Revd Dr Stephen Laird, FSA
Stephen enjoys a varied and energetic ministry as Anglican Chaplain at Kent University (where, for 16 years, he has taught modules on the Bible and Christianity, as well as Islam, in the Religious Studies department) and as parish priest in the nearby village of Blean.
He has a national involvement with the discernment of vocations, regularly serving at Bishops’ Advisory Panels.
Stephen undertook postgraduate studies at both King’s College, London and Oxford University (where he also read Theology as an undergraduate) in the areas of New Testament and Biblical Interpretation, sitting at the feet of a stunning generation of teachers and lecturers including N T Wright, J L Houlden and G N Stanton. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, having demonstrated nationally recognised standards of excellence in the delivery of degree-level teaching.
Stephen lives with his wife and young son in Blean, where he is parish priest. In his spare time he enjoys studying and writing about British landscape painting. In 2014 he was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London).
“Students at St Augustine’s College are the happiest and most highly motivated I have ever taught. And there are few things more rewarding than helping them to discover how the best insights of modern scholarship can inform and enliven Bible study, preaching and current theological debate. Students find both scholarly depth and practical usefulness in their studies of the Gospels, Paul’s Letters and the Book of Revelation.”
- ‘Landscape’: essay in the Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art and Architecture (revised edition), ISBN 978-80199680276 ed. Tom Devonshire Jones (OUP, November 2013). View online
- ‘The Revd Dr Victor Kenna OBE, 1899-1978’: essay for the exhibition catalogue John Piper and the Church, ISBN 978-0957145900, eds. P Jordan Evans and J Cartwright (Friends of Dorchester Abbey/Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames 2012). This publication was nominated for the 2013 William M B Berger Prize for British Art History.
- ‘A Gift of Smiling Colour’: introductory essay in the exhibition catalogue, John Piper in Kent and Sussex, ISBN 978-09567676-0-8 (Mascalls Gallery, Tunbridge Wells and Towner Gallery, Eastbourne 2011).
- Stephen is a frequent contributor of articles and reviews in Art and Christianity (ISSN 1746 6229) and has written several feature articles for the Church Times newspaper including ‘Fellow Feeling for a Scarred Landscape’ (on the poet Jack Clemo and the Painter Peter Lanyon), Church Times 7903, 5 September 2014.
Lectures, talks and conference papers
- Stephen is well known in Canterbury and Rochester Dioceses for his ‘Islam for Anglicans’ teaching days and courses, which he delivers with infectious enthusiasm for congregations and deaneries and – on a much larger scale – as Diocesan training events and at conferences.
- Stephen has also featured as guest lecturer at various museum and gallery shows in the South East region, most recently at Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery (‘The People of the English Landscape, c1800’; and ‘English Watercolours’).