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The 2018/19 'Thinking Allowed' lecture series continues the now established partnership between Cairns Church in Milngavie and Orchardhill Parish Church in Giffnock which means that once again there will be a lecture series on both the North and Southside of Glasgow.

Here are the details of the programme of events for your diary.

Thursday 25 October 2018 at Orchardhill Church, Giffnock, 7.30 for 8.00 pm

“The Church's Trouble with Women. From Disinheritance to God's Promised community?”

Dr Lesley Orr

2018 is the 50th anniversary of women's ordination in the Church of Scotland and also the 100th anniversary of partial female enfranchisement. The talk will focus on Scotland, in particularly the Presbyterian tradition in the last 150 years.


Thursday 8 November 2018 at Orchardhill Church, Giffnock, 7.30 for 8.00 pm

“Silent Heroes: Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times”

Rev John Miller

Especially for Armistice week , this talk is based on John's book “Silent Heroes” for which he collected first-hand accounts of the war experiences of working-class men and women of Glasgow. Their stories are from the front and at home.


Thursday 22 November 2018 at Orchardhill Church, Giffnock, 7.30 for 8.00 pm

“And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy… Reforming Women and Female Authority”

Charlotte Methuen

Continuing Thinking Allowed's theme of Women in the Church we look back at their historical role. In this talk Charlotte Methuen, a world expert, will explore the little-known role of women in the Reformation.


Thursday 10 January 2019 at Cairns Church, Milngavie, 7.30 for 8.00pm

“Cut Off from the Mainland”:

Rev. Andrew Frater and other like-minded parish ministers

Following the success of last session’s ‘Scholars’ Spotlight’ when a panel of theology academics responded to questions from the audience, this year it will be the turn of parish ministers.

Over the past number of months, a group of similarly minded ministers (including Andrew Frater) has gathered in Millport’s Cathedral of the Isles to reflect upon life, faith, church and the meaning of the universe!

These enriching conversations have inspired fresh thinking and renewed visions of the Church in today’s world.

The group is delighted to address questions gleaned from the audience, thereby continuing a much-needed discussion on the mainland as well as Millport.

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A sound recording of the event can be found here.


Thursday 7 February 2019 at Cairns Church, Milngavie, 7.30 for 8.00pm

“There is a Crack in Everything - That's How the Light Gets In”:

Very Rev. Dr. John Chalmers

This quote from a song by Leonard Cohen lends itself to the theme of a lecture which will examine some of the prevailing attitudes to disability permeating society today. In the life of the differently-abled we will be challenged to experience the grace and beauty of God shining through the cracks and we may even emerge with a different view of our own so-called normality.

The Very Rev Dr John Chalmers was Principal Clerk to the General Assembly from 2010 – 2017. In 2014 – 2015 he served as Moderator of the General Assembly.

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A sound recording of the event can be found here.


Also, on Thursday 7 February 2019 at Orchardhill Church, Giffnock, 7.30 for 8.00 pm

TED TALK : What Keeps us Happy and Healthy as We go Through Life ?

In this talk, Robert Waldinger shares three important lessons from a 75-year-long study on adult development, as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, happy life. This 75-year continuing study gives Prof. Waldinger unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction.


Thursday 7 March 2019 at Orchardhill Church, Giffnock, 7.30 for 8.00 pm

“For I Know the Plans I Have for You, Plans to Prosper You”

Ross Greer MSP

In the Church of Scotland, those words from the Book of Jeremiah may feel a little jarring. When the Kirk gathered for our General Assembly we again faced the challenges which seem to have defined our public image over the last decade: declining numbers, congregations folding and a dearth of young people. Accordingly, one of the first items on this week’s agenda was a ten-year strategy document which aimed to chart a path out of our current challenges and refresh our purpose


Thursday 21 March 2019 at Cairns Church, Milngavie, 7.30 for 8.00 pm

'Redrawing Boundaries: Religion, Violence and Peacebuilding in Jerusalem and Beyond':

Professor Jolyon Mitchell

Drawing on his original research and peace building work in Jerusalem & the West Bank, as well as his experience as a former BBC World Service Producer and Journalist, Professor Mitchell will consider the growth in the number of these barriers, and how they are used to frame contested spaces.

Professor Mitchell of the University of Edinburgh specialises in Religion, Violence and Peacebuilding, with particular reference to the arts and media.

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A video of Jolyon Mitchell doing the same lecture can be found here.


August (date to be confirmed)

We are currently in discussion with Jonathan Sacks regarding a major lecture at Cairns to coincide with the Edinburgh Book Festival. Further details to be announced.

An open invitation is extended to all to attend these events at Cairns and Orchardhill. Location maps Click Here PDF logo

Entry to the lectures is by 'donation' to help defray costs unless otherwise stated.

You may also be interested in -
Details of previous lecture programmes at Cairns 2008 - 2018 can be viewed here.
Sound recordings of some previous lectures can be found here.
Articles and videos on Thinking Allowed topics can be found here.