Atwell was installed as the 71st Bishop of Exeter Cathedral on 5 July 2014.

Bishop Robert was previously Bishop of Stockport, in the diocese of Chester. He was born and brought up in Ilford, Essex. He read theology at St John’s College, Durham, and trained for the ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge. During training he was sent to study at the Venerable English College and Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Attending lectures with seminarians from around the world and exploring the Eternal City was an education in itself.

After a curacy in north London he was appointed Chaplain of Trinity College, Cambridge where he taught patristics. From there he took the unusual step of becoming a Benedictine monk at Burford Priory in the Cotswolds. His ten years in monastic life gave him an abiding love of contemplative prayer. These days he maintains his Benedictine vocation as an oblate of the Abbey of Le Bec in Normandy where he makes an annual retreat.

He was Vicar of St Mary’s, Primrose Hill, in the Diocese of London for nine years before being consecrated Bishop of Stockport in 2008.

He is the compiler of two volumes of daily readings for the liturgical year, Celebrating the Saints and Celebrating the Seasons, together with three anthologies of devotional readings: Gift, Love, and Remember. He is the author of The Contented Life: spirituality and the gift of years,the Good Worship Guide: leading worship well, and joint author of the new Church of England discipleship course, Pilgrim. He has also written a book on funeral ministry.

Bishop Robert chairs the Church of England’s liturgical commission, a position he took up in January 2015.

About the series

Saint Sebastian was an early Christian saint and martyr. According to traditional belief, he was killed in the late 3rd century during the Roman emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians. He is commonly depicted in art and literature tied to a post or tree and shot with arrows.

These lectures have been inspired by a statue of St Sebastian (dating to about 1700), which belongs to one of the cathedral congregation, and which will be on loan to the cathedral during Lent 2018.

The lectures will take place in the Chapter House at 17.00 on the first four Sundays of Lent 2018 (with a range of different speakers at each event). Refreshments will be served from 16.45, and each lecture will over by 18.00

Booking information

Tickets are free, but booking is essential. Telephone 01392 285983 or book online.

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