Canon Lucy Winkett, Rector of St. James's, Piccadilly, ends this year's series of Lent Talks, where six well known figures from public life, the arts, human rights and religion, reflect on how the Lenten story of Jesus' ministry and Passion continues to interact with contemporary society and culture.
The 2013 Lent Talks consider the theme of "abandonment". In the Lenten story, Jesus is the supreme example of this - he died an outcast, abandoned and rejected by his people, his disciples and (apparently) his Father - God. But how does that theme tie in with today's complex world? There are many ways one can feel abandoned - by family, by society, by war/conflict, but one can also feel abandoned through the loss of something, perhaps power, job or identity.
Speakers in this year's talks have included the leading human rights lawyer, Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC, who considered what it means to abandon being human; the author Alexander McCall Smith, who explored the sense of being abandoned by society, as you grow older; Loretta Minghella, Director of Christian Aid, considered the abandonment of self and the need to face who we truly are; Imam Asim Hafiz, Muslim Chaplain and Religious Adviser to HM Forces, who had just returned from Afghanistan, explored the total abandonment experienced by both sides, as a result of war, and Benjamin Cohen, journalist and broadcaster, who reflected on how you can be abandoned by your religion for being gay.