Professor Anna Rowlands: Reimagining Human Dignity in Dark Times

We are delighted to announce that our Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture 2022 will take place on 24th February at Westminster Cathedral Hall, London.


Our 2022 even features Professor Anna Rowlands, St Hilda Professor of Catholic Social Thought and Practice in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University and Chair of the UK Centre for Catholic Social Thought and Practice.

Rowlands is a political theologian who works on Christian social teaching in Catholic and Anglican tradition. She has particular interests in ideas of human dignity and the common good. She has worked with people who have been detained in the immigration system and with those living in asylum destitution to identify the changes that would bring more just and humane systems. She works closely with a range of grassroots and faith-based organisations in a theological accompaniment role.

For this lecture, touching on themes explored in her other recently published book, Towards a Politics of Communion (Bloomsbury, 2021), Rowlands asks if it is possible to have dignity in the criminal justice system and what has to change to make it happen.

A small number of copies of Towards a Politics of Communion will be available at a reduced price and signed by Prof Rowlands at the event.

Donate to Pact

This year, we suggest a donation of £25 to help us cover the cost of the event and continue supporting prisoners and their families across England and Wales.


About the Lecture

The Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture is held most years by Pact as an opportunity to celebrate the life and memory of a great friend and champion, the late Sir Harold Hood. The lecture seeks to contribute to public knowledge and understanding of how we can make prisons places in which individuals can achieve personal change and growth, and leave to live good lives, in stable and healthy relationships with family and the wider community.

About Sir Harold Hood

Sir Harold Hood, 2nd Baronet (23 January 1916 – 5 September 2005) was a devout Catholic Christian who worked in Catholic publishing for much of his life, including working on the Catholic Herald and The Universe newspapers. He was a generous philanthropist with a keen interest in prison reform and prisoner rehabilitation, and was personally involved with many charities including Pact. Sir Harold Hood was a Knight of Malta and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. He died aged 89. His family have continued to support the work of Pact and a number of other charities through the charitable trust founded in his name.

Previous Lectures

This is the ninth lecture in memory of Sir Harold Hood. The first was held in the Chapel of HMP Brixton and was given by Archbishop (now Cardinal) Vincent Nichols. Other lectures have been given by the late Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Lucia do Rosario-Neil, Bishop Richard Moth, Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ, Dr Galena Rhoades (transcript not available), and His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, Recorder of London.

Our 2020 Event - Frank Cottrell-Boyce: 'Some Things We Can't Think'

Our 2020 Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture, 'Some Things We Can’t Think', was given by author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce.

Frank Cottrell-Boyce is an award-winning storyteller. Frank Boyce was born into a Catholic family in Liverpool in 1959 and studied English at Oxford where he met Denise Cottrell, a fellow undergraduate. They married in Keble College chapel and together have seven children. Frank first worked as a television critic for Living Marxism magazine, and wrote episodes for Coronation Street and Brookside.

As one of the most respected screenwriters working in the British film industry, Frank has written the screenplays for many feature films including Welcome to Sarajevo, Code 46, Butterfly Kiss, 24 Hour Party People and Goodbye Christopher Robin. His first novel, Millions, was based on his own screenplay for the film of the same name, and was published by Macmillan in 2004. In 2010, Frank co-presented the Papal Visit at Hyde Park with TV personality Carol Vorderman.

Frank’s long-standing artistic collaboration with Danny Boyle included their work together to craft the Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2012 telling the story of Britain through a multi-media extravaganza. He has authored numerous children's books including sequels to Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In 2004 he was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Millions, and in 2012 his novel The Unforgotten Coat won the Guardian Prize. Frank’s most recent children’s book, Runaway Robot, was published in 2019.


Please note, we will be recording this event as it happens. Any comments, questions or statements submitted to us before and/or during the event may be shared on Pact’s website and social media after the event. If you have any concerns or would prefer not to have your statements published, please do let one of our Pact staff team know by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.

This event is kindly sponsored by CCLA Investment Management.

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Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture 2022

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