This yearâ€™s Micah Lecture is your opportunity to hear Rev Canon Dr Angus Richie, Director of the Ecumenical Centre for Theology and Community in East London.
Rev Dr Angus spoke to us ahead of the lecture. He explains why he is passionate about social justice:
“Growing up in Scotland in the 1980s, I was deeply aware of the impact of inequality and injustice on so many people around me. Since my student days, I’ve prayed Evensong or Vespers in church or at home. Praying the Magnificat each night reminds me that social justice is at the heart of the Gospel.”
Ministering in inner-city churches since 1998, Rev Dr Angus has played a leading role in successful campaigns for the Living Wage, affordable housing and a cap on interest rates.
“I started wanting to be the agent of change, and community organising has taught me that the most fundamental change happens when the people who experience injustice find their own voice. In the Bible, and in our own day, God’s work of transformation begins with them.”
This year’s lecture is titled ‘Populism and the Politics of Jesus’ Rev Dr Angus explains more about the theme:
“Pope Francis makes a distinction between the so-called populism which saw in Europe in the 1930s (and indeed are seeing again today) and a more authentic populism in which “the people are the protagonists.” I will be arguing that this real, inclusive populism is something we need urgently. Churches have a crucial role in this process - one which recalls them to aspects of Jesus’ teaching and practice that can otherwise be overlooked.
"The lecture will be a mix of ideas and stories of practical action. I hope it will both convince people of the need for this kind of inclusive populism, and show them that it isn’t just an interesting idea - but a reality that is developing grassroots leaders, growing churches and winning real change. (The Living Wage, affordable housing and community sponsorship of refugees are good examples).
"In East London, we’ve been inspired by Bishop Paul’s phrase about a bigger church having a bigger difference. At the lecture, I’ll be sharing some new research which shows that this bigger difference can and does lead on to a growth in the number and depth of disciples.”
Over the last few years the lectures have been based on the verse from Micah 6.8, “God has shown you what is good…and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God”. We hope that these events will encourage social justice activists and advocates to share their experiences and learn from others.
This is the 7th social justice Micah Lecture; previous speakers include Bishop Steven Croft, Bishop David Walker, Bishop Pete Wilcox, Bishop Paul Bayes, Canon Lucy Winkett and Ann Morisy.
Rev Canon Dr Angus Richie has ministered in inner-city churches involved in community organising since 1998, playing a leading role in successful campaigns for the Living Wage, affordable housing and a cap on interest rates. He is the Director of the ecumenical Centre for Theology and Community in east London. His latest book, Inclusive Populism: Creating Citizens in the Global Age will be published by the University of Notre Dame Press in September.