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Free public lecture on the war in Ukraine to be held at Durham Cathedral

23 March 2022

This event forms part of a day of solidarity with the people of Ukraine. During the day people are invited to the cathedral to light a candle, reflect and pray for peace, and in the evening the cathedral will be lit in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Bridget Kendall says, “The tragedy which is unfolding in Ukraine - and Russia - is affecting all of us, and I am grateful to Durham Cathedral for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts and personal insights on this subject.”

Bridget Kendall was the BBC's Moscow correspondent at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A Russian speaker, she has first-hand knowledge of the leader driving the conflict in Ukraine, having conducted two long interviews with President Vladimir Putin in 2001 and 2006 which were broadcast live to the world from inside the Kremlin. 

As County Durham celebrates making the shortlist to be crowned the UK’s City of Culture 2025, this topical lecture is the first in a regular programme of Durham Cathedral Institute events that will provide public opportunities to discuss current events and issues affecting County Durham. 

Durham Cathedral Institute is a new initiative creating opportunities for people in the North East to engage with experts and public figures on the major social, political and ethical issues of our time. The Institute will host public talks and panel discussions throughout the year, with topics inspired by current affairs and issues which particularly affect the North East. As well as the upcoming lecture by Bridget Kendall, Institute events are planned this year on the themes of ‘levelling up’ the North and the future of education.

The Reverend Canon Professor Simon Oliver, Van Mildert Professor of Divinity at Durham University and residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral, has taken a leading role in shaping the future of the Institute. He says “We are delighted and honoured to welcome Bridget Kendall, one of the BBC’s most distinguished former correspondents and a leading authority on Russian affairs, as the first speaker at the new Durham Cathedral Institute. Her lecture gives us the opportunity to engage more deeply with tragic events that are reshaping our world and affecting lives across the globe. It is particularly fitting that this lecture forms part of the Cathedral’s observance of Holy Week when we remember the darkness of Christ’s crucifixion and await the hope of the resurrection.”

Free tickets for the lecture are available to book online. When booking a ticket, members of the public have the option to donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal of the Red Cross.

Learn more about the Durham Cathedral Institute and its upcoming programme of events.