Speeches and Interviews

Catholic Social Thought

Listen here to a recording of 'The Common Good', the 2015 Roscoe Lecture given at Liverpool John Moores University, where the Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon, explained the Church's social teachings in some detail. Since his appointment in 2014, he has emphasised the importance of different denominations and faiths working together for the common good, naming the ecumencial Sheppard Worlock partnership as an inspiration.

Address by Lord Glasman to the Centesimus Annus Foundation (Maurice Glasman, May 2013, Rome) While Lord Glasman is of the Jewish tradition he is one of the leading proponents of 'common good' political thinking and Catholic social thought).

Click here to watch the 2015 Annual Theos Lecture by Will Hutton and responses from John Cruddas MP and David Willetts MP. The debate built upon Clifford Longley's Just Money and discussed how Catholic Social Teaching can and should play a significant role in our public life.

Anna Rowlands' lecture ‘The Politics of the Common Good: What does CST have to offer to electoral politics?’

Watch Lord Glasman deliver the 2014 Good Society lecture, ''The Good Society and the Politics of the Common Good', at the Centre for Social Justice here and read the full transcript, here.

What is meant by the Common Good? And how can the Church best apply it to society today? Jesuit Father William Rehg reflected on these questions at a conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in December 2010.

Lord Glasman's speech to the Church Urban Fund 'Tackling Poverty Together' Conference 2013. This and the CSJ Lecture are developments of a speech he gave without notes at the T4CG Conference in Liverpool in September 2013 which can be viewed here and the transcript is here.

You can check out this page for a greater exploration of the philosophical ideas behind Catholic Social Thought.

Faith Communities

Jean Vanier's interview at the HTB Conference on leadership and the poor. (2017)

Frank Field observes that “faith organisations and particularly the Christian Church is often the only transformative vehicle left on poor estates and in rural areas” Listen to the full interview with Robert Colville. (2017)

Listen to a recording of 'What would it be like if God was in charge instead of the banks?' A moving and entertaining interview with Steve Chalke where he talks about the 'radical narrative' and 'life before death'. Telling how Oasis runs schools, hostels, gardens, farms, churches, community banks, youth clubs, housing, libraries, community hubs, Chalke said 'it's sad the church is seen as a provider of religious services' when what Jesus wants is for people to devote themselves to each other, through 'inclusion and community.'

Read this speech in which 'Take courage, let us work together' was the message of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, addressing the Muslim Council of Wales in October 2015. He argues that society will overcome extremism by “socially transformative projects involving people from grassroots faith backgrounds working together for the common good.” 

A Big Heart Open to God an extended interview with Pope Francis by a fellow Jesuit - Antonio Spadaro SJ, editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, a journal published in Rome by the Society of Jesus.

"A Disturbing Truth: the Church, the poor, and Oscar Romero", the 2013 Romero Memorial Lecture by Timothy Radcliffe OP, former Master General of the Dominicans, was given to packed audiences in Westminster Abbey, Manchester University Chaplaincy and in Edinburgh in October and November 2013.

Archbishop Justin Welby's address to the National Prayer Breakfast 'Global Christianity in the 21st Century' was given at Westminster on 17 June 2014 in which he says the 21st Century Church must be about 'prayer, peace and poverty'. Read the text and watch video here.

'From a negative peace to the common good': this year’s Memorial Lecture at the Liverpool Catholic Archdiocese Justice and Peace Commission, was given by Jenny Sinclair, of the T4CG Steering Group - January 2015.  

In his homily at New York's Trinity Wall Street in January 2015, Archbishop Justin Welby spoke about how David Sheppard and Derek Worlock 'never let up in their work for the common good'. Like us at T4CG they are also an inspiration for him. Click here to read the full text.

Justin Welby also visits the News Building. Watch his speech here - 7 July 2015.

The Pope: how the Church will change Pope Francis gives an exclusive interview with Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist, the founder of La Republica.


There is a developing debate among our secular friends in the voluntary sector about its mission - they are concerned to ensure that its historic vision to serve the whole community is not diverted by politics, funding or passing fashions.Civil Exchange have published a collection of thoughtful essays in Making Good: the future of the voluntary sector. A key article is by Steve Wyler in which he articulates a position very close to ours - which demonstrates how the common good may well be the vehicle that can unite faith-based and secular initiatives - November 2014.


 “People left behind feel deprived of their place in the world, that no one values what they have to offer”. Listen to a podcast of Michael Sandel with typical clarity, at a major lecture at the LSE, ‘Capitalism, Democracy and the Public Good’ (2017)

Anna Rowlands gave the 2015 Newman Lecture, entitled 'The Politics of the Common Good'. Click here to download the text. Anna is also a contributor to our book.

Anna Rowlands gave this keynote at Money Talks, a conference at Durham University in September 2016. She addresses issues of debt and money as a possession from the perspective of the Christian tradition and Catholic social thought.

Pope Francis' speech to the European Parliament in which he challenges European leaders to defend dignity of the most vulnerable.

Good Investment and the Power of the Common Good - a T4CG/CCLA fringe debate at the Church of England's  General Synod, involving Tim Montgomerie and Lord Maurice Glasman, 11 July 2015

Phillip Blond gave the prestigious annual Wilberforce address to the Conservative Christian Fellowship on 9 December 2014 and was warmly received. This represents a shift in Conservative thinking. 

Read the text of the Ebor Lecture 2014 by Jon Cruddas MP - entitled ''The Common Good in an Age of Austerity'. Click here to download the text. Earlier the same month he spoke at the RSA: Watch here or read the text here.


Archbishop Justin Welby gives the keynote speech at the Church Urban Fund 'Tackling Poverty Together' Conference 2013. The text of his speech is here.

How can we go beyond the constraints of party political tribalism to do what is needed for true human flourishing? As Pope Francis said on 2015’s Palm Sunday, Jesus takes the path of humility, indeed humiliation, to walk with his people. Whatever our politics, rather than take pride in being right, we need to cultivate a humility if we are to reach across our differences.

In July 2014 Archbishop Bernard Longley spoke about the issues faced by faith based organisations in the delivery of public services and he announced a pioneering ‘social action covenant’ to be launched later that year. Click here to download his speech.

For an inspiring view (and poetic references) on the connection between the traditions of environmental thinking and the common good, we think you will like ‘Nature, science and the politics of the common good’ by Ruth Davis, Political Director at Greenpeace UK - 6 July 2014.

'Planning Ahead for a Generation' Archbishop Vincent Nichols addressed Britain’s faith, education and third sector leaders at a civil society summit hosted by Citizens UK, 19 June 2013.

The 2014 annual Romero lecture was given by Lord Rowan Williams, in which he reminded a packed St Chad’s in Birmingham that Christ is found in people living in poverty.

Together for the Common Good’s Jenny Sinclair spoke on 11 November 2014 saying ‘being an agent of change for the common good’ is about each of us finding ways to put the principles of the common good into practice, and ‘being called to a special role – of reconciliation. We need to identify where there is division and find ways to build bridges.’ Read more here. More keynotes by Jenny here


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