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Dame Rachel de Souza announced as 2023 Craigmyle Lecturer

Watch the lecture online here

The Catholic Union’s 2023 Craigmyle Lecture will be given by Dame Rachel de Souza DBE, the Children’s Commissioner for England. The event is being kindly sponsored by the Universe Catholic Weekly.

Dame Rachel will use her lecture to talk about creating a society where children can flourish. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception to continue the conversation.

The lecture will be taking place on Wednesday 13 September at the University of Notre Dame London campus, near Trafalgar Square in London. The event will also be live-streamed. Further details can be found here.

The office of Children’s Commissioner was established under the Children Act 2004 to “represent the views and interests of children”. Dame Rachel has served as Commissioner since March 2021.

The Craigmyle Lecture is the Catholic Union’s annual flagship lecture, giving a platform to a prominent public figure to talk about a matter of importance to Christians and wider society in this country. The previous three speakers have been Baroness Hollins, Lord Bird, and Sir James MacMillan.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Donald, Lord Craigmyle, a former President of the Catholic Union, after whom the Lecture series is named.

The event is free to attend but people need to book tickets in advance on Eventbrite as space is limited.

Dame Rachel de Souza, comments: “I’m delighted to be giving this year’s lecture, especially in the centenary year of Lord Craigmyle’s birth. Since taking on the role of Commissioner, I’ve become even more convinced of the need for us as a nation to prioritise children’s welfare. We all have a role to play to support children in schools, in families, and when it comes to broader issues like online safety and migration policy.  I am very glad to see that the Catholic Church is part of this work to improve the lives of children. I’m looking forward to setting out how we can create a society where children can flourish. It is one of the most important questions for every generation as our children are the future.”

Catholic Union Director, Nigel Parker, adds: “We’re extremely grateful to Dame Rachel for agreeing to give this year’s lecture. Since the Craigmyle Lecture was established more than 20 years ago, it has given a Catholic angle to some of the most pressing issues of the day. How we create a society conducive to children and family life is surely one of the most important questions we face. We are all very much looking forward to Dame Rachel’s talk. Our sincere thanks to the Universe Catholic Weekly for sponsoring this event. Having a thriving Catholic press and a weekly Catholic newspaper in this country is so important. Now that the Universe is back in print, I strongly encourage people to subscribe and get a copy of the paper each week.”