APPEAL FOR THE IOCS LECTURESHIP IN ECUMENICAL STUDIES
‘… since my conversion to Christianity in 1986 and still ongoing, I’ve been continually confused, frustrated and often in despair when I witness the Christian faith and its Church, the faith to which I adhere as a faith which is and has been for centuries divided either by heresy, schism or politics. I am however convinced that what unites all Christians is far greater than what divides us.
I’m therefore delighted and encouraged to learn that the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge (IOCS for short) is now launching a fundraising appeal for a Lectureship in Ecumenical Studies. Given the context of today and what is happening in politics and religion, especially with the frightening escalation of wars and barbaric terrorism in the name of religion, Christianity can no longer afford to exist as a faith which is perceived as and indeed is a faith that is divided. The cliché is true: united we stand, divided we fall. Since its inception, the IOCS in Cambridge has manifested a generous and open Orthodoxy and continues to have a welcoming and inquisitive attitude toward the treasures of the Spirit in other Christian traditions – whilst at the same time, of course, remaining firmly in touch with the richness of Orthodox theology. As such the IOCS is perfectly placed to become the balanced, critical and open Christian voice in ecumenical studies. This voice is not only to be welcomed, but is essential and if Christians take seriously our Lord’s prayer that we all be one (John 17:21), then Christians must do everything we can to collaborate with other Christians who essentially believe the same about the historic faith grounded in Jesus the Christ.
I am therefore really delighted to support this appeal for a Lectureship in Orthodox and Ecumenical Studies as a Patron, and may I please encourage you all to lend your financial support – and, if this is difficult, to lend your prayerful support – to this most essential project.’
Sir David Suchet is a distinguished stage and screen actor popular for his portrayal of Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Poirot (1989–2013), for which he received international acclaim and recognition and a 1991 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nomination. Sir David’s was also awarded the Royal Television Society’s award for best male actor for A Song for Europe in 1985, the Variety Club Award in 1994 for best actor for portraying John in David Mamet’s play Oleanna at the Royal Court Theatre, London. He later won another Variety Club Award (as well as a 2000 Tony nomination for best performance by a leading actor in a play) for his portrayal of Antonio Salieri in a revival of Amadeus. Sir David was also nominated for another Royal Television Society award in 2002 for his performance as Augustus Melmotte in The Way We Live Now, which earned him another BAFTA nomination. In November 2008 Sir David won an International Emmy Award for Best Actor at the International Emmy Awards in New York for his role as tycoon Robert Maxwell in the 2007 BBC television film, Maxwell. On 18 March 2014, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the RTS Programme Awards 2013 for his outstanding performance in Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Sir David was knighted in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to drama and charity.