Forgiveness is the most imaginative way of becoming free and offering freedom. Marian Partington
Forgiveness is news. When someone forgives terrible harm done to them, from the victims of terrorism to the violently bereaved, the story is always news and often the person is treated as a moral hero. But does it take a special person to forgive and forget, or can we all learn to do it?
And why is forgiveness central to Jesus’ teaching? He talks about it almost more than anything else, even from the Cross. Why must we love our enemies and always forgive those who wrong us? What about justice? And could the most difficult thing of all be to seek and accept forgiveness, human or divine, when we need it for ourselves?
Lucy Winkett, priest and theologian, and Marian Partington, whose sister was killed by Fred and Rose West, will explore the reality of the darkness in others and ourselves, and the radical path of forgiveness.
Marian Partington says that ‘forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past’, and that her own long journey to forgiveness began in murderous rage. She is the author of If You Sit Very Still: A sister’s fierce engagement with traumatic loss (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, new edition 2016) and she now works with The Forgiveness Project as a facilitator and storyteller, in prisons and elsewhere.
Lucy Winkett says the cycle of confession, forgiveness and absolution offers opportunity to begin afresh in God’s love over and over again. She is the Rector of St James’s Piccadilly, and was previously Precentor at St Paul’s Cathedral overseeing the cathedral’s liturgy and worship. She writes and broadcasts regularly on religion, music and contemporary culture, and her book, Our Sound is Our Wound (Bloomsbury 2010) was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Recommended Lent Book.
The event will be chaired by Canon Mark Oakley and include plenty of time for questions and answers.