This event took place on 3rd December 2020.

Watch a recording of the event in full. You will need the passcode: DHy5hXU*


We are delighted to present this year's Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture:

'Some Things We Can’t Think'

given by author and screenwriter

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

3rd December 2020

6:30pm - 8:20pm

via Zoom

Stories are how we tell the world who we are. What happens if we don’t get to tell our own stories? What happens if we don’t recognise ourselves in the stories that are told about us? 

Book your place at this event using the form at the bottom of the page.

Hidden Sentences, a new film from Pact

We are also pleased to combine this year’s lecture with the premiere of our new short documentary by Martin Freeth, ‘Hidden Sentences: Voices of Prisoners’ Families’.


Following the film and lecture, there will be a Q&A session with Frank and some of the people with lived experience of the justice system who feature in the film.

Support the work of Pact

This is a free event. Donations to the work of Pact are warmly welcomed and can be made online here. There will be a brief talk by Andy Keen-Downs, Pact CEO, about the work of the current work of the charity in support of people affected by imprisonment.

About 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.

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 as a society can make our 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.

Previous Lectures

This is the eighth 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.

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.


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.

Thank you for your interest in the Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture 2020. Unfortunately, this event is now closed. For information on previous and future Lectures, and about Pact's work, please contact [email protected]