Annual lecture 2019 report: The age of martyrs is not over

At the beginning of July, Embrace was privileged to welcome our patrons, His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Bishop of London and Timothy Radcliffe OP, former Master of the Dominican Order to give our Annual lecture.

They shared with us, and Embrace supporters, their reflections on the topic ‘age of martyrs is not over’ at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey. They delivered two wonderfully complementary sets of thoughts.

Archbishop Angaelos paid tribute to the countless unseen ‘witnesses’ – Christians across the Middle East – who model for us grace, resilience and courage, while being denied dignity, safety and prosperity.

He described them as ‘“beacons of hope” who should not be forgotten and to whom we should listen’.

And he challenged us to advocate on behalf of our sisters and brothers in the Middle East but that our actions should never be patronising or presumptuous. It must always be about them, and their witness, and not about us making ourselves feel better.

Fr Timothy spoke movingly about his friend Pierre Claverie OP, Bishop of Oran in Algeria who was martyred over twenty years ago and whose beatification he attended last December.

'A martyr,' he says 'is someone so fully alive she or he is prepared to die or, as GK Chesterton put it “those whose strong desire for life takes the form of a readiness to die”’.

Fr Timothy urged us to consider our lives as a gift, quoting from the final testament of Christian de Cherge, a Trappist monk also killed in Algeria: ‘for this life given, totally mine and totally theirs, I thank God.’

With thanks to both our patrons who have generously shared notes and quotes from their talks.

Fr Timothy Radcliffe, OP, former Master of the Dominican Order

Download talk notes

His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London

Download talk extracts

Pictured (l-r): Tim Livesey, Embrace CEO; Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, Madeleine Davies, Chair and Embrace Trustee; His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos.