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Bishop James Jones at St Peter's

Last night, St Peter's welcomed the Rt Revd James Jones, former bishop of Liverpool (1998-2013), who delivered the final Chavasse memorial lecture.

Bishop Jones, who was the college Visitor during his tenure at Liverpool, and was most recently Chairman of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, spoke on the theme of "‘The ways of God are strange’: Faith in the trenches of the First World War".

Speaking before a large audience of fellows, alumni, students and members of the public, as well as members of the current Chavasse family, the bishop explored the life and service of the Chavasse family during World War I, looking in particular at the role faith played in the actions of Noel Chavasse, the only man to win the Victoria Cross twice during World War I, and of his identical twin brother, Christopher, founding Master of St Peter's, who served as an army chaplain from 1914 until 1919.

Bishop Jones also touched upon the wider role of faith in the conflict, before fielding questions from Mark Damazer CBE, Master of St Peter's, and members of the audience.

The lecture was preceded by the unveiling of a permanent installation of the decorations won by the Chavasse family in military and civilian life, including the 21 medals awarded to them during the Great War. The medals, which include Noel's double-VC and three Military Crosses, sit either side of the original wooden cross used to mark Noel Chavasse's grave in Belgium.

The unveiling was performed by Bishop Jones along with Peter Chavasse, great-nephew of Noel Chavasse, and his 12-year-old son, James.

The full text of the lecture can be read here. Photos of the talk and unveiling can be seen here. For local press coverage click here.


Bishop James Jones at St Peter's