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The state’s role in poverty relief has become an unchallengeable mantra in the United Kingdom. However, it was not always so. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Christian thinkers explored both the theory and the practice of the voluntary principle. Championed by the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, voluntary societies proliferated, alongside the exhortation of personal and moral responsibility. The increasing growth of the state effectively destroyed them.

A free livestream of this lecture will be available to view @ 12 noon Eastern on March 12 for those who cannot join in person.

Turnbull headshot
Rev. Dr. Richard Turnbull
The Center for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics


Rev. Dr. Richard Turnbull is the director of the Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics and a trustee of the Christian Institute. He holds a degree in economics and accounting and spent over eight years as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst and Young and served as the youngest ever member of the Press Council. Richard also holds a first class honours degree in theology and PhD in theology from the University of Durham. He was ordained into the ministry of the Church of England in 1994.

Richard served in the pastoral ministry for over ten years. He was also for seven years the Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He has authored several books, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a visiting Professor at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Event Details

Start Date

End Date


Acton Institute | Mark Murray Auditorium
98 E. Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
United States


11:30 a.m. Doors open
12:00 p.m. Lecture begins
12:30 p.m. Q&A
1:00 p.m. Lecture ends


$15 General | $10 Student
Includes box lunch and beverage

(Please RSVP at least 48 hours in advance to guarantee a box lunch.)

Group discounts for schools and other organizations available.

Event livestream is free and will be available to view @ 12 noon Eastern on March 12 for those who cannot join in person.


Directions to the Acton Institute

Metered street parking is available. Please bring sufficient change with you for meters or pay for parking with the Motu Parking app on your smartphone (iOS and Android).

Paid parking lots are also available nearby. Please enter building off of Sheldon Blvd.

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