What is freedom? Is it about maximising possibility and personal choice? An absence of outside interference? Our lived experience is usually far more complex, and we often find that what we choose does not truly satisfy us.

The London Encounter 2018 will explore the idea that true freedom is in fact found through belonging: particular relationships, paths and places which allow us to live life with openness, knowing that we will be helped to our feet whenever we fall. The day will consist of meetings, exhibitions and events, all of them considering the nature of freedom through the paradoxical means of belonging and following.



Even in a hateful life within a trench in World War I, Private David Jones became aware that his world was densely packed with what was good. Timed for the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, this exhibition opens up a window onto Jones’ experience of freedom through an analysis of his poem In Parenthesis, supported by reproductions of his paintings and extracts from the poem.

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh: For me to live is Christ

Metropolitan Anthony Bloom once said that ‘freedom happens in a true relationship of sonship,’ a relationship of which he is a remarkable example. Beyond the role played by Metropolitan Anthony in the Russian Orthodox Church of the 20th Century, and beyond what he was able to achieve as a preacher in the UK and around the world amongst Christians and non-Christians, this exhibition tells the life story of a man, whose experience of Christ is at the very heart of any of his actions and teachings.



The Human Being: A paradox of freedom

A dialogue involving world-renowned poet John Burnside, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews and Mariadonata Villa, teacher, poet and translator. They will discuss what freedom consists of and explore the way in which poetry, operating as a paradox, allows us to regain awareness and freedom.

Can We Be Truly Free in the Modern Work Environment?

We live in a world of ever-greater job insecurity, growing income inequality, intense global competition and the unsettling prospect of jobs lost to automation, offshoring and artificial intelligence.  This panel discussion considers the question: is it possible to experience freedom and fulfilment in the jungle of the modern work environment?

The Grand Inquisitor

The evening will include a performance of an original dramatic work, based upon the theme of humanity’s “burden” of free will from Dostoevsky’s masterpiece The Brothers Karamazov.

The London Encounter

The London Encounter is a cultural event involving exhibitions, presentations and discussions which, each in their own way, are intended to provoke us to ask: what do we truly desire, what are we living for, and how can we best face the challenges of life?

It is a place of dialogue for people of all backgrounds and experiences.

Entrance is free. Children welcome.


The London Encounter is organised by a group of friends who met through the Catholic Movement, Communion and Liberation.

Our faith makes us want to engage in a dialogue with everyone, of whatever religion, background, political persuasion or tradition, about what it means to be human, what truly fulfils us and how best we can face the challenges of daily life. We believe that only by sharing our experience in a spirit of openness and mutual respect can we build the common good together

The London Encounter is organised through a charitable trust, Manalive, Charity number 1106302

Patron of 2018 Edition Rt Rev. and the Rt Hon. Lord Rowan Williams.