Upcoming T4CG events

The Family, the State and the Common Good

What do we expect of families? Which responsibilities should families carry, and when should the state step in?

Join us for our latest public debate on Thursday 8 November 2018, with Professor Philip Booth, Mark Molden, Professor Sir Aynsley Green and Cathy Corcoran OBE. Download flyer here.

Free entrance. The debate will be followed by drinks. Book your place here.

Venue: St Mary's Church, Putney in London, historic home of the 1647 Putney Debates.

This event is the second in our series in partnership with our friends at Theos and the Benedict XVI Centre - State, Society and the Common Good. The series aims to bring people together to talk about the proper role of the State in generating a good society.

About this debate:

The relationship between the state and the family has been changing over recent years. Symptoms can be seen in a range of public policy controversies, from the proposed 'Named Person Scheme’ in Scotland, to the two child limit on benefits, to arguments over the rights of parents in matters related to sex education. In addition, there is the ever-present question of taxation and its consequences for family formation and the impact of the benefits system on family life and marriage.

Connected with the trends in government policy, the decline in what is often termed ‘the traditional family’, as well as the extended family, is resulting in fragmented relationships. What is the impact of this on our ability as a society to build the Common Good? We are seeing childcare and the care of the elderly being increasingly outsourced, rough sleepers frequently cite family breakdown as a cause of homelessness, while the young as well as the old are suffering sharp rises in levels of loneliness.

The panel will consider where and how the state should step in; what should be the shape of the welfare and tax systems to help families thrive; whether the state is capable of replacing the fundamentally human and relational functions of the family; and what kind of role churches, other faith communities and civil society groups could play to support families. In an era where family life under strain from multiple pressures is producing consequences that affect all of us, local and personal solutions may well prove to be not only vital, but central.

About our speakers: 

Professor Philip Booth Philip is Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics at St Mary's University, Twickenham and Senior Academic Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs. His areas of research include welfare and social insurance, financial regulation and Catholic social teaching.

Mark Molden Mark is Chief Executive of Marriage Care, a national Catholic charity with a network of trained volunteers offering professionalrelationship counselling and marriage preparation for couples to help them sustain healthy relationships.

Professor Sir Aynsley Green Sir Al served as first Children’s Commissioner for England 2005 to 2010. He is visiting professor of advocacy for children at Nottingham Trent University and emeritus professor of child health at University College London and an internationally recognised authority on children's services, child health and childhood. He is the author of ‘The British Betrayal of Childhood ’ launched in October 2018. He was knighted by HM Queen Elizabeth for his services to children and young people in 2006.

Cathy Corcoran OBE Cathy was Chief Executive of the Cardinal Hume Centre from 2003-2018, a central London charity helping people to overcome poverty and homelessness. She was awarded the OBE in 2002 for her 25 years service with CAFOD.

We hope you will join us.

To watch video of the first debate in the series, held on 2 July 2018, Migration and the Common Good, click here

The third debate in our series will address the relationship between the State, Church and Community and take place on 7 March 2019, also at St Mary's.

A note to our friends across the UK and beyond: T4CG operates on a shoestring but working in partnership makes it possible to offer these debates. Our capacity to run events outside London is extremely limited, but we hope you enjoy engaging with the content on video. Capacity permitting, we are always open to discussing possibilities with partners further afield.

This series is kindly sponsored by CCLA, one of the UK's largest ethical fund managers for charities, religious organisations and the public sector.