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What does it mean to be Human? Medical Ethics and Social Care Today

March 16 @ 10:00 am - 4:15 pm

Symposium Poster Final copy


Our next Symposium, What does it mean to be Human? Medical Ethics and Social Care Today will be held at The Arc, Winchester on Saturday 16th March 2024…

The Diocese is planning an exciting Symposium on Medical and Social Ethics. The Symposium will take place at The Arc (formerly The Discovery Centre) in Winchester (opposite St. Peter’s Catholic Church) on Saturday 16th March 2024 from 10.00 am until 4.15 pm. The Symposium features presentations from well-known experts and is led by David Wells, the popular motivational speaker. It is open to people of all faiths and none, specialist and lay, to students and to anyone with an interest in medical and social care. The aim of the Symposium is to bring the Christian Tradition and its values into a constructive and fruitful dialogue with those of other viewpoints. Tickets cost £20, including sandwiches and refreshments, and are available on-line via Eventbrite:


There will be two keynote presentations: “What does it mean to be a Human Being?” (Mgr. Michael Nazir Ali) and “How significant is the Sexual Revolution?” (Ryan Christopher of ADF International). Participants can also choose two of six workshops on issues to do with the start of life and the end of life, spirituality and mental health, gender dysphoria, respect in healthcare and the value-systems in contemporary healthcare provision.

About The Speakers:

Mgr. Michael Nazir Ali: Keynote 1 (What does it mean to be Human?) Rt. Rev. Mgr. Michael Nazir-Ali is the former Anglican Bishop of Rochester and Raiwind in Pakistan. He is now a prelate to the Holy See and a professor of theology at the Angelicum University in Rome. He comes from a mixed Christian/Muslim family background in Pakistan. He is the President of the Oxford Centre for Training and involved in teaching and supervision in Oxford. He is a ‘former’ member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and chair of its Ethics and Law Committee. He is the author of numerous books on the Church, Ethics, Other Faiths, and freedom both here and abroad.

Ryan Christopher: Keynote 2 (How significant is the Sexual Revolution?) Ryan Christopher is the Policy Officer and Director of ADF UK and co-founder of the Humanum Institute. He is a sought-after public speaker on issues involving philosophy, theology and the public square and has regularly appeared in the media, including BBC News at Ten, SKY News, as well as interviews on BBC radio. Ryan Christopher read history at the University of Cambridge before studying Philosophy at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas and Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. His passion for Christian anthropology is the result of years of experience in the field of teaching and evangelisation. Ryan held senior posts at Ampleforth College, York, and St Aloysius’ College, Glasgow as well as teaching in the state sector and providing private tuition. Ryan has extensive pastoral experience and a unique understanding of the Church from within, having trained in two seminaries and spent months on parish placements throughout the United Kingdom. Ryan serves as a trustee of the Christian Heritage Centre, Stonyhurst and advises on curriculum development for formation programmes run from Theodore House. He is the advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education and regularly engages with the Department for Education regarding Christian Education.

Dr Catherine Knowles: (The Human Person: United of Divided?)Dr Catherine Knowles is Programme Director for the MA in Catholic Applied Theology programme at Maryvale International Institute. Following her doctorate in moral theology from the University of Kent (2006), she worked as a researcher in education at Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Greenwich and more recently within the charity sector (education) as well as being a Research Associate at the University of Warwick (2012-2018) and a Visiting Fellow at Plymouth Marjon University (2019-2021). Her research interests include moral education, pastoral theology and research methodologies.

Rachel MacKenzie: (Abortion: The Unseen Grief) Rachel MacKenzie is the National contact for the Rachel’s Vineyard helpline for those who have had abortions, she works with many different organisations to be able to offer the best support for each contact. She attended a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat in 2008 and has been facilitating weekend retreats since 2016. She is a well-known speaker and speaks about her own experience as a post-abortive and has raised greater awareness of the support that Rachel’s Vineyard has to offer; leading many women and men to attend healing weekend retreats.

Rev. Dr Gerard Fieldhouse-Byrne: (Mental Health and Spirituality) Fr Gerard Fieldhouse-Byrne, is a priest of Salford diocese, England. After completing undergraduate studies in England, Fr Gerard studied for the Priesthood at the Venerable English College Rome and was ordained in July 1998. He has a Masters in Spirituality from the Angelicum University in Rome, a Masters in Clinical Social Work and a Doctorate in Counselling from Boston University, USA. After completing his doctorate in Boston he spent two years on the staff at the Saint Luke Institute in Maryland. He has worked in clergy support, counselling and the promotion of clergy wellbeing since 1997. He was appointed executive director of St Luke’s Centre Manchester in 2005. In addition to clinical work and experience Fr Gerard has extensive formation experience and is currently the Human Formation Tutor at the English College Rome and English College Valladolid Spain. He has facilitated ongoing formation, education and clergy wellness workshops within the UK, Ireland and internationally. Fr Gerard has been Parish Priest of two parishes and has direct experience of parish ministry in the aftermath of clergy sexual abuse. He has consulted internationally on Safeguarding issues in Church life and ministry. In his spare time, Fr Gerard is the Senior Chaplain to Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force. He is a proud Mancunian and supports Manchester United. He has a Westie called Monty and a Niece and Nephew.

Dr Collette McGovern: (Dysphoria vs Ideology: Walking the gender tightrope) Dr Collette McGovern is an Attaché to the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations and other specialised agencies in Geneva, where her work focuses on human rights, health and migration issues. She has previously worked for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on domestic affairs and, in 2022 completed a doctorate in human rights law which analysed the conflict between freedom of religion and sexual orientation.

Simon Caldwell: (End of Life: Fact and fiction in the novel The Beast of Bethulia Park) Simon Caldwell is a journalist who for more than 10 years was on the foreign desk of the Daily Mail. He has researched and written hundreds of exclusive stories for the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Times, the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Sun and the Spectator, as well as the Catholic Herald and the Church Times, often on bioethical issues, including end of life care. In September 2022, Gracewing published his first novel, The Beast of Bethulia Park, a thriller about a quest to unmask a murderous doctor.

Dr Maria Lynch: (Should religion and spirituality have a role in healthcare provision?)  Dr Maria Lynch is currently a full time Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Director of Medical Education at St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight NHS Trust. She trained in Medicine at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, London University and read a Master’s degree in Medical Law and Ethics at Kings College London. She has worked in the NHS for 32 years and has been a hospital consultant for 23 years.


March 16
10:00 am - 4:15 pm


The Arc
Jewry Street
Winchester, SO23 8SB United Kingdom