The Caversham Lectures

Since his installation as Vicar of Saint Peter’s Caversham, Father Hugh Bowron, Vicar of Caversham has organised a programme of lectures known as The Caversham Lectures.

On this page you are able to access selected past lectures and review abstracts of those yet to come.

Previous Lectures

The 2016 Caversham Lectures

Tuesday, 29 November : Exploring and Exploiting the Secrets of Life itself – Don Evans, a bio-ethicist and a parishioner of St Matthews Dunedin, looked at the wonderful possibilities and potential perils of breakthroughs in medical research A survey of the life enhancing and life extending possibilities flowing from current stem cell research and the ethical dilemmas they present.


Tuesday, 22 November : The New Zealand Youth Justice System: leading the world – Dunedin Barrister Brian Kilkelly looked into how we our law handles our troublesome youngsters.


Tuesday, 15 November
Practical End of Life Issues – a panel of funeral director Keith Gillion, retired GP Dr Tony Fitchett, law Professor Peter Skegg and palliative care nurse Gayle Elliott discussed practicalities of the final period of our lives.


Tuesday, 8 November
Child Welfare – Can We Deliver and How Will We Know?–Len Cook, Families Commissioner and Chairman of the Social Policy Research and Evaluation Unit considered the future of child welfare in New Zealand.


Tuesday, 1 November
What makes for a good doctor?–Dr Steve Tripp discussed what we should look for when choosing a family GP.


The 2015 Caversham Lectures

24 November
David Hoskins reviewed the history of the New Zealand Film Unit, with particular reference to the way in which different New Zealand governments realised the film unit’s potential for shaping public opinion and influenced its films to offer different impressions of life in New Zealand.

17 November
Emeritus Professor Blair Fitzharris spoke on the potential vulnerability of South Dunedin to coastal flooding and ocean inundation as a result of global warming. The presentation will also addressed the high water table and porous soils issues of our locality

10 November
Associate Professor Alex Trapeznik offered a presentation on the history of Dunedin’s Warehouse Precinct, lavishly illustrated with many photos

3 November
Associate Professor John Stenhouse returned with a further exploration of South Dunedin’s Church history – God, the Devil and the Demon drink

’Great Anglo-Catholics of the 20th Century’ (v) - 10 June 2014

Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury and exemplar of holiness.

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2014

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’Great Anglo-Catholics of the 20th Century’ (iv) - 3 June 2014

Austin Farrer, theologian and preacher, wordsmith extraordinaire

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2014

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’Great Anglo-Catholics of the 20th Century’ (iii) - 20 May 2014

Dom Gregory Dix and his block buster book on the Liturgy

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2014

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’Great Anglo-Catholics of the 20th Century’ (ii) - 13 May 2014

Sir Ninian Comper, architect, creator of beautiful Churches and Church interiors

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2014

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’Great Anglo-Catholics of the 20th Century’ (i) - 6 May 2014

Percy Dearmer and the creation of the English Hymnal

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron and David Hoskins, 2014

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"In the still centre : Poetry as an act of compassion’

David Howard, poet, and 2013 Burns fellow for literature, reads a selection of his favourite poems and discusses what to look for in a poem.

- David Howard

Copyright David Howard, 2013

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"The Social Impact of South Dunedin’s Churches’

Exploding the myth that working class people did not attend Church in New Zealand’s most advanced industrial suburb : South Dunedin’s Churches as the matrix of trade unionism, first wave feminism, and much else besides.

- Professor John Stenhouse, University of Otago History Department

Copyright John Stenhouse, 2013

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"Altogether, and in tune this time"

An historical overview of Saint Peter’s and local community arts. Topic: The parish church has a long history as a focal point of community artistic endeavour. The local choirmaster’s duties extended far beyond the organ loft into the wider community as conductor, teacher, accompanist, fundraiser and organiser of everything from Gilbert and Sullivan operetta’s and amateur revues to annual performances of "Messiah." This overview attempts to place St Peter’s Church within this environment, and discusses the wider implications of such activities within a social and political context - including as it does the Great depression and Two World Wars.

- Mr David Hoskins, Director of Music, Saint Peter’s Caversham

Copyright David Hoskins, 2013

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’Framers of Anglican Identity’ (v) - 4 June 2013

Charles Gore. Why prophets find it hard to be Bishops : The Oxford movement at full flood

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2013

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’Framers of Anglican Identity’ (iv) - 14 May 2013

F D Maurice. Dismissing hell with costs : Deploying the Liberal agenda

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2013

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’Framers of Anglican Identity’ (iii) - 7 May 2013

Richard Baxter. The alternative Puritan future that might have been; The struggle to make the Church of England a disciplined, confessional and pastorally effective Church

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2013

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’Framers of Anglican Identity’ (ii) - 30 April 2013

John Donne. The nation at prayer and the Catholic minority; Drawing in the Catholic recusancy

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2013

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’Framers of Anglican Identity’ (i)

Richard Hooker and Lancelot Andrewes - The Avant-Garde Conformists; Creating the kind of Church of England that Elizabeth 1 wanted.

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2013

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The Disintegration of Syria and Lebanon, and where this leaves the Christian minority
Copyright Professor Bill Harris, 2013

On 9 April, Professor Bill Harris, University of Otago Department of Politics, kicked off the 2013 season.

The Strange, Wonderful and Bleak Theological World of Rowan Williams

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2012

In the month that Rowan Williams steps down as Archbishop of Canterbury, a look at the theological sources that have informed his leadership of the Anglican Communion.

Watch Father Hugh’s analysis of Rowan Williams’ theology

Read the abstract


Karl Rahner and the Concept of the Anonymous Christian

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2012

Can Atheists, Buddhists, Hindus and others be implicit Christians?

Listen to Father Hugh’s discussion of the concept.

Read the abstract

Balthasar : An introduction

Copyright Father Hugh Bowron, 2012

The Holy Week lecture for 2012 was an introduction to the life and theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar.

You can listen to the 2012 Holy Week Lecture here

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