AGBU Webtalks


Gladstone, Religion and Armenia

Peter Francis

Peter Francis explores the link between the great Prime Minister's faith and his lifelong commitment to human rights.


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September 2019

Gladstone, Religion and Armenia

In the second installment from our series on William E. Gladstone, Peter Francis examines the link between the great British Prime Minister’s faith and his commitment to human rights. While his strict, almost severe, religious upbringing had prepared him for a career in the church, as young Gladstone took a different path into politics, his experiences and encounters made way for a more open and ecumenical attitude in his faith. Subsequently, his lifelong commitment to liberty, democracy and human rights came to define much of his political career, including his campaign for the Armenians in the wake of the Hamidian massacres. 

Peter Francis is the Warden and Director of Gladstone’s Library in Wales, an honorary research fellow at the University of Chester, and Visiting Professor at Glyndwr University. His Anglican ministry has included periods in England, Scotland and Wales. Before ordination, he studied theology at the University of St. Andrews and Queen’s College Birmingham. For most of his ordained life, Francis has been involved with issues of inclusion / exclusion in church and society and has served on the worldwide Anglican Peace and Justice Network. Together with his enthusiasm for Gladstone (especially Gladstone’s commitment to democracy and human rights), his passion for liberal thought and liberal Christianity in particular, are what he lectures on, writes and broadcasts about. As an editor and contributor, his publications include: The Grand Old Man (2000); The Gladstone Umbrella (2001); Changing Rural Life (2004); Cinema Divinité (2005); Rebuilding Communion (2007) and as a contributor: Pieces of Ease and Grace (2013); Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art and Architecture (2013) Matthew and Mark Across Perspectives (2016). 

Topics: Biography/Memoir Genocide Religion