The next Roscoe Lecture will be on March 17th and will be given by the Rt.Hon Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Home Secretary. Also, download recent lectures – Dr Susan Cohen – on the life of Eleanor Rathbone – and lectures by the former First Sea Lord, Admiral the Lord West of Spithead, the children’s author Michael Morpurgo, Rebecca Tinsley, and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon.

Feb 17, 2016 | Uncategorized


Over the past couple of decades thousands of Good Citizenship Awards have been distributed and Roscoe Lectures have  been staged by Liverpool John Moores University’s Roscoe Foundation For Citizenship. Here, David Alton explains the background:

Good Citizenship Awards

Roscoe Lectures


The next Roscoe Lecture will be given by the Rt.Hon.Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Home Secretary, Thursday March 17th at 5.00pm at St George’s Hall, Liverpool, entitled “What Kind of Country do I want Britain to be”

Tickets available from:

Details at:



The previous Lecture was given by Dr.Susan Cohen who celebrated the life of Eleanor Rathbone:

‘A life of action: Eleanor Rathbone (1872-1946), Liverpool’s unsung heroine.’

 This lecture complements an exhibition at Liverpool Central Library and the launch of the commemorations of Eleanor Rathbone.  

eleanor rathbone1eleanor rathbone2eleanor rahbone3eleanor rathbone4eleanor rathbone5eleanor rathbone6eleanor rathbone7eleanor rathbone8eleanor rathbone9eleanor rathbone10eleanor rathbone 2Eleanor Rathbone and the refugees

Eleanor Rathbone was elected, in 1929, an Independent MP sitting in the House of Commons for the Combined University Seats.. She was also a Liverpool City Councillor (representing Granby Ward from 1909-1934). She was noted for her opposition to Appeasement and Nazism, for championing refugees, welfare reform – particularly family allowances to be paid to mothers – women’s suffrage, and women’s rights in India.  In 1919, on the retirement of Milicent Fawcett, she became President of the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship and was responsible for the creation of the Liverpool Personal Service Society, becoming its first chairman.

Born in Liverpool, at Greenbank, she was the daughter of Gladstone’s Chief Whip, the philanthropist, William Rathbone VI; the grand-daughter of William Rathbone V, Mayor of Liverpool in 1837; and great-grand daughter of William Rathbone IV,(1757-1809), – a close friend of William Roscoe and who, with him, was one of the three Liverpool businessmen to join the Committee for the Abolition of Slavery.  She was the cousin of Hugh Rathbone, MP for Wavertree from 1923-24.


Previous recent lectures:

Thursday November 12th at 5.00pm; Former First Sea Lord, Admiral the Lord West of Spithead: “The Role of the Royal Navy in World War One”

This lecture may be listened to at:

Admiral the Lord West of Spithead - former First Sea Lord

Admiral the Lord West of Spithead – former First Sea Lord

There are few people better qualified than Alan West –  the Rt.Hon Admiral the Lord West of Spithead, the former First Sea Lord – to give a Roscoe Lecture on “The Role of the Royal Navy in World War One”  – and, with its rich maritime history, nowhere better to give it than Liverpool.

In the first half of the twentieth century the UK was the world’s dominant naval power and our island nation’s survival  depended on the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy.  

Following the launch of Dreadnought in 1906, the subsequent emergence of destroyers, torpedoes, and submarines fundamentally changed the British Grand Fleet. U-boats, sonar, radio, mines, and early aviation transformed the nature of naval warfare. The deadly battles of Heligoland Bight, Dogger Bank and Jutland – along with the sinking, in May 1915,  of merchant vessels such as Liverpool’s RMS Lusitania, saw terrible loss of life.

To these events Alan West brings the eye of a historian and the professional steel  and insights of a former First Sea Lord and, in Gordon Brown’s Government, the Minister for Security and Counter Terrorism.  He began his naval life in 1965  when, during the Nigerian Civil War , he served on HMS Albion, circumnavigating the globe. Whether, through active service in the Falklands and Iraq or, in presenting his Radio Four series “Britain at Sea” ; in leading the Trafalgar anniversary celebrations; or, in challenging the Defence Spending Review, his knowledge, passion, and love of the Navy is unequalled.



The Most Rev Malcolm McMahon gave his Roscoe Lecture at the Britannia Adelphi Hotel on Wednesday October 28th at 5.00pm: To listen to it go to:

Malcolm McMahon

The Most.Revd.Macolm McMahon O.P. : “The Common Good”

When, in 1957, John Heenan – later Cardinal Heenan – became Archbishop of Liverpool he told the assembled Liverpudlians that when Cardinal Hinsley was  Archbishop of Westminster , Hinsley had once said to him “young man when you wear a mitre, you will discover that it’s a crown of thorns.”  That became the title of Heenan’s celebrated  autobiography.

    In 2014following in the footsteps of men like Heenan and Derek Worlock,  Malcolm McMahon was chosen by Pope Francis to be the ninth Archbishop of Liverpool serving the 574,000 baptised Catholics living in the Liverpool Archdiocese. When he delivers the 134th  Roscoe Lecture, on October 28th, we will have the chance to hear first-hand about some of the challenges represented by the crown of thorns which has now been passed to him.

His Roscoe Lecture is entitled “The Common Good” and will examine some of the contemporary ills of society and consider how religious faith and political will can be combined to create a fairer, just, and more equitable society.

The idea of the common good has its roots in the Gospel but also in the writings of Augustine and Aquinas, a Dominican like Malcolm McMahon, and whose words he chose as his episcopal motto (non nisi te – only You [Lord]). Today, “the common good” is a term which is increasingly used in politics, too, with   Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt recently founding the group “Labour for the Common Good.”  Earlier in the year, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury gave a very well received Roscoe Lecture and Malcolm McMahon’s chosen theme will build on that.

     It will also build on Malcolm McMahon’s own experiences and his very good understanding of what makes ordinary people, their lives, and their communities tick.

He studied Mechanical Engineering in Manchester before working for London Transport. At College he was a student activist, joining the Young Christian Students movement.

On discerning a vocation to the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans, whose motto is veritas – truth – , he studied philosophy and theology and, in 1982,was ordained by Cardinal Basil Hume. He has a been a students’ chaplain; a parish priest in tough parishes in London and Newcastle; Bishop of Nottingham and, in the UK, is President of Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace movement. He is also Chair of the Catholic Education Service for England and Wales– which oversees 2,200 Catholic school which educate three quarters of a million children.

Building on the ecumenical partnership, of David Sheppard and Derek Worlock, Malcolm McMahon has emphasized the importance of differing denominations and faith working with one another in mutual respect and tolerance. On the day of his appointment he said he was looking forward to:

“working with people from all religious traditions, and civic and political leaders, building up the good relationships which already exist between us, in our endeavour to serve the common good.”

Archbishop McMahon is well known for his kind personality, good sense of humour, his commitment to social justice, and for the emphasis he places on deepening our personal search for truth and definition in our lives.  Liverpool John Moores University’s Roscoe Foundation for Citizenship is delighted to be able to host his Roscoe Lecture.


Roscoe Lecture – Michael Morpurgo OBE – Two Initiatives Worthy of Support

At Michael Murpurgo’s Roscoe Lecture – with a capacity audience of over 1,000 people – focus was given to the work of the Reader Organisation – whose work I recently saw first hand  during a visit to their offices in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park.  Reader is a charitable social enterprise working to bring people and literature together through shared reading groups. See

In 2014 Reader signed a lease for the use of Calderstones Mansion for 125 years and began transforming the buildings into an international flagship project for shared Reading.  Both for those doing the reading, and for those joining the reading groups, this is a transformative and imaginative way of promoting literacy, tackling  loneliness,  encouraging friendships and breaking down barriers. C.S.Lewis once said “We read to know we are not alone” and with about 1 million  people said not to see a friend or a relative during an average week, Reader can make a particular impact on the toxic disease of loneliness.

Michael Morpurgo, is a supporter of Reader and wrote the foreword to the book “A Little, Aloud for Children” – the proceeds of which are donated entirely to Reader. It is an anthology of prose and poetry for reading aloud by Angela Macmillan –  and has illustrations by students of Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Art and Design.

Michael says:

“One of my first memories is of being read top by my mother…those are the stories that I remember best and love the most to this day. It is never too early or too late to start. After providing food and shelter, reading to our children and encouraging their own reading is probably the very best thing we can do for them.”


Details of Reader are available at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall this evening. Their website is  you can learn more about their work by visiting the Mansion House at Calderstones Park.

Michael and his wife Clare also have their own wonderful charity, Farms for City Children, which they founded at Nethercott House in Devon in 1976.

The charity offers urban children from all over the UK a unique opportunity to live and work together for a week at a time on a real farm in the heart of the countryside. The charity aims to encourage learning, to raise self-esteem, and to enrich young lives .It is an intense, ‘learning through doing’ experience of a different life – for children who may not know where their food comes from and have limited opportunities to explore the outside world.

They now have three working farms – Nethercott, Wick Court and Lower Treginnis, where they welcome around 3,000 children and 400 teachers a year.

Their main objectives are to promote:

  • An understanding of farming, the countryside and food production.
  • Social and emotional development through teamwork.
  • Immersion and total involvement through a whole seven-day stay a ‘world away’.
  • Celebrating success and building self-worth through work and the completion of tasks.
  • Learning about healthy eating.
  • Using practical, hands-on learning outside the classroom to enhancing the requirements of the national curriculum.
  • Drawing on the farm experience and the charity’s literary heritage to promote literacy and storytelling.
  • Building and developing relationships.
  • Addressing poverty of experience arising not just from economic and social deprivation, but also from the effects of increasing materialism.

For 40 years of dedicated work in establishing and developing Farms for City Children, Clare Morpurgo MBE has been listed for a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Council for Learning outside the Classroom. Voting closes at on November 13th . The Farms for City Children web site is

Michael Morpurgoe – former Children’s Laureate, gave the 132nd Roscoe Lecture entitled “War Boy to War Horse” – which can be downloaded and listened to at:

Michael Morpurgo - acclaimed writer of children's fiction

Michael Morpurgo – acclaimed writer of children’s fiction


Other Roscoe Lectures  being held in Liverpool this autumn: 

All lectures are free but please reserve your place in advance via 

Contact LJMU Corporate Events and Engagement team on 0151 231 3668 or email

Thursday October 15th at 2.00pm: writer and human rights activist, founder of Waging Peace, Rebecca Tinsley “Monsters and Angels: is genocide part of human nature?
Black History Month Lecture

The Roscoe Lecture by Rebecca Tinsley Monsters and Angels: Is genocide part of human nature? may be listened to at:

Rebecca Tinsley - Writer and Founder of Waging Peace

Rebecca Tinsley – Writer and Founder of Waging Peace

Wednesday October 28th at 5.00pm: Archbishop of Liverpool and Dominican, the Rt.Revd.Malcolm McMahon “The Common Good”

Rt.Revd.Malcolm McMahon OP - Archbishop of Liverpool

Rt.Revd.Malcolm McMahon OP – Archbishop of Liverpool

Browse the archive of lecture recordings and download them for free – click to play in your browser or right-click and select ‘Save target as…’ to download or go to:

Most Revd. Justin Welby - Archbishop of Canterbury

Most Revd. Justin Welby – Archbishop of Canterbury

(Baroness) Helena Kennedy QC - human rights lawyer

(Baroness) Helena Kennedy QC – human rights lawyer

(Baroness) Valerie Amos - United Nations' Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Under Secretary,

(Baroness) Valerie Amos – United Nations’ Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Under Secretary,

The late Rt.Hon.Charles Kennedy - former leader of the Liberal Democrats

The late Rt.Hon.Charles Kennedy – former leader of the Liberal Democrats

Eighteenth Series
The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury The abolition of the global – learning to live in the world in one city Download audio
Professor Brian Schmidt, astronomer The Universe from Beginning to End Download audio
Professor the Lord Peter Hennessy, author and academic Watching Prime Ministers  Download audio
Seventeenth Series
Mr Christopher Graham, UK Information Commissioner The Role of the Information Commissioner Download audio
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC The Search for Justice in an Unjust World Download audio
Bill Sergeant and Tony Wainwright Two Stories of Heroism – Chavasse and the Liverpool PALS Download audio
Baroness Valerie Amos The role of the United Nations in a world riven by conflict, poverty and hunger Download audio
John Fleming, Executive Vice President Europe, Ford Motor Company Henry Ford once said ‘An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous’ – How does that apply in the 21st Century? Download audio
Ken Medlock Untitled Download audio
The Rt Hon Charles Kennedy MP The Case Against Scottish Independence Download audio
His Excellency Diego Gomez Pickering Meet the Ambassador Download audio
Professor Sheila the Baroness Hollins Talking about Mental Health Download audio
Sixteenth Series
Ms Diane Lees, Director General, Imperial War Museum 1914: Why Remembering the Great War Matters Download audio
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE Overcoming Disability and Adversity Download audio
Vava Tampa, CEO, Save the Congo The Challenges Facing the Congo Today, and the Historic Role of Liverpool & E D Morel Download audio
Mayors and their Cities The Challenges and Opportunities Joe Anderson OBE, Mayor of Liverpool Download audio
Paul Farley The Mersey Sound Download audio
John Bird MBE The Necessity of Poverty Download audio
Fifteenth Series
Will Hutton The World We’re In Download audio
Claire Tomalin In Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens Download audio
Frank Cottrell Boyce What I Learnt from the Olympics Download audio
Dr Bill McGuire Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis & Volcanoes Download audio
Dr Farah Faizal The struggles for human rights and democracy in the Maldives and the price which one man has paid  Download audio
Professor David Hilmers MD, former astronaut 4 Times in Space, An Astronaut Returns to Earth to Grapple with its Challenge Download audio
Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP The Case for an Independent Scotland Download audio
Fourteenth Series
Mr Philip Green, Former CEO United Utilities Leadership, Philanthropy & Business Download audio
Baroness Ilora Finlay Cancer, Compassion & Care Download audio
Professor Michael Brown CBE DL What are Modern Universities Really For?   Download audio
Shami Chakrabarti CBE The Balance Between Human Rights and Security  Download audio
Jon Cruddas MP John Tressell, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists Download audio
Jonny Ball Past Imperfect – Future Fantastic   Download audio
Thirteenth Series
Lord Justice Sir Brian Leveson Criminal Justice in the 21st Century Download audio
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown The Changing Face of Africa The Territorial Army and the Volunteer Ethos Download audio
Baroness Greenfield TV Brains v Cyberbrains: Which Generation Thinks Best Outside the Box? Download audio
Twelfth Series
General Sir Mike Jackson, former Head of the British Army Challenge for the New Model Army      Download audio
Richard Stilgoe OBE, Musician & Songwriter Music and citizenship Download audio
Professor the Lord Alton of Liverpool Gladstone, son of Liverpool, scourge of tyrants Download audio
Colin Parry, Founder, Warrington Peace Centre Tyranny and terrorism, how it was defeated in Northern Ireland Download audio
Anne Applebaum, Author and Journalist Hitler and Stalin: the 20th Century’s cruellest tyrants?    Download audio
Eleventh Series
Roger McGough, Poet In conversation with…  Download audio
Dr Brian Jacques, Author Liverpool, city of literature   Download audio
Loyd Grossman, Chairman, National Museums Liverpool Dealing with the heritage dilemma Download audio
Professor the Lord Rees of Ludlow A cosmic perspective on 21st Century challenges Download audio
Peter Sissons, Broadcaster Liverpool, city of media   Download audio
Rt Revd Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York Liverpool: Where religious faith is part of the solution, not the problem Download audio
Lord Heseltine of Thenford Liverpool Reflections and changes Download audio
Senator George Mitchell, Architect of the Good Friday Agreement The challenges facing Western democracies in the 21st Century  Download audio
Professor Ian Tracey, City Organist Liverpool, city of music   Download audio
Stephen Broadbent, Sculptor Liverpool, city of sculpture Download audio
Clive Tyldesley, Sports Commentator Liverpool, city of sport Download audio
Pascal Khoo Thwe Survivors: Holocaust, genocide and crimes against humanity Burma   Download audio
Philomene Uwamaliya Survivors: Holocaust, genocide and crimes against humanity Rwanda   Download audio
Trude Levi Survivors: Holocaust, genocide and crimes against humanity Nazi Germany Download audio
Peter Moloney Liverpool: City of friendship, fellowship, faith, family and football Download audio
Joe Riley Does Liverpool deserve to be Capital of Culture? Download audio
Paul Robeson Jnr My father and pioneering the civil rights agenda in the USA   Download audio
Tenth Series
Ms Esther Rantzen, Broadcaster & children’s rights campaigner The Protection Society needs to provide to prevent vulnerable children from exploitation and abuse Download audio
Mr George Alagiah, Patron of Fairtrade, BBC News Presenter Multiculturalism Download audio
Peter Sutherland, Chairman of BP Citizenship, globalisation, free trade and fair trade the role of the multi-nationals Download audio
Mr Adam Hochschild, University of California, author of “Bury the Chains” The history of the Slave Trade Download audio
Lord Goldsmith, HM Attorney General How the law holds together a civil society Download audio
Professor John Barrow, Cambridge University, Winner of The Templeton Prize 2006 Our place in the universe Download audio
Mr Trevor Phillips, Chair Commission for Equality & Human Rights Understanding the lessons of the killing of Anthony Walker Download audio
Ms Cherie Booth QC Human rights and the protection of the citizen Download audio

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