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Canon Law professor speaks at annual Cathedral event

30 October 2020

Professor Norman Doe with the Dean of St David's Cathedral, The Very Rev'd Dr Sarah Rowland Jones.
Professor Norman Doe with the Dean of St David's Cathedral, The Very Rev'd Dr Sarah Rowland Jones.

This September, Professor Norman Doe, was invited to St Davids to deliver the Annual Lecture of the Friends of St Davids Cathedral.

Professor Doe’s lecture was entitled Liberals, Loggerheads and Law – Welsh Disestablishment remembered and took place at the cathedral on 12 September 2020. The lecture covered the history of the Church in Wales through the medieval and Reformation periods to the political and religious disestablishment campaigns in the nineteenth century; the legislative battle culminating in the Welsh Church Act 1914 which was the basis for disestablishment and the foundation of a separate Church in Wales in 1920; and continuity and change in the ministry of the Church in Wales over the past century.

Due to COVID 19 restrictions in place at the time, the lecture was delivered within the beautiful medieval building with generous space between audience members who sat within the cathedral nave.

The Cathedral had recognised that many people might not be able to attend the lecture in person, consequently it organised for the event to be livestreamed via Facebook. The Cathedral has been thrilled by the response to the video which has garnered over 1.5k views, making it the best ‘attended’ Friends Annual Meeting in its history.

While spending time at St Davids, Professor Doe also lent his expertise to a talk about one of the oldest books held in the Cathedral’s library, a 1505 edition of William Lyndwood’s Provinciale (1433), a book which has influenced ecclesiastical law in every century since. Professor Doe’s talks on the book was filmed as part of Libraries Week which took place 5 – 9 October and can be viewed on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel.

Speaking of his visit to St Davids, Professor Doe said, “It was an honour to be asked to speak at St Davids annual lecture especially at the moment when being able to spend time together is something very rare and special. It was also very fitting to be able to celebrate in this way the centenary of the Church in Wales in this inspirational cathedral with all its rich and ancient associations with the Patron Saint of Wales. I look forward with great enthusiasm to further collaborations between the Centre for Law and Religion at the School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University, and St Davids Cathedral in the years to come, not least to advance knowledge about the treasures held in the Cathedral library.”

A New History of The Church in Wales, edited by Professor Doe is available to buy from Cambridge University Press or by emailing St Davids Cathedral Library.

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