Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Lecture – Mark Vasey-Saunders

January 27, 2024 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Why can’t the church talk about sexuality (live lecture)

Please note that this lecture aims to explore why this topic has been, and continues to be, so difficult for the church to discuss, rather than arguing for one side or the other.

We are delighted to welcome Rev’d Dr Mark Vasey-Saunders to deliver a live lecture for Harrogate School of Theology and Mission on Saturday 27th January 2024, at St Mark’s Church, Leeds Road, Harrogate, HG2 8AY, starting at 10 am on the important topic, Why can’t the church talk about sexuality?

A common conceptualisation of the current debate over sexuality is that it is one between traditionalists and revisionists. In this lecture, Mark Vasey-Saunders argues that this is based on a misunderstanding of the degree to which both conservatives and liberals represent a break with earlier tradition. The current sexuality debate is between two different ways of interpreting the tradition of the church in a modern context.

Speaker Bio

Mark studied English Literature and History in York at the then University College of Ripon & York St John, and briefly worked for IFES in Ukraine before training for ordination at Cranmer Hall. He has worked in several different dioceses as a University Chaplain, Team Vicar & Pioneer Minister and more recently as Academic Tutor for St Hild College. He completed his PhD from Durham on Evangelical responses to homosexuality in 2013. He oversees the formation of part time and full time Anglican ordinands at St Hild Sheffield, as well as coordinating the College’s work with Curates. He leads modules in Postgraduate study skills, Doctrine, Ethics, and Anglicanism. Mark is married to Leah, who is the Vicar of Lancaster Priory Church and Chair of On Fire Mission.

Mark Vasey-Saunders’s new book Defusing the Sexuality Debate was published in June 2023

Reviews of this book:

This book could not be more timely and helpful for those on all sides of the debate. Mark explores the recent history of the evangelical writing on sexuality and deconstructs the idea of an unchanging evangelical consensus on these questions. He opens up an excellent third way for evangelicals to hold diverse views on sexuality questions without scapegoating others or unnecessary division. One of the most helpful books on this debate I’ve yet read. The Right Revd Steven Croft
Mark Vasey-Saunders has written a timely, wise and essential book, taking current sexuality debates and placing them in a deeper cultural context. All parties should step back and read this clear and eirenic book with humility and openness.

The Right Revd Nicholas Baines

Whatever our perspective on sexuality, Mark Vasey-Saunders is an essential conversation partner who raises crucial questions. Did the earliest Christians teach what is now presented as the traditional view on sexuality? What is really at stake in the current conflict? How can we avoid demonising each other? Defusing the Sexuality Debate approaches this thorniest of contemporary issues with integrity, humility and rigour. The result is a significant and consequential intervention – one of few contributions with the potential to open up genuinely new horizons. Mark’s careful research empowers us to think more deeply, and it won’t leave readers unchanged. At its heart is an eirenic plea: we can understand each other better; we can take a longer view; we can be the community of peace the gospel deserves and our world needs.

Prof Mark Powell

Mark Vasey-Saunders has established himself as one of the sharpest and most insightful commentators now writing on the disputes over sexuality in the Church of England. If the Church is to be delivered from the compulsions that are tearing it apart, then earnestly heeding his call for Christian humility and heart-searching truthfulness may just be its best hope.

Prof Robert Song


January 27, 2024
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


St Mark’s Church
Leeds Road
Harrogate, HG2 8AY United Kingdom
+ Google Map